A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Board of Education seeking applicants for KHSAA Board of Control; application deadline April 5

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE), through the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), is seeking an individual to serve on the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Board of Control to fill a position that will become vacant on June 30. The KHSAA is the Kentucky Board of Education’s designee to manage statewide interscholastic athletic programs. The Board of Control supervises KHSAA,...

KDE reaches $350,000 settlement with ACT after students’ personal information was shared

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has reached a settlement with ACT for a $350,000 statement credit after it was discovered that information about Kentucky students who took the ACT was shared with postsecondary institutions, a violation of the contract between the two entities. When students take the ACT, they are presented with the option of sharing their...

Rural Eastern Ky. high school vocational education programs training next generation of prison staff

By Anya Slepyan Special to KyForward There are three prisons within 35 miles of Jenkins Independent High School, in Letcher County. In a region where the decline of the coal industry has left jobs scarce, the archipelago of state and federal prisons scattered throughout the area have become significant employers. A few years ago, a student at Jenkins Independent came to guidance counselor Tammy Meade...

Public registration now available for Kentucky Education Commissioner’s 2021 Listening Tour

The Kentucky Department of Education opened its registration website Tuesday for Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass’ virtual listening tour to gather input on long-term aspirations for the Commonwealth’s education system. Nine sessions will be held across the state April 6-May 6, one in coordination with each cooperative region and one in Louisville. The sessions will be in the evening and...

Bill to give Kentucky’s high school students a ‘do-over’ year passes senate 36-0, heads to house

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A bill to give public and private school students the opportunity for a “do-over” year passed the Kentucky Senate on Tuesday. Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, the sponsor of the measure, said everyone knows the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses and professions. “But it’s also important we talk about today the impact COVID-19 has had on our children,...

Students in grades 10-12 encouraged to apply for 2021-22 Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council

Public school students in grades 10-12 are invited to apply for 14 vacant positions on the 2021-2022 Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council, a group that provides input to the Kentucky commissioner of education. The Commissioner’s Student Advisory Council is a year-long program. The group will meet with the commissioner and Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) staff to discuss how decisions...

Meredith Brewer named Kentucky Department of Education’s director of education policy

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Commissioner Jason E. Glass has announced the hiring of Meredith Brewer as the department’s director of education policy. She will continue to serve as director of KDE’s Division of Educator Recruitment and Development until officially beginning her new role on Feb. 1. Meredith Brewer As director of education policy, Brewer...

Graves County principal Janet Throgmorton goes the extra mile to ensure students can continue learning

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Three years ago, Principal Janet Throgmorton of Fancy Farm Elementary (Graves County) was looking for a way to save her district some money while addressing one of its most pressing needs. Like many districts throughout Kentucky, Graves County faced a shortage of bus drivers and was having a tough time finding substitute drivers to fill those seats. Being a firm believer...

Kentucky shines with 45 schools on list of winner for 2020 Healthy School Program

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Judged by population, Kentucky ought to have eight schools on the list of award winners in the 2020 Healthy Schools Program. Instead, it has 45. This disproportionate success is due primarily to the Baptist Health School Wellness Initiative, offered by the Delta Rural Network Center at Baptist Health Madisonville. Forty-one of Kentucky’s 45 Healthy Schools winners are...

LaRue County’s Savannah Boone named Kentucky’s 2020 Special Education Teacher of the Year

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Savannah Boone, an instructor at LaRue County High School, is Kentucky’s 2020 Special Education Teacher of the Year. As the winner, Boone will receive a scholarship to attend the Special Education Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. in summer 2021, a plaque and $500. Jessica Tipton of Madison Central High School (Madison County) and Amber Ervin of Old Kentucky Home...

KDE releases school reopening guidance for January; in-person classes may resume January 11

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released guidance Friday on reopening schools for in-person instruction in January 2021, accompanied by a new executive order signed by Gov. Andy Beshear. Beshear’s previous executive order, issued Nov. 18, allowed students to return to classrooms as of Jan. 4. The Dec. 18 order sets standards for reopening and recommends...

Ky. parents say mental health is key in decision on return to in-person instruction, prefer local decision

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Jason E. Glass, Kentucky’s commissioner of education, continued soliciting feedback from the education community on a potential January return to in-person instruction during the virtual meeting last week of the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Parents Advisory Council (PAC). Glass told the council that Gov. Andy Beshear has asked the department to...

Schools in 30 counties named Bright Spots after students perform better than expected

Forty-seven schools have been named Bright Spots in Kentucky Education, recognition for schools in which students performed better than expected on measures of educational achievement. Schools must meet two conditions to qualify as a Bright Spot. All students are evaluated on an outcome measure for better-than-expected performance at least once from 2011 to 2019. With a focus on low-income students...

Crews working around the clock to complete repair work to Brent Spence Bridge by December 23

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Transportation Secretary Jim Gray said this week repair crews are working around the clock to reopen the Brent Spence Bridge by the Dec. 23 deadline. The bridge, which carries I-71 and I-75 traffic over the Ohio River between northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, was closed after two semi-tractor trailer rigs crashed around 2:45 a.m. on Nov. 11 while driving along the...

Union County’s Patricia Sheffer named 2021 Kentucky Superintendent of the Year

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Union County Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Sheffer was named the Kentucky 2021 Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky Association of School Administrators (KASA). “I really accept this award on behalf of the wonderful team I have here,” Sheffer said. “I’m blessed to work with a respectful board that trusts the decisions I make. I think everything...

A reunion 40 years in the making: How a Louisville teacher helped shape the life of a D.C. attorney

Ana Reyes, left, hugs her 1st-grade teacher Pat Harkleroad. After testing negative on a COVID-19 test, Reyes, now an award-winning attorney reunited with Harkleroad, now retired and taking care of her husband and son. The two flipped through old photos and reminisced on moments from their lives during a reunion on Nov. 13. Reyes reunited with Harkleroad, after testing negative on a COVID-19 test. (Photo...

Jason Glass: We need our communities to take this virus as seriously as our schools have

Public education is a decidedly social endeavor. The things most graduates treasure from their school years are the memories of interactions with great teachers who changed the trajectory of their life, their experiences in school activities and athletics that taught them the value of collaboration and teamwork, and the lifelong bonds of friendship that often are forged in school-age years. This same...

Jason Glass: Parents and teachers, the Kentucky Department of Education wants to hear from you

My first few weeks as Kentucky’s education commissioner have been a whirlwind of phone calls and virtual meetings with students, teachers, Kentucky Department of Education staff and other education stakeholders to get an idea of the education landscape in the Commonwealth. While the long days are exhilarating, I find the meeting people early on and hearing their concerns and wishes for education...

Donnie Piercey named 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year during first virtual ceremony in program history

Donnie Piercey, a fifth-grade teacher at Stonewall Elementary School in Fayette County, is the 2021 Kentucky Teacher of the Year and Elementary Teacher of the Year. “I’m never someone who cries. Now I’ve got tears here,” Piercey said from his home during the virtual presentation. “I don’t know what to say. My kids are cheering for me downstairs right now.” Piercey said he has had many...

Ben Wilcox shapes role of Kentucky’s first state school security marshal amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Ben Wilcox laughs a little when asked how COVID-19 has changed his job as Kentucky’s state school security marshal. He hadn’t been on the job long when the pandemic hit. The position of state school security marshal had only been created in March 2019. Wilcox formally started work July 1 of that year, but a month earlier he began traveling the state to share information...