A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Innovative mountain K-12 school districts were ahead of the curve for successful at-home learning

Part Two of Two By Ron Daley Special to NKyTribune Rural Eastern Kentucky school districts have utilized the innovative learning practices and digital teaching platforms they have used for years to jump-start the “Non-Traditional Instruction” (NTI) programming necessary when school in-person classes were forced to shut down in mid-March because of COVI19. Dr. Jennifer Carroll, the professional...

Family members collaborate with innovative mountain K-12 for quality education at home

First of Two parts By Ron Daley Special to KyForwrd Rural Eastern Kentucky school districts utilized the innovative learning practices and digital teaching platforms they have used for years to jump-start the “Non-Traditional Instruction” (NTI) programming necessary when in-person classes were forced to shut down in mid-March because of COVI19. School officials say it was not just their students...

Eastern Kentucky lags significantly behind rest of Kentucky and nation in census response

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Eastern Kentucky is significantly lagging the state and other parts of the nation in responding to the U.S. Census which will determine future federal funding as well as representation in federal and state legislative seats. According to data filed by the U.S. Census on April 7 the 5th Congressional District representing eastern Kentucky response rate as only 34.9%...

Eastern Kentucky students hold press conference in Capitol Rotunda to promote 2020 U.S. Census

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Eastern Kentucky student leaders held a press conference in the Kentucky Capitol Rotunda at 11 a.m. on March 10 to discuss efforts they are making to promote the U.S. Census to ensure every person is counted. They called their initiative “Every Community Counts.” The students stated they considered their work vital since the U.S. Census Bureau has designated eastern...

Eastern Kentucky middle school students hope to start businesses, help build their communities

Students from seven Eastern Kentucky middle Schools participated in the 2019 Regional Entrepreneurial Competition held in Knott County last month (Pnoto provided) By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Eastern Kentucky middle school students demonstrated their entrepreneurial and creative abilities during the 2019 Regional Entrepreneurial Competition held in Knott County last month showing their potential...

Getting recruited by Coach K was just start of story for David Couch, who focused on Internet for schools

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward   Johnson County’s Paintsville has an amazing athletic tradition with the likes of major lead baseball player Johnny LeMaster, UK basketball player John Pelphrey, and UK football greats Joey Couch and Kash Daniels. It is also home of country-western music star Chris Stapleton with Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle just down the road from Butcher Hollow. There’s...

Johnson Co. Middle School JuulBreakers display courage as they challenge e-cigarette epidemic

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Johnson County Middle School students exemplify the grit needed to be the leaders Theodore Roosevelt called for in his “Man in the Arena” speech he delivered on April 23, 1910 at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. This past year the students challenged their peers, schools, parents and the Kentucky General Assembly to tackle the growing epidemic of use of the popular...

Kentucky hosts third national summit on micro-credentials; plans for Rural Education Association

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Educators from 25 states across the nation representing classroom instructors to state and national organizations attended the third Micro-Credential Summit June 18-19 in Louisville sponsored by the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC), a consortium of 23 school districts in eastern Kentucky. The first two summits were held in Hazard, KY and the fourth is...

Eastern Kentucky residents gather to develop strategies for economic, community revitalization

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward “We must believe in our community and in our youth and create opportunities for our youth to remain in our communities and become leaders,” Jackson County Judge-Executive Shane Gabbard said, reflecting the spirit of the conversation at the gathering of eastern Kentuckians this week. “We must blur the county boundaries and develop partnerships with vision utilizing...

Eastern Kentucky school superintendents join KVEC representatives at Capitol with ‘call to action’

School superintendents from across Eastern Kentucky joined representatives from the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday to present a “call-to-action” position paper to members of the General Assembly. (Photo by Ron Daley) By Ron Daley and John White Special to KyForward More than 20 superintendents and the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC)...

Rural Eastern Kentucky school leaders working to make schools the center of community revitalization

The Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) and superintendents leading rural public schools in the mountains of eastern Kentucky are in the final stages of developing a position paper and call to action to address the urgent needs and opportunities facing their students and communities. At the start of the 2019 legislative session, they will propose research-based solutions and policy recommendations...

Ron Daley: Like state’s other rural school districts, Lee County has major economic importance

In addition to providing quality education preparing students for the workforce, the Lee County School District is a major economic driver in the community. The school district directly contributes to the educational attainment and future earnings of its youth. The district is the largest employer in the county despite the county’s population and student enrollment loss which has forced school staff...

Will Eastern KY capture a share of the enormous wealth to be transferred in the next generation?

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Eastern Kentucky and the United States of America are in the midst of the greatest “transfer of wealth” (TOW) in the nation’s history. Research estimates that $72 trillion will transfer from one generation to another in the next decade, 2017 through 2026, representing a TOW opportunity of over $7.7 trillion. TOW is an estimate of American household wealth from...

Public invited to bid on KY Valley Educational Cooperative ‘Building it Forward’ tiny houses

The public is invited to bid on the quality Tiny Houses innovatively designed and constructed by students in eastern Kentucky school districts. The Leslie County Area Technology Center tiny house The “Building it Forward” project, sponsored by the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC), is an investment in creating a ‘future story’ for students interested in learning skills for a real-world...

Facebook founder Zuckerberg discovers innovation in rural education during visit to Hazard

Ron Daley Special to KyForward Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and members of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative visited the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) in Hazard on Sunday. The visiting team was there to learn from students and teachers about the innovative learning taking place in K-12 schools across eastern Kentucky. The team spent the afternoon and evening at the mountain top KVEC...

Ron Daley: Enrollment, funding losses threaten continued rural school achievement and progress

The remarkable classroom achievement made by teachers and students in eastern Kentucky schools, as well as economic vitality in the region, is threatened by the dramatic loss of student enrollments and the corresponding loss of funding. The 21 school districts in the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) have lost 13,660 student enrollment since 2000. This loss represents more than an estimated...

Commentary: A leader in aerospace industry, Kentucky can be an important player in drone business

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward A team of six eastern Kentuckians braved the new frontier of unmanned and robotic systems to announce ambitious plans for Kentucky to be a player in this emerging and exploding industry during the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Conference in Dallas, Texas last week. The team unveiled their plans for the USA Drone Port: National Unmanned...

Commentary: USA Drone Port Project launched in Knott, Perry counties through power of collaboration

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Building on the community’s assets, strong partners, seed money leading to the idea, and an ambitious vision and plan, the USA Drone Port project was launched for Knott and Perry counties last week in Hazard. The potential for the USA Drone Port: National Unmanned Robotic Research and Development Center goes beyond the jobs it will create as a drone research, testing,...

Commentary: K-12 school districts leaders in development of Silicon Holler and the new economy

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Our communities need to move beyond “Kentucky Work Ready Communities” to “Future Work Ready Communities.” Communities need to advance to a higher level of community and economic development, ensuring they build their own global economy ports. The Kentucky State Workforce Board and Economic Development Cabinet deserve praise for establishing the highest level...

Appalachian Health Hack-a-thon discusses creative solutions on obesity, diabetes, substance abuse

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In just three days’ time, 160 people came up with 19 innovative solutions to three of Appalachian Kentucky’s most challenging health issues – diabetes, obesity and substance abuse – at the first-ever Massachusetts Institute of Technology Appalachian Health Hack-a-thon in Somerset Oct. 6-8. The 19 teams, including six led by high-school students,...