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Education Briefs

Education Briefs

Kentucky School Advocate
January 2021

Fayette superintendent mourned  

Fayette County superintendent Manny Caulk died Dec. 5 after a brief illness. He was 49.

“We are grateful for Manny’s servant leadership and passion for our two moral imperatives – to accelerate achievement for students who have not yet reached proficiency and to challenge students already proficient to achieve global competency,” said Stephanie Spires, board chairwoman.

In 2018, the Kentucky Association for School Administrators named Caulk Superintendent of the Year.

Caulk told the Herald-Leader in 2015 when he moved from Maine to become the Fayette schools chief that, 80 years before, his grandfather moved from Delaware to Pike County, Ky., “in search of the American dream.”Under Caulk’s leadership, the district developed its first strategic plan in a decade, worked in partnership with local business leaders to redesign high schools, launched a volunteer campaign called “Give 10,” and placed education in the center of community discourse through his book club, the district website said. Under Caulk, Fayette County was the first school district in Kentucky to establish a grant-funded Office for Educating Boys of Color focused on meeting the needs of Black and Hispanic male students.

Education Continuum created  
Gov. Andy Beshear, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, President for the Council on Postsecondary Education Aaron Thompson and Education Commissioner Jason Glass have announced the creation of the Commonwealth Education Continuum to assist students as they transition through the state’s public education system.

The Continuum is a partnership between the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and the Kentucky Department of Education. It is co-chaired by Coleman, Thompson and Glass and will consist of 27 members whose expertise ranges from early childhood to adult education.

KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling is a member of the Continuum.

The continuum will focus on the need to increase and improve the quality and competencies of a diverse teaching workforce, as well as to increase student and family access to and awareness of opportunities for students to achieve the necessary degrees and credentials to enter the workforce successfully.

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 51 percent of Kentucky children are kindergarten-ready and 40 percent of Kentucky 4th-graders are proficient in mathematics, with that percentage falling to 29 percent by middle school.

In order to close the gap between educational transitions, this collaboration provides a forum through which to strengthen the education pipeline and ensure that Kentucky’s educational experience, from preschool through postsecondary education, provides an equitable opportunity to successfully transition to the next level.

The Commonwealth Education Continuum will hold its first meeting in January 2021.

iLead finalist in national competition  
A team from iLead Academy in Carrollton joins teams from four other states as a finalist in the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Tech Project.

iLEAD Academy, which is run by the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative (OVEC), will develop model computer science education career pathways. OVEC also received a $4 million Education Innovation Research grant for a groundbreaking effort to train teachers to teach computer science in elementary and middle school.

iLead Academy lets students from high schools in five districts – Carroll County, Gallatin County, Henry County, Owen County and Trimble County – take virtual dual-credit classes toward computer science degrees.

The U.S. Department of Education asked rural high schools to propose technology education programs using competency-based distance learning. iLead Academy’s proposal was one of 63 submitted nationwide.

iLEAD will create Kentucky’s first virtual Computer Science Career Academy. Students in the program will earn 12 hours of college credit targeted to completion of one of six associate degrees in computer science at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) or one of two associate-to-bachelor’s degrees from JCTC to Northern Kentucky University's College of Informatics. Students who attend iLEAD Academy in-person will complete one of the degrees while in high school.

Students will earn high-demand industry certifications in digital literacy, computational thinking, and the programming languages JAVA and Python. iLEAD also will offer a virtual program introducing students to the core concepts of artificial intelligence (AI) to address rapidly increasing demand for AI specialists.

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