People Are Talking

People Are Talking

People Are Talking

People Are Talking Kentucky School Advocate
October 2015
"I know you all have been busting at the seams for quite some time, so this is good space for you all. We hope that it serves you all well and the children of your preschool well. We are excited to have you here – from a city standpoint, we are very excited to have somebody occupy a building that was formerly vacant and glad to make good use of that." Glasgow Mayor Richard Doty during the dedication ceremonies of a new preschool center (right) for the Barren County Schools – a former church that eventually also will house the district’s central offices. From the Glasgow Daily Times.
Photo provided by Barren County Schools
"He has the heart of a teacher. He places high value on building relationships. His communication skills coupled with his knowledge make him a highly qualified leader. (I was impressed by) Dr. Pruitt’s experience in developing standards and assessment/accountability at the state and national level … (he brings) a comprehensive understanding and perspective on improving student achievement through a standards-based approach." Kentucky Board of Education Chairman Roger Marcum assessing some of the qualities of Dr. Stephen L. Pruitt, who is on track to become Kentucky’s sixth commissioner of education this month. From the KSBA eNews Service.

"It was one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I have no desire to leave Eminence, but I am very passionate about systemic change. This is the one position that I felt could accomplish that with the most impact. I feel that what we are doing in Kentucky and Eminence is scalable to be a national model. I truly believe Kentucky has the potential to be the worldwide leader of next practice." Eminence Independent Schools Superintendent Buddy Berry, the lone Kentucky finalist in the state education commissioner search. From the Eminence Henry County Local
"We don’t have the bench we need that we feel comfortable with to cover when people are out. (The rodeo) is a little something fun to generate interest." Trigg County Schools Superintendent Travis Hamby (pictured at left) on a unique idea to recruit bus drivers – a demonstration staged in the parking lot of a local radio station. From the Cadiz Record.

"I even have bus drivers call me and tell me when a kid is getting off at one or two different stops. There is no structure and no support in their lives. We are their support." Rick Branham, coordinator for homeless students for the Pike County Schools, on some of the challenges facing school staff trying to help Kentucky’s estimated 30,000 homeless students, which is estimated to be the highest rate among school-age populations in the nation. From the Lexington Herald-Leader.

"It’s kind of our job to say what’s happening in the school. And if we’re talking about math and how to do it differently, or if we’re talking about test scores, I can give an interesting perspective from a student. I truly believe that change is possible if people take action. I think it’s important to lead by listening to what the people have to say. It’s also important for people to be engaged in the political system." Franklin County High School senior Jacob Bruce on his role as one of two "student liaisons" to the board of education. From the Frankfort State Journal.

"Keep the opportunities for growth in education centered on the children provided by supporting teachers. We need all parents and administrative staff supporting the teachers who do the major part of education in the classroom. The most important person in the school system is the classroom teacher." 90-year-old former Montgomery County Schools Superintendent/Principal/administrator E.G. Jones during ceremonies honoring him for his contributions to the district, which began more than 60 years ago. From the Mt. Sterling Advocate.

"We had the budget in pretty good shape with a 6 percent contingency, but this lowers it to 2.5 to 3 percent contingency by the end of next year. We have to keep that money set aside. You can’t spend one on the other and only money from taxes goes to the kids." Magoffin County Schools Superintendent Stanley Holbrook on how construction money couldn’t be used to beef up the contingency fund, predicted to drop near the state-required 2 percent minimum. From the Salyersville Independent.

"This takes biology principles into the real world. I think the opportunity is phenomenal for the kids; they are very fortunate." Bio-medical studies teacher Jackie Wolford during a tour of the specialized classes in the Mason County Schools’ new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, agriculture, medicine) Academy, housed in a former factory renovated by the district. From the Maysville Ledger-Independent.
"We’re really working towards student preferences. It’s sometimes surprising to see what the students prefer. I wouldn’t have thought that they would like sausage and pancakes on a stick so much, but they do! Our goal is to make sure students are well-fed and not having to worry about how much money is in their account. That way they can focus on their coursework and learn while they’re in school." Hickman County Schools Nutrition Director Lynsi Barnhill on how her cafeterias have incorporated new menu items as the district became eligible for the federal government’s expanded free meal program. From the Clinton Hickman County Gazette.
"We took the allowable 4 percent which raised the rate from last year. We feel it is important to be able to use whatever funds are available for the programs for the students. We want to show our kids that education is important and they are important and that they deserve all the new programs we can put in place for them." Bellevue Independent Board of Education Chairwoman Vanessa Groneck (pictured at left) on some of the factors that led her board to take the maximum 4 percent revenue increase in setting its 2016 tax rates. From the Covington River City News.

"We had to make some changes. We’re still finding where some bus drivers were driving down some of those cul-de-sacs and we are enforcing our policy. We have to be consistent, we can’t do on one street what we’re not doing on another. We don’t make our students walk more than a quarter of a mile in a subdivision that has sidewalks. Safety is our number one concern." Kenton County Schools Director of Public Information and Community Engagement Jess Dykes in response to a parent’s concerns about enforcing a long-standing rule that students living on streets of less than a quarter of a mile must walk to a common pickup point to ride the bus. From the Fort Mitchell Community Press and Recorder.

"It would make very little sense for the commissioner to interject into the political process. Every one of these situations is looked at independently and we do everything we can to avoid making a decision that should be made by the voters. I’ve been doing this for 13 years and I’ve never known that to happen when there have been two or more persons competing for a vacancy." John Thompson of the Kentucky Department of Education on then-Commissioner Terry Holliday’s decision not to fill a vacancy on the Rowan County Board of Education after two applicants filed to run in next month’s special election. From the Morehead News.

"It’s going to be consistent so that a child in the fourth grade will have the same grading scale as a child in kindergarten." Corbin Independent Elementary School Principal Chris Webb on his school’s adoption of a standards-based grading system in part to better help parents understand how their child is doing academically. From the Corbin Times-Tribune.

"I’m sure they were frustrated because there seemed to be no rules. Everything was a top-down approach. The culture has changed dramatically in the schools. They feel their voices are being heard and we have their interests at heart." New Fairview Independent Schools Superintendent Michael Taylor on school staff reactions to policy and procedure changes he has proposed to address critical findings by the state auditor’s office and the Office of Education Accountability. From the Ashland The Independent.

"It’s because they have already been exposed to the routine so they are ready for academics from the beginning. Instead of having to establish procedures they are prepared to learn the curriculum. You still have to go over everything like teachers will continue to do in second and third grades. But they are more receptive to the knowledge. We aren’t levels ahead academically yet, but they are developmentally miles from where they have been." Whitehall Elementary School teacher Ashley Sawyer on her assessment of the impact the first year of all-day kindergarten in Madison County Schools has had on her first-grade students. From the Richmond Register.
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