0913 People are Talking

0913 People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking "One of the most important things to us was to increase the space we could use. We wanted to create a better environment for learning. One thing you find out during school construction, kids and teachers are very resilient. All the noise and movement is a distraction, but they don’t let it become a problem. It’s been a long haul, but the end result is always worth the aggravation.” Burgin Independent School Superintendent Richard Webb, pictured near right speaking with students in the renovated space, on completion of a nine-year, three-phase, $5.5 million renovation and new construction on the 82-year-old central Kentucky school. From the Harrodsburg Herald.

 “When someone tells you they’re going to let you take care of their child that’s the highest compliment that you can have, and when somebody gives you that responsibility to take care of their child you have to make some tough decisions sometimes. Our kids are resilient. We always talk about being ready. I don’t know if you can ever be ready for this, but if there’s anybody that could be, it’ll be the Sheldon Clark Cardinal kids.” Sheldon Clark High School (Martin County) Principal Dr. Robbie Fletcher after his school was closed for the year due to structural safety issues, requiring relocating of classes to another building and a delayed start to the school year. From the Hazard WYMT-TV News.

 “It’s no secret it’s hot in that gym. Unless the board objects, I have no problem working with you to make this happen. The only thing I would caution is these things typically take longer than other projects where you are contributing to some non-governmental agency. You will have to be willing to persevere and jump through each hoop with us together to make this happen.” Harlan Independent Schools Superintendent C.D. Morton on district leaders’ willingness to allow a local businessman to raise funds and other offers of assistance to air condition the high school’s gymnasium. From the Harlan Daily Enterprise.

“We don’t want any dropouts. We really feel like we’re being very effective. We have a lot of intense interventions going on right now and this data supports we’re being pretty darn effective. This is just another unfunded mandate, which the state has always been good at. It warms everyone’s heart, but if districts aren’t doing what we’re doing, I don’t know what they’re supposed to do to keep kids in school.” Oldham County Schools Superintendent Will Wells on his district’s decision not to rush into adoption of an age 18 mandatory attendance policy prior to it becoming effective in two more years. From the LaGrange Oldham Era.

“We’ve made good on the promise set by the board for no more students learning in mobile units.” McCracken County Board of Education Chairman Jeff Parker on how the district’s construction and renovation plan has eliminated the need for putting some students in mobile classrooms. From the Paducah Sun.

“It is tough for us to get into the business of hiring state employees. It’s a program that we really need. Our kids can benefit from it. If and when a federal prison comes in kids will have a leg up of having a few courses there.” Letcher County Board of Education member Will Smith on the panel’s between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place decision not to accept an anonymous donation to the district to finance a criminal justice instructor’s position at the area technology center. From the Whitesburg Mountain Eagle.

“It’s a tough commitment. We’re asking high school students to become college students. (But) it makes them very employable right away.” Ashland Blazer High School Principal Derek Runyon on an early college initiative with Ashland Community and Technical College in which seniors can earn engineering and nursing credits in their final year of high school. From the Ashland Daily Independent.

“You’ll notice if you drive around the school that the doors are numbered, because if, God forbid, something like that does happen, they can say, ‘I have a breached Door 8.’ We know where Door 8 is. We’re not driving back and forth trying to figure out which one it is.” KSP Trooper Jeff Gregory on one of the advantages of a series of back-to-school visits by area law enforcement officers to schools in Elizabethtown Independent and Hardin County systems. From the Elizabethtown News-Enterprise.

 “The idea was brought up so that more students would be recognized at graduation. At the 2013 LCHS commencement, we recognized 17 students. With the new system we would have recognized close to 50 students. We have checked with area colleges and universities, as well as high schools that have adopted this system. This system will not negatively affect any scholarships or grants.” Lewis County High School Principal Jack Lykins on a proposal to replace traditional valedictorian and salutatorian selections with recognitions similar to those at postsecondary institutions. From the Maysville Ledger Independent.

“There are some similarities to what we do. For instance there is still an observation piece, and now we’re adding peer observation, parent voice, student voice, student achievement and self reflection. We’ve had student surveys and had other teachers sit in on classes before, but these will certainly add another dimension to our evaluations. We had the option from the state of going with their standards and evaluation plan or developing our own. We decided to go with the state’s system that they’ve been working on for several years. I don’t know of any district that decided to go on their own.” Barbara Allan, Shelby County Schools director of administration and personnel, on her district’s participation in the expanded pilot of Kentucky’s new teacher evaluation system. From the Shelbyville Sentinel News.

“I feel that a judge needs to have the discretion to enforce their own court orders, otherwise what is the point of having court? It should be used sparingly, as a last resort, but when all other interventions fail, state law allows it and there is a reason for that.” Covington Independent Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Ken Kippenbrock on his belief that jailing juvenile status offenders should remain an option, even with his district’s successful work to reduce sending chronic truancy situations to court. From the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“A lot of people use Facebook, and surveys show it’s a good way to spread information. It’s just an opportunity for us to find another mechanism for us to communicate with the larger public as well as our parents and students. We have a lot of great things going on in our district and we want to step up communication with parents and students, with staff.” New Owensboro Independent Schools Superintendent Dr. Nick Brake on one of the first initiatives after taking the post – establishing a district social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. From the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.
“As they make staffing decisions in March for July 1 of 2014, they will start realizing that they don’t have 5 percent of their money. So you are going to see these staffing cuts really hit school districts in the spring.” KDE Associate Commissioner Hiren Desai to the legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue, forecasting when the brunt of federal funding cuts known as sequestration will become more evident in Kentucky schools. From the Louisville CN/2 News.

“Most folks felt like, ‘Let’s don’t take a hit in our revenues, even in a small way.’ We are now coming out on the other side of the recession, and I want to take another look at that. Obviously, it’s a good idea if we can pull it off.” Gov. Steve Beshear responding to a question about creating a Kentucky state sales tax holiday on school-related purchases, similar to those in 17 other states, including Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia. From the Lexington WKYT-TV News.

“This is not to say that the law prohibits an absent member from listening to the proceedings from a remote location.” Portion of an Attorney General’s opinion on whether it was legal for a Clark County school board member to monitor a meeting via phone, noting that listening in was fine, but that the board member could not otherwise participate in the meeting by voting or even being counted as part of the quorum. From the Winchester Sun.

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