A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

SLAM program gives young students a way to stay engaged with learning during summer break

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward Summer Learning And More (SLAM) has enlivened students and heartened staff who sought to keep the youths’ minds engaged while Fayette County School’s out for summer. Several locations across the district hosted SLAM programs, including Tates Creek and Winburn middle schools. From a scavenger hunt through the building to a pairing of rising sixth- and veteran...

Education Notes: Nine Fayette students finish School for Entrepreneurs; PTA workshop a success

Nine high school students from Fayette County Public Schools participated in the 2017 Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs, hosted in July by Transylvania University. • Henry Clay High School: Elizabeth Piper and Will Roberts; • Paul Laurence Dunbar: Eleanor Liu, Rachel Seevers, Sydney Sun, and Angie Xiao; • Tates Creek: Ronald Delgado, Andrew Gazzaroli, and Sam Newman. They were among 61...

Education Notes: Three Fayette grads receive Merit scholarships; Brown highlights Leadership Institute

The 900 additional students receiving National Merit scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities included three recent graduates of Fayette County Public Schools. • Jan Balk of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, to Purdue University, with a probable career field of aerospace engineering; • Alec Dupont of Henry Clay High School, to Auburn University, medicine; and • Nisarg Patil of...

Education Notes: Fayette sends 40 to GSA; FCPS cable television channel moving on Spectrum

The 2017 Governor’s School for the Arts, an intensive summer residency program for rising juniors and seniors, accepted 40 students from Fayette County Public Schools who spent June 18 to July 8 at Centre College in Danville. During their three-week session, these teenagers were immersed in a rigorous schedule of seminars, master classes, lectures, hands-on workshops, and field trips. Bryan Station...

Education Notes: Reduced-price qualifiers eat free this year; TMS teacher named TSA Adviser of the Year

The state school board has approved a waiver allowing FCPS students who qualify for reduced-price meals to receive free breakfast and lunch at school in 2017-18. The change will affect more than 600 children across the district. “If students are hungry, it’s very difficult for them to achieve. We’re trying to remove barriers,” Child Nutrition Director Michelle Coker said at the June 26 board...

Discover Summer: Library access, reading incentives give Mary Todd Elementary students a boost

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward In a new way to Discover Summer, students at Mary Todd Elementary enjoyed stopping in at their school library during a three-week span in June. There, they browsed and checked out books that captured their interest. “For kids in a high-needs, high-poverty background, that ‘summer slide’ can be really serious because often they’re having little to no academic...

Fayette STEM students discover joy of gardening as part of summer academic enrichment club

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward Rising fifth-grader Ester Maksimenko enjoys tending vegetable plants, making sure they’re healthy and getting enough sunlight and water. That’s why she signed up for the garden/stream group during June’s free summer school at The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek Elementary. “I knew a lot about gardening, and I could teach other people,” said Ester,...

Education Notes: FCPS offers Youth Mental Health First Aid training; co-teaching efforts recognized

Because mental health issues affect students across gender, socio-economic, and racial demographics, Fayette County Public Schools is committed to training key adults and volunteers to be first responders to adolescents in crisis through Youth Mental Health First Aid. Families of students in grades 6-12, community members, and district staff are invited to sign up for a free session on June 22. The...

Fayette County Summer Food Service Program kicks off at Village Library event

Fayette County Public Schools and other Lexington-area sponsoring organizations and partners will join on Thursday, June 15 to kick off the Summer Food Service Program in Kentucky. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Village branch of the Lexington Public Library, and the program starts at noon. In case of rain, the event will move indoors. This is one of many events across the state next week to...

National Merit Scholarships awarded to 14 recent graduates of Fayette County high schools

Fourteen recent graduates of Fayette County Public Schools are among 85 Kentucky recipients of 2017 National Merit college-sponsored scholarships. The scholarship recipients are:  — Thomas Cheal of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, who plans to study computer science at the University of Louisville; — Jessica Daniel of Lafayette High School, undecided career field, Centre College; —...

Several Fayette County Public School libraries will have summer hours; student materials available

Ten school libraries in Fayette County Public Schools will be open for limited hours on certain days this summer, and their students are welcome to drop by and check out materials. Here is the schedule: — Bryan Station High School, 8 a.m. to noon on June 6, June 13, June 20, and June 27; — Bryan Station Middle School, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28, July...

Paul Laurence Dunbar junior Gal named Lexington’s Youth Leader of the Year, wins $500 scholarship

A junior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Zsombor Gal, was named Lexington’s “Youth Leader of the Year” during the 2016-17 Youth Salute awards ceremonies last week at Transylvania University. He received a $500 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip, provided by Holifield Photography, to attend the National Council on Youth Leadership conference at Washington University in St. Louis. Zsombor...

Fayette County Public Schools releases schedule for 2017 graduation ceremonies at Rupp Arena

Although Friday May 19, was the last day of classes in Fayette County Public Schools, high school graduations couldn’t be held that weekend because Rupp Arena was already booked with an Alltech conference. FCPS released this schedule for its 2017 commencements on these first-available dates at Rupp Arena. The schedule: Wednesday May 24 4 p.m. – Lafayette High School 7:30 p.m. – Paul Laurence...

Caulk recognizes Fayette County retirees — representing 4,394 years of service — at dinner

At the district’s 2017 retirement dinner, Superintendent Manny Caulk noted that this group had totaled an impressive 4,394 years of service in Fayette County Public Schools. “Within that number are some amazing moments that each of you will carry with you,” he said. Retired principal John Nochta served as emcee for the evening, reading introductions and short anecdotes shared by the retirees...

Tates Creek fifth-graders pitch STEM problem-solving apps to Awesome Inc. experts

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward Fifth-graders at Tates Creek Elementary took on the challenge of developing apps that solve everyday problems, and they came up with several intriguing prospects in STEM lab. The catch was selling their ideas to a pair of experts from Awesome Inc., a local company that supports high-tech startups. “Our group was excited to present and ready to get feedback....

Destination Imagination contests enable FCPS team to experience creative process, hone improv skills

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward When these half-dozen lively sophomores get together, they produce a mixed bag of creativity, quick thinking, problem-solving, performance arts, and smiles. Their team’s name, “We need more tape,” also speaks to their collective sense of humor. “Teamwork is the biggest part,” said Shamik Chandrachood, who got involved in Destination Imagination or DI...

Education Notes: Eight Fayette seniors win National Merit scholarships; three receive FCEA awards

Fayette County Public Schools announced that eight outstanding seniors are among Kentucky’s 34 recipients of the 2017 National Merit $2,500 scholarships. The following students won scholarships: Sameer Ahmed of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, who plans to study medicine; Nathan Dutch of Henry Clay, finance; Emily Liu of Dunbar, law; Ananth Miller-Murthy of Dunbar, alternative energy; Russell...

Education Notes: Morton, Julius Marks set bar high for ‘green’ efforts; Let’s Play grant funds equipment

On the heels of Earth Day, students and staff in Fayette County Public Schools celebrated federal, state, and local awards for their outstanding environmentally conscious efforts. Morton Middle has been deemed a 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School because of its demonstrated excellence in the three pillars of sustainability: environmental literacy, student wellness, and energy efficiency....

Summer Countdown to Kindergarten activities help get Fayette County kids ready for school

Children starting kindergarten in Fayette County Public Schools this fall can participate in several fun and educational activities through the seventh annual Countdown to Kindergarten (C2K), in which community organizations offer free and low-cost events for newly registered students and their families. The summer lineup of mostly Saturday activities runs June 1 through Aug. 13. Click here for a...

Reaching Out: Fayette County third-grader coordinating donations for homeless and foster kids

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward At 9 years old, Evi Maxson has already cultivated a giving heart, and now she has put together a campaign to benefit youngsters without a home or in the state’s foster care system. “I like being grateful, and overall I like helping people,” said Evi, a third-grader at Sandersville Elementary. “It makes me feel good because if I was homeless or in need,...