Thursday, June 23, 2011

School News from Around Kentucky

Backpack tags, new radios part of JCPS plan for smoother school bus rides: Backpack tags to help get students on the correct buses. New bus radios to improve communication between drivers and district officials. And a more user-friendly Bus Finder website that maps bus stops. They are just a few of the changes Jefferson County Public Schools will introduce this fall as part of transportation fixes designed to avoid last year's problems, when some elementary students didn't arrive home until 9 p.m. on the first day of school. Superintendent Sheldon Berman and other staff members unveiled their more detailed transportation plan Monday to the Jefferson County Board of Education — as well as plans for implementing the new student-assignment boundaries for middle schools that will begin this fall. “We are months ahead of where we were last year at this time,” Berman said. “We are much better prepared for the start of the year.” (C-J)

Bullitt Central principal selected to attend leadership institute:  Christy Coulter has been an educator for 21 years and has led Bullitt Central High School for three years, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have more to learn about being a strong leader, she said. That's why she jumped at the chance to participate in a pilot class of the Leadership Institute for School Principals. The Kentucky Chamber Foundation chose Coulter and 47 other principals from public and private schools across the state to attend summer sessions at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C., as part of the institute. “This is a place where companies send their CEOs to learn about becoming better leaders, which is a pretty exciting opportunity in my mind,” Coulter said. Adkisson said his group chose the Center for Creative Leadership after researching effective training programs. He and many other Kentucky business leaders have attended the center's sessions in the past. “For me, it was a transformative experience,” he said. (C-J)

Principal Selection Moves Forward Under New Law:  The process to hire a new principal for Glasgow High School is moving forward quickly. Sean Howard, superintendent of Glasgow Independent Schools, met with the members of the GHS Site-Based Decision-Making Council on Monday afternoon to decide the evaluation criteria and interview questions for candidates for the position. Members elected Howard as chairperson and GHS teacher Mark Gibson as vice chair of the selection committee. Other members include parents, Charlotte Glass and Joan Norris, and teachers, Tara Martin and Susan Mills. (Glasgow Daily Times)

Groping case brings plea of not guilty from Trinity teacher:  A Trinity High School teacher pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge Wednesday after a male student reported being groped on the chest. Donald K. Switzer, 62, of Eastern Parkway, was arrested on a charge of harassment with physical contact Tuesday and arraigned Wednesday in Jefferson District Court. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jon Heck said the case involves a 15-year-old student and the alleged incident occurred in February. (Courier-Journal)

Marion Co Drug testing decision tabled:  There will not be student drug testing at Marion County High School, for now at least. In March, the board unanimously voted to adopt a resolution for a drug-testing program at MCHS for the 2011-12 school year. However, after discovering that the program would need additional funding and realizing the amount of additional work that could be involved and the potential problems that could arise, the board decided to hold off on making a decision. (Lebanon Enterp[rise by way of KSBA)

Trigg Co Sets End-of-Course Exams at 10%:  During the board’s first reading of the New and Revised Administrative Policies, Hamby and board members acknowledged that new testing benchmarks which will take effect next year will require some adjustments to current standards. “With the end-of-course exams that are being implemented at the high school level, one of the things that the commissioner … recommended to the state board is that those end-of-course exams count 20 percent of the student’s overall grade,” Hamby said. “We are a little concerned about that.” Hamby said they’re concerned because of new standards this year, and during discussion of those benchmarks, he suggested starting out with those end-of-course exams counting for 10 percent of the final grade. Hamby added that this change would give the district a chance to review the first round of new testing data and make curriculum adjustments with only a small impact on students’ final grades during the transition period. (Cadiz Record)

NAACP investigating hiring practices in Mercer schools:  The head of the local chapter of the NAACP says the group will investigate minority hiring practices in the Mercer County school district. In a letter sent last week to Mercer County Elementary School Principal Jennifer Meadows, the school board and interim superintendent Dennis Davis, Danville-Boyle County NAACP President Norman Bartleson said parents and residents had contacted him with concerns about the lack of diversity among the district’s faculty. The letter cites the lack of African-American representation at the elementary school in particular and refers specifically to a male African-American who had experience working in the district and came “highly recommended” but allegedly was overlooked for a position at the school. (Advocate Messenger)

Divided JCPS board chooses staffing overhaul for Knight Middle:  The Jefferson County Board of Education voted 4-2 ... to overhaul troubled Knight Middle School by replacing its staff, the same option it previously approved at the district’s other persistently-low achieving schools. Exactly how many teachers will be replaced, however, remains in question. Schools given the restaffing option are expected to replace at least half their faculty. However, Jefferson County has been making use of a state exception that exempts teachers hired in the past three years. Since 57 percent of Knight’s instructional staff has been hired since 2008, the district says it may not have to replace any teachers at the school. Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday has previously criticized the district for replacing too few teachers at its troubled schools and has said the waiver was meant to be used by schools already in the middle of a turnaround, adding that exempt teachers must have been hired specifically because they have the skills needed to help improve the schools. (C-J)

No comments: