Friday, July 09, 2010

School News from Around Kentucky

Restored Sulphur Run school holds special memories: The Sulphur Run School, located on Dry Creek Road in western Casey County, 3 1/2 miles off Ky. 70, was built in 1908. It offered classes to students in grades 1-8. The school closed in 1958 because there weren’t many children attending, which caused Sulphur Run to consolidate with Peck...One well-known teacher at Sulphur Run was Charles T. Wethington, the father of Charles T. Wethington Jr. who was the president at the University of Kentucky from 1990-2001. (CaseyCo News)

Kentucky court of appeals finds county school board violated state’s open meetings law: A Kentucky Court of Appeals has held that the Bourbon County Board of Education violated the state’s Open Meetings Act (OMA) by negotiating the resigning superintendent’s personal services contract (PSC) behind closed doors. Arnold Carter began his five-year contract as superintendent of the Bourbon County Schools on July 1, 2001. The new board members that were elected in 2002 met with Carter to determine how his contract could be terminated early so that they could hire their own superintendent. (KSBA)

Kentuckiana schools warned stadium light poles may be dangerous: It is a scary situation for several school districts across Kentuckiana. On July 7, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall of 2,500 stadium light poles that could cause serious injury or even death. The heavy steel light poles came crashing down at 11 schools and parks around the country. Three JCPS schools and two in Southern Indiana got the recall notice. (WAVE)

Kenton educators to speak at Harvard: Educators from across the country will hear from Kenton County School District officials at Harvard University on Thursday. More than 100 school administrators in Harvard's pre K-12 Professional Development Program will hear from Superintendent Tim Hanner, Deputy Superintendent Terri Cox-Cruey and Kenton County Teachers Association President Sharon Cross as they present Strengthening the Quality of Instruction through Improved Communication and Mutual Respect - a presentation that outlines how the district's teachers and top administrators worked together to develop a common approach for high-quality instruction. The district worked with its teachers union to develop a common language and understanding of professional practices by forming a committee of more than 70 of the district's educators and administrators who worked together for several years to develop a Professional Practices Rubric designed specifically for the district. (Enquirer)

Scrutiny of student assignment plan strengthens system: The NAACP's White Paper on Jefferson County Public Schools Student Assignment Plan made clear that its main concern is a quality education for all students no matter their backgrounds. The NAACP is to be commended for raising these issues and clarifying its goal. Every child needs strong voices demanding attention so that they have every opportunity to succeed... We must review the impact of the student assignment plan through the lens of gains in educational achievement...Raising questions about the current student assignment plan is difficult, because to do that one is often accused of questioning the importance of diversity. But, just as we are forced to analyze everything else we do, we must also look at this plan, even to the extent of discussing adjustments and options like more flexible choice and magnet plans. JCPS and our wider community, with its expertise in managing assignment plans for many years, can benefit from such dialogue. Among the issues we need to discuss is whether draining west end classrooms -- in schools that are making great gains -- is preferable to allowing students to choose to stay in neighborhoods if they wish. And, do we really want to fight families who do not wish to make the bus ride commitment and risk losing them from public education? (JCPS BOE Pres Debbie Wesslund in C-J)

State agencies told to plan for additional spending cuts - State seeks $35 million: State agencies are planning for additional spending cuts to balance the state's books for the fiscal year that began Thursday. State Budget Director and Cabinet Secretary Mary Lassiter sent letters to most agency heads Thursday asking them to plan for an additional 1.5 percent cut on top of the 3.5 percent cut most agencies took at the beginning of the fiscal year. In total, the state is looking for an additional $35 million in savings to help balance the two-year, $17 billion budget that lawmakers approved in late May. (Herald-Leader)

Former volleyball coach pleads guilty - Michael Ray Charles convicted on attempted sodomy charge: A former assistant coach for the Phelps High School girls’ volleyball team pleaded guilty this week to a charge that he committed sodomy with a 15-year-old member of the team while at a camp in Lexington last year. Michael Ray Charles, 39, of Phelps, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge of criminal attempt to commit sodomy before Fayette County Circuit Court Judge Pamela Goodwine. He was originally charged with third degree sodomy, a class D felony. Charles had been scheduled to stand trial Wednesday and Thursday...On July 13, 2009, Charles shared a room with four members of the team at UK’s Blanding Tower, according to the warrant. That night, Charles performed oral sex on a female member of the team, who was 15 years old at the time, the warrant said. Charles told officers with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department the female student instead performed oral sex on him, documents said.... Charles will be sentenced before Goodwine in Fayette County Criminal Circuit Court on Aug. 13, and remains free on the $2,000 bond he was ordered to pay following his arrest in October. (KSBA)

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