A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Interim Joint Committee on Education hears from KDE, stakeholders on reopening schools amid virus

By Sky Carroll Kentucky Teacher The Kentucky General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Education heard updates this week regarding reopening schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic from the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), along with other Kentucky education leaders and the commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA). On June 24, KDE Interim Commissioner Kevin C. Brown...

Kentucky Department of Education names the three finalists for state’s next commissioner of education

The Kentucky Board of Education has named three candidates vying to become Kentucky’s next commissioner of education. The board will meet July 6-7 to conduct second-round interviews with the three candidates in Louisville. The candidates include: Jason Glass Jason Glass Jason Glass, Ed.D. – Glass has been serving as superintendent and chief learner for Jeffco Public Schools in the metro Denver...

Healthy@school guidance issued for upcoming school year — and, yes, students should wear masks

The Kentucky Department for Public Health, in collaboration with the Kentucky Department of Education, issued the highly anticipated guidance for schools and districts on how to safely reopen for the upcoming school year amid the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic. The release of the 24-page document, “Safety Expectations and Best Practices Guidelines for Kentucky Schools (K-12),” was announced by...

Fayette County Board of Education votes to buy Lexington Herald-Leader building for $7.5 million

A downtown landmark will become home to a state-of-the-art career and technical center following a unanimous vote of the Fayette County Board of Education to buy the Lexington Herald-Leader building for $7.5 million. “We are excited to acquire and repurpose this tremendous location,” said Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. “The Herald-Leader has played a central role in...

Kentucky Department of Education seeking family input on support needed due to COVID-19 crisis

In preparation for the reopening of school for the 2020-2021 school year, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) would like to better understand families’ and caregivers’ experiences with distance learning last school year due to COVID-19. KDE is seeking input from families across the state in a brief survey on the challenges they experienced during the implementation of non-traditional instruction...

KDE releases guidance on alternative learning strategies for reopening schools this fall

The Kentucky Department of Education released guidance Monday on ways to safely structure instruction and learning when schools reopen in the fall. The document, “COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools: Alternative Learning Design Strategies,” explores a variety of learning and instruction models for districts to consider that prioritize safety during the pandemic, along with learning progression....

Discussion continues on shape of school in the fall; legislators hear from educators about challenges

By Sky Carroll
 Kentucky Department of Education At its recent meeting, the Kentucky General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Education heard concerns from superintendents about how to safely but efficiently return to in-person instruction in the fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Greg Schultz, superintendent of Oldham County Schools, emphasized the importance of in-person instruction, but...

Bourbon County teacher Jeanne Crowe receives inaugural Ky. Board of Education Priority Award

At its June 3 meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) presented the first annual 2020 Priority Award for Closing the Achievement Gap to Jeanne M. Crowe, director of Continuous Improvement in Bourbon County Schools. Crowe, a 31-year educator, has worked more than a decade in the field of school improvement, including as a highly-skilled educator and an education recovery leader/specialist for...

Lee County health teacher named SHAPE America National Health Education Teacher of the Year

By Jacob Perkins
 Kentucky Teacher Jessica Napier, alongside friends and family, waited to hear if she would be named the 2020 SHAPE America National Health Education Teacher of the Year during the May 5 virtual ceremony. The awards ceremony originally was scheduled to take place in Salt Lake City, but due to the COVID-19 emergency, plans had to be altered. While this is an unprecedented and uncertain...

Kentucky Department of Education to stream ‘Kentucky’s Tribute to Class of 2020’ this Saturday

The Kentucky Department of Education will honor its high school seniors with a one-hour program that will be streamed on the department’s special YouTube channel at 7 p.m. ET this Saturday (May 23). “Kentucky’s Tribute to the Class of 2020,” is presented by KDE and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and will be hosted by Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman. With...

KDE’s Education Continuation Task Force looks at reopening guidance document for school year

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, members of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Education Continuation Task Force met virtually Monday to discuss a guidance document about reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year. The document leads school leaders through a variety of questions to consider about: • How to provide for the health and safety of everybody in their buildings; • How they...

KDE releases initial guidance on how to restart schools for 2020-21 year amid pandemic

The Kentucky Department of Education has released a new guidance document about questions schools and districts should consider when they are making plans for how to restart school for the 2020-21 academic year. The document – “COVID-19 Considerations for Reopening Schools, Initial Guidance for Schools and Districts” – guides school leaders through a variety of questions to consider about: •How...

Kevin Brown: Envisioning what’s next for education is difficult, but state’s schools, districts have a plan

With all that has happened in the closing weeks of this school year, you may not want to think about what the next school year will look like for your children just yet. That’s certainly understandable given that we have all been working so hard to complete this year under extraordinary circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 emergency. However, your schools and districts have to plan for the...

Kevin Brown: Each day brings new challenges, and Kentucky’s students and teachers rise to meet them

Every day brings something different. Every day since the COVID-19 emergency began to take shape has brought new challenges for all of us who serve Kentucky’s students, and probably for all of you who are more intensively involved in your children’s education than ever before. On the other hand, every day also has brought new and encouraging examples of how families have adapted to non-traditional...

Land purchase approved for 47 acres to house new Fayette County Public middle, elementary schools

Amid the rest of the construction in the rapidly-growing area of Fayette County east of I-75, Fayette County Public Schools will soon build a middle school and a second elementary school to serve children and families in the area. These two schools have been listed as new construction priorities on the District’s Facilities Plan since 2017, but Monday’s unanimous vote of the Fayette County...

Kevin Brown: An update for Kentucky families about the coronavirus crisis and our schools

It has been just over a month since Kentucky’s first case of COVID-19 was confirmed, and it has been the longest month of many of our lives. We had no idea when that announcement was made on March 6 how our lives were about to change and we still don’t know when they’ll return to something close to normal. We couldn’t know when the Harrison County schools announced the following day they were...

K-PREP testing has been canceled for the school year; state applied and received a testing waiver

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has notified all Kentucky public school superintendents that K-PREP testing for the 2019-2020 school year has been canceled. U.S. Department of Education (USED) officials announced March 20 that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. KDE applied for a waiver...

USDA grants waiver to allow schools to serve students off-site meals; will address food insecurity

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) received notification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it has received approval to extend alternate meal service flexibility to students in the case of extended closures due to COVID-19. The waiver allows Kentucky’s schools to continue to serve students’ meals following the guidelines of the Summer Food Service Program and National School...

David Couch: For 25 years, the State of Kentucky has remained a national leader in education technology

When I was asked to write a column about the state of technology in the Commonwealth’s public schools, I had just one question. How much space do I have? As anyone who knows me knows all too well, I am justifiably proud of how far Kentucky has come with education technology. We are a pioneer and national leader in both digital access and cloud computing. All of our K-12 district offices and schools...

Vaping and mental health are key concerns for Kentucky students in latest risk behavior survey

From Kentucky Teacher Based on the 2019 Kentucky Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results, middle and high school students in the state are using electronic vaping products much more than they were in 2017. The percentage of middle school students who ever used an electronic vapor product increased from 15.1% in 2017 to 31.4% in 2019. A significant increase also occurred among high school students...