Time to Make Doughnuts: Metcalfe County students turn vacant cafeteria into bakery — and get paid

By Brenna R. Kelly Kentuckyteacher.org It’s 4 a.m. when five Metcalfe County High School students roll into the Old School Café. It will be hours before most of their classmates get out of bed. But for these students, it’s time to make the doughnuts. By 6 a.m. the display case at the café, housed in the old Metcalfe County High School cafeteria, will be filled with fresh doughnuts – chocolate,...

Bevin establishes Charter Schools Advisory Council, reorganizes key education boards and committees

Gov. Matt Bevin signed an executive order Friday that establishes the Kentucky Charter Schools Advisory Council to ensure successful implementation of House Bill 520 (HB 520). The order also realigns key education boards, councils and committees to provide an efficient, modern structure for implementing Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) and provides for greater coordination of efforts across the education system,...

Pruitt: With input from across the state, new education accountability system nearing completion

By Mike Marsee Special to KyForward Kentucky’s new accountability system has thousands of fingerprints on it as it nears the end of a year-long assembly line, but Stephen Pruitt couldn’t be more proud of it if he had built it entirely by himself. The process of developing the new system has involved more than 3,500 shareholders, with the work taking place in meeting rooms and auditoriums from...

Fayette County Board of Education adopts tentative $492 million budget focused on investing in students

On the heels of receiving assurance from the Kentucky Department of Education that the school district is on the right track, the Fayette County Board of Education unanimously approved a 2017-18 tentative budget that includes significant investments to ensure that a student’s demography does not determine his or her destiny. “Developing a school district budget goes beyond juggling numbers to balance...

Cooper High School’s Clark named 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year; Furman takes elementary title

Kellie Clark, a 16-year veteran teacher at Randall K. Cooper High School in Boone County, is the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Valvoline, Inc. and the Kentucky Department of Education made the announcement Tuesday at a ceremony held at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton; Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Director Mardi Montgomery; Commissioner of Education Stephen...

State education department advances academic standards review and revision process

The Kentucky Department of Education is moving forward with the review and revision process for academic standards in English/language arts and mathematics. The state’s current English/language arts and mathematics standards have been taught in Kentucky classrooms since 2011. Standards outline what students are taught – what they are expected to learn in each grade in order to successfully transition...

Commentary: Ensuring a strong public education system in Kentucky is top priority

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward This month, I am sharing my thoughts about an issue that stirred up a lot of feelings and opinions on both sides of the political aisle during the 2017 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly. House Bill 520, which was signed into law in March, gives local school boards and the mayors of Lexington and Louisville the authority to authorize charter schools....

Thank a Teacher: Bevin declares May 8-12 as Teacher Appreciation Week for those who make a difference

Gov. Matt Bevin recently signed a proclamation officially declaring May 8-12 Teacher Appreciation Week in Kentucky, joining the National Educators Association in honoring and celebrating teachers and recognizing their invaluable contributions to society. “Teachers are responsible for educating and guiding Kentucky’s children and the future of the Commonwealth and use their vast expertise and...

Nine of state’s best educators named semifinalists for 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year award

Nine outstanding teachers from across the state – three elementary, three middle and three high school teachers – are semifinalists for the 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, the Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline has announced. Winners of the Elementary, Middle and High School Teacher of the Year Awards, in addition to the overall 2018 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, will be announced...

Construction of tiny houses gives Kentucky students chance to work on building, problem-solving skills

By Brenna R. Kelly Special to KyForward It started as stack of cinder blocks in the parking lot of Casey County High School, but when it’s done, it will be Tara Weddle’s new house. For the past 20 years, houses have been sprouting from the high school’s parking lot every year. Students in Garlen Whitis’ Fundamentals of Construction class built three-bedroom, two-bath houses which were then...

Commentary: It’s time to ‘Plus It’ to accomplish the impossible for benefit of Kentucky students

By Stephen L. Pruitt Special to KyForward Spring is a time for new beginnings. I hope that everyone has had a chance to get away or at least find a way to reenergize in preparation for the remainder of the school year. Over Easter weekend, I travelled to watch my son row for his university at a meet in Tennessee. As I sat on the banks of the beautiful lake with incredible weather, my thoughts drifted...

Commentary: Nurturing the person in the classroom an important part of educational experience

By Kellie Jones Special to KyForward It was my first year teaching and I was expecting my first child. A parent of one of my students felt the calling to encourage me daily and provide a healthy snack for me and my baby. I would often find a piece of fresh fruit neatly placed in the center of my desk accompanied by a hand- written note of encouragement and appreciation. I found myself looking forward...

Pruitt hosting series of regional Town Hall Meetings to discuss new school accountability system

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt will be hosting a series of regional Town Hall Meetings across the Commonwealth to gather feedback from Kentuckians on a new accountability system that has been under development for the past year. “This system goes beyond compliance, focuses on students and truly reflects Kentucky’s values,” Pruitt said. “The comments collected at Town Hall Meetings...

Commentary: Standing with courage — what it takes when it’s time to do the right thing

By Stephen L. Pruitt Special to KyForward Courage is a trait and a value. It’s a value I have discussed before. Today, I want to discuss a different kind of courage than the courage to do the right thing. I want to discuss the inspirational type of courage. It is the kind of courage that I have had the great opportunity to witness first hand and I would like to share it with all of you. February...

State of Education Report: Kentucky must do more to provide uniform opportunities for all students

Kentucky must do more to ensure all students receive the same educational opportunities and access to rigorous coursework, Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said during his State of Education news conference on Wednesday. During the event, Pruitt released The State of P-12 Education in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a report that highlights statewide educational successes and challenges. With...

Commentary: During Valentine’s Day week, how about showing some love for our public schools?

By Stephen Pruitt Special to KyForward Back in the 1970s, there was a TV drama called “Kojak.” The show’s star, Telly Savalas, was bald and almost always seen with a lollipop in his mouth. He loved them almost as much as he loved to solve crimes. His ever-present catch phrase, “Who loves ya baby?” was used to remind the people around him that he loved them and had their backs. You may be...

Rural Blog: Unmined coal worth less, leaving Kentucky coalfield schools short on funding

School districts in Kentucky’s two coalfields are suffering due to a decline in tax assessments of unmined coal, which presumably has become less valuable because coal is losing market share to natural gas. Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said that the decrease “will have a significant impact on at least 12 school districts, mostly in Eastern Kentucky, and their local...

Kentucky Education Department recognizes 16 school districts with Unbridled Learning distinction

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) and the Kentucky Department of Education recognized 16 school districts as Districts of Distinction at the board’s Feb. 8 meeting. The districts earned the recognition under the Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness for All accountability system. To qualify, a district must have an overall accountability score at the 95th percentile or higher (based...

Kentucky Board of Education discusses new accountability system, expresses general support

The Kentucky Board of Education took a first look at the proposed new accountability system for Kentucky schools and districts during a work session on Tuesday and generally liked what it saw. When asked if the state is on the right track with accountability, former superintendent and board member Roger Marcum unequivocally replied, “Absolutely.” “This is the most helpful system for students...

Kentucky by Heart: For many kids across the state, Summer Food Service Program is literally a lifesaver

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Valerie Knight is a big supporter of a government program that she believes is well worth the expenditures. At her position as Director of Food Services for Webster County Schools in western Kentucky, she sees poor children receive a dose of love and kindness outside the scope of the regular school year, during the summer, and it starts with nourishing food from...