M’boro BOE’S open forum policy called into question: Concerned parent addressed the Middlesboro Board of Education at their regular meeting on Monday night to respond to the proposed Code of Conduct for the Open Forum portion of board meetings. Amy Spurlock spoke briefly regarding the code’s prohibition of allowing the community to address personnel issues at board meetings, saying that as a parent and tax payer, she believes that she should be allowed the right to address the Board of Education with any issue she has with the school district. Board Chair Bill Johnson said that the board did not intend to eliminate the rights of anyone and noted that a Kentucky Revised Statute was in place that prohibits school board members from discussing personnel matters. Spurlock responded that she understood the board’s position in not speaking about personnel issues themselves, but was opposed to prohibiting the public from addressing such issues with the board. (Middlesboro Daily News)
Corbin Schools to attempt mediation with Knox Schools: Tuesday night, the Corbin Board of Education approved attempting mediation with Knox County Public Schools concerning the non-resident student reciprocal agreement between the two districts. In early June, Commissioner Terry Holiday had ruled that students and their siblings attending school in the Corbin school system could continue to attend their current school for the 2011-2012 school year, but no additional non-resident students can enroll. This ruling was very similar to last year’s ruling by the state commissioner for the 2010-2011 school year, which the state board of education also upheld. In this year’s ruling, Holiday recommended mediation between the two school districts, but did not actually require it. (Times Tribune)
Perry Co school board member facing assault charge: A member of the Perry County Board of Education is facing a misdemeanor assault charge after being accused of striking a former Vicco official during the city’s Independence Day festivities earlier this month. A criminal complaint filed with the Perry District Clerk’s Office states that on July 2, District 3 board member James Darrell Ritchie, 43, of Vicco, struck former Vicco Mayor Harry Ward “in the face and ribs with his hands and feet causing injury to the left side of Mr. Ward’s face.” Ward was transported to the Hazard ARH medical center for treatment, according to the complaint, while Ritchie turned himself in to authorities at the Kentucky River Regional Jail on July 3. But according to Ritchie’s attorney, David Johnson, a criminal complaint against his client was never warranted because Ritchie was defending himself when the alleged assault occurred. Johnson said in the moments prior to the incident, Ritchie’s daughter was playing in the immediate vicinity when Ward apparently became annoyed and “put hands on her in some way or another.” (Hazard Herald)
Teachers study Appalachian history in summer program: A three-week summer program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities is helping 30 teachers from across the country gain a new perspective on the history of the Appalachian region. Lessons are taught by distinguished scholars and writers, as the teachers visit historic sites throughout the area. The program is based on the PBS television series, "Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People." (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Owensboro students, staff receive laptops: It’s been in the works for over a year, but the technology plan tailored by Owensboro Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Vick is nearing a major milestone, with more than 150 teachers and more than 2,200 students slated to receive laptops that will make critical learning possible. When first proposed by Vick, the $5 million plan called not only for the purchase and use of technology by teachers and students, but a complete rethinking of how education happens. About $3.3 million in stimulus funds went to help create a new digital curriculum and then train faculty and staff on how to most effectively use technology to benefit students.
Vick said the reason behind all this is to prepare students for the wave of the future. (Messenger-Inquirer by way of KSBA)