9-12 People are Talking

9-12 People are Talking

People are Talking

People are Talking

“We’ve initiated a snow packet page. We want the teachers to provide packets at home that can keep students’ minds sharp with the four content areas — math, history, science and English.” Lawrence County High School Principal Lonnie Cook on his school’s preparations for keeping teaching and learning going, even when winter weather closes schools. From the Huntington, W. Va. WSAZ-TV News.

“I went over and hit the switch and said, ‘Here is the good reason for why we’re doing what we’re doing right now.’” Bellevue Independent Schools Superintendent Wayne Starnes on installing motion detectors on gymnasium lighting, one element of the energy reduction effort that is saving the district an estimated $10,000 a year. From the Fort Mitchell Community Press and Recorder.

“Besides being more efficient, our new grade level configuration will provide fewer transitions for our students as they progress through our district. We are especially pleased to provide our sixth graders, who are joining the middle school, with a brand-new, two-story addition that is state-of-the-art.” Wayne County Schools Superintendent John Dalton on splitting lower grades between two elementary schools and moving the sixth grade to the middle school. From the Monticello Wayne County Outlook.

“Who wants to charge a kid more for his food?” Spencer County Board of Education member Scott Travis, voicing the negative reaction of many other Kentucky school board members about a federal rule that forces them to raise student meal prices. From the Taylorsville Spencer Magnet.

“I know this is a difficult time to ask people to pay more, but I hope they will look at the quality of the meals and think that $2 is pretty good. However, I realize that for someone who has two children, $6 a day times five days a week adds up pretty quickly.” Bourbon County Schools Superintendent Lana Fryman on the same issue. From the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“I feel as a board we tend to stay on track and we know what our objectives are and we stay there. We have a difference of opinion on things from time to time... but we keep moving on.” Marion County Board of Education Chairman Michael Mullins on the annual board team self-effectiveness assessment conducted by the board and Superintendent Chuck Hamilton. From the Lebanon Enterprise.

“You need to be ready for those cuts for the 2013-14 school year. If you did plan for cuts this year, you’re probably in good shape. You can spend federal money over a three-year period, so you can use money that you don’t spend this year to offset cuts next school year. What we’re really asking everybody to do is to talk specifically to your Congressional delegation, because this will have a huge impact to schools and teachers for the next 10 years if we don’t do something.” Education Commissioner Terry Holliday during a webinar for superintendents about the consequences of federal budget “sequestration” that would trigger across the board cuts next year, unless Congress amends the law. From the Frankfort KSBA eNews Service.

“This spring I had a player take a soccer ball to the face after a hard tackle. After a few days, you can really tell that something wasn’t right. She was experiencing mood swings, headaches, lack of concentration, personality changes and other symptoms of a concussion. With (my daughter) Kemper having one, I was able to talk to her and her parents and let them know that it was a concussion. Rather than just sitting her out for a few games because she ‘had her bell rung,’ we knew that time was the only thing to help. If I hadn’t gone through what I did with Kemper, things could have played out different for (my player).” Anderson County Middle School girls’ soccer coach Daniel Rogers explaining his efforts to educate his players’ parents about concussions. From the Lawrenceburg Anderson News.

“I think sometimes in the past, we’ve been more interested in pleasing adults than doing our jobs and taking care of students. So now, when they ask for money in a certain area, we ask, ‘How is this going to affect student achievement?’ At this point, we can’t settle for average. We’ve got to do better than that.” School board Chairman Jim Kelley on the improved ACT scores at Lincoln County High School, which principal Tim Godbey hailed as the first turnaround sign for the school on the state’s persistently low-achieving list. From the Stanford Interior Journal.

“We were trying to look at families who, theoretically, could have three kids and could have to come three different nights. We want to try to streamline it more. We are a small district and we want it to have that feel. We want to create excitement about coming back to school.” Kelly West, director of Williamstown Independent Schools’ family resource and youth service center, on the decision to combine multiple back-to-school events into a single “bash.” From the Williamstown Grant County News.

“If I make notes on the screen area during a lesson in class, there is a program to save the notes so I have them for later. One goal in the district is to have a mounted, interactive whiteboard in every classroom. They are not just a teacher tool. Students can come to the board and complete any number of activities.” Augusta Independent Schools’ Technology Coordinator Tim Litteral on new classroom technology placed in the school this year. From the Maysville Ledger-Independent.

“After considerable discussion, I believe this would be beneficial to both schools. I think it does provide a more focused approach to both the discipline and management side. It also provides a more focused approach to the curriculum and instruction side.” Trigg County Schools Superintendent Travis Hamby on the creation of the position of assistant principal/instructional supervisor at both the primary and intermediate schools. From the Cadiz Record.

“Most of the successes I’ve had ... are not public. And that’s successes with individual children that come back to see me after years ... and said that they listened to what I said at that one time (and it) made a difference to them.” Burgin Independent Schools Superintendent Richard Webb reflecting on his 15 years leading the central Kentucky district. From the Danville Advocate-Messenger.

“I think once you stop wishing and dreaming about where you want to be, then you need to get out. That’s when it’s time to quit. I still want this to be a better school district.” Corbin Independent Superintendent Ed McNeel as he began his 21st year leading the district. From the Corbin News Journal.

Staffing and student-teacher ratios

“What we are talking about at the kindergarten level is if we have 75 students, we’re talking about 18 (or) 19 to 1 ratio. One of the things we have tried to do, especially at the youngest grade, is to maintain a lower student-teacher ratio because of the basic foundational skills they are learning at that age.”
Harlan Independent Schools Superintendent David Johnson on the hiring of an additional elementary teacher and aide to address projected enrollment growth.

“So, what we have is a big if — if they show up. The ratio is the difference of hiring a teacher today, versus not, is a difference of one student per classroom. That ‘if’ still may not show up.”
Harlan Independent Board of Education member Will Miller in opposing the new hires, saying he feels the elementary pupil/teacher ratio already was “generous.”

From the Harlan Daily Enterprise

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