11-11People Are Talking

11-11People Are Talking

People Are Talking

People Are Talking “It’s a great program that allows students to realize that other students deal with the same stresses and issues that they do. Many times students feel like they have nowhere to turn. Realizing that other kids deal with similar problems gives them hope. It allows for students to see that there are things below the surface sometimes that affect the way that others act. It’s important that those things are taken into consideration before judgment is passed.” McLean County Schools Superintendent Tres Settle, pictured above with freshman Keith Presley, after participating in his high school’s Challenge Day, an exercise to help freshmen feel less out of place at the school. From the Calhoun McLean County News.

“It’s not a prayer that’s led by the school or sponsored by the school. It’s just an opportunity – a moment of silence is pretty commonplace – to let people have whatever thoughts they want to have at that time. (It’s) up to the individual.” Bell County Schools Superintendent George Thompson on his high school’s compromise following a complaint that led to the end of a traditional Christian prayer prior to football games. From the Knoxville, Tenn., WBIR-TV News.

“We’re not hiding in the bushes, hoping to catch parents doing something wrong. We try to deal with this on the front end as much as possible. Filing a criminal complaint is absolutely the last resort (but) we can’t just do whatever we want to for our children ... We also have to follow the law.” Dan Orman, Oldham County Schools assistant superintendent of student services, on the district’s crackdown on parents who allegedly live outside the school system but have enrolled their children there. From the Louisville Courier-Journal.

“Caverna has a proud history of achievement, both in the classroom and on the athletic field, but both of those issues are well in the past. A recent report showed only 2 percent of students at Caverna High School were considered to be college and/or career ready. Based on the student population, this means only one Caverna High School graduate was considered college or career ready. Caverna was opened in 1950 as a way to allow two small communities, Horse Cave and Cave City, to share resources as a way to provide better educational opportunities to their children. Now Caverna is again that small community that can’t provide the best opportunities for students.” Portions of a newspaper editorial after a Department of Education report ranked the district last in terms of students who graduated ready for college or the work force. From the Glasgow Daily Times.

“They said they were almost bored because they had had a lot of the stuff already.” Mercer County High School Principal Malissa Hutchins on what she learned from two graduates of her school’s elective engineering program who are now pursuing engineering degrees at the University of Louisville. From the Danville Advocate-Messenger.

“We’ve had to teach the kids what (nutritious) food looks like. It takes a while to train the 5- and 6-year-olds not to make a ranch dressing and crouton soup.” Burlington, Vt., Public Schools Food Services Director Doug Davis speaking to 16 central Kentucky peers on some of the challenges of buying and incorporating locally produced food into the cafeteria lines. From the Georgetown News-Graphic.

“We’re looking to see where our students are at this point: any data we can get to better equip our students for middle school.” Vicki Conyer, principal at Morgan Elementary School on a proposal to the Paducah Independent school board on instituting exit exams for all fifth-grade students. From the Paducah Sun.

“We’re on a very tight budget. At some point, we have to decide which is more important. Are we going to completely redo the plan now and go to just a straight, simple classroom that we can accomplish that on, or do we continue here? Yes, we can do some pitches on (the roof), but it’s going to be expensive.” Leonard Bowers, architect for RossTarrant Architects, Inc. to the Washington County school board after some members objected to a proposed flat roof in a design for a new high school. From the Springfield Sun.

“I wanted to make sure that they didn’t grow up and be politically illiterate, but they knew the challenges that would face Kentucky and that they wouldn’t be fooled by politicians, but that they would be able to hold people to task and to send people to Frankfort, or to Washington or the courthouse, wherever they may be, who really stand by their values and who really stand by what they thought.” University of Kentucky student and Perry Central High School graduate Derek Campbell on the second year of a “political education program” for area students wherein local elected officials talk about why they ran for office and what their parties stand for. From the Hazard Herald.

“We thought it would be a good thing for kids who may not have the support at home, kids who need some extra structure and some extra time to work on things. We try to get them in the mode of structure, and how important it is to stay on top of things. The goal is that we want the kids to enjoy school work. We want them to raise their achievement levels and to definitely be on grade level when they complete the year, no matter what grade they are in.” Hannah McClure Elementary School (Clark County) Family Resource Director Michelle Mitchell on the Homework Club in which community volunteers and teachers help students improve their learning skills. From the Winchester Sun.

“Erosion is a slow process, so slow that you don’t even notice it.” Bullitt County school board member Tim Wiseheart on his reluctant agreement with a 4-1 rejection of a proposed policy to relax restrictions on distribution of religious materials to students during the school day. From the Shepherdsville Pioneer-News.

“This plan is designed as a road map. It includes things we plan to look at and see how we can make improvements.” Becki Lanter, energy manager for Bellevue Independent Schools, on the school board’s approval on a formal set of guidelines designed to continue reducing energy costs. From the Fort Mitchell nky.com.

Testing Results

There has been a great deal of elation across the board. There have been multiple damp eyes amongst the staff. We all say the right things, that all kids can learn, but rarely do we get an opportunity to say, absolutely, this is why we still know this to be true.” Keith Look, principal of The Academy @ Shawnee, a Jefferson County high school, after his school made its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets for the first time ever under the No Child Left Behind Act. From the Bethesda, Md. Education Week.

“Change is certainly what we’re going to have to warm up to. Regardless of the changes, we can do this. We’ve been proving it. And that’s good to be able to say. I do think it marks the transformation of our school district. We talk a different language now – we are very conscious to avoid wasting time on things we cannot change.” Caldwell County Schools Superintendent Carrell Boyd reflecting both on this year’s test scores for his district and the new assessment system that will begin measuring student and school progress next spring. From the Princeton Times-Leader.

“Carter County has never met AYP since its inception. Right now we are focused on making sure the students, teachers and administrators are buying into a culture of high expectations. We have the potential out there, and kids who can be whatever they want to be. These children are not less capable because they live in eastern Kentucky. When a school doesn’t meet AYP, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that you have qualities that allow you to be successful.” Carter County Schools Superintendent Ronnie Dotson with an optimistic view on current and future academic assessments for his district. From the Grayson Journal-Times.

Point/Counterpoint ... Delaying world language program reviews

“There is a pushback on anything over and above what was spelled out in Senate Bill 1. It was a surprise to superintendents and to members of the General Assembly because this (addition of world language program reviews) just sort of evolved in the spring and summer. We need to take some time, help them out. If we think it can be done in less than two years and there is support, we’ll come back to do it sooner.”
Education Commissioner Terry Holliday in recommending the delay during the Kentucky Board of Education’s October meeting.

“I think this is the beginning of a lot of pushback and we’re going to see a lot more. But if Kentucky is going to continue to move ahead, the road’s not going to be easy. When students come in and tell us the importance of (world language instruction), it’s hard for me to back up at all. I know it’s going to be tough, but we need to set the goals high and figure out how to do it. This pushback is so important that we ought to show some resistance.” KBE member Billy Harper of Paducah who voted ‘No’ in the board’s 7-2 decision.

From the Frankfort KSBA eNews Service.

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