A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Education leaders are cautious but optimistic that General Assembly will act on KTRS funding issue

By Brad Hughes Special to KyForward One by one, top executives of K-12 leadership groups Tuesday walked up to the microphone at the closing session of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents winter conference, echoing a common message about the “elephant in the room” of the 2016 General Assembly: the $1 billion (and growing) funding needs of the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. “Stay...

Coin toss determines parent/guardian representative on FCPS screening committee

Under provisions in state law that outline the process for breaking a tie in a general election, a coin toss this morning determined that Sharon Mofield-Boswell will represent parents and guardians on the Superintendent Screening Committee.   To assist in the selection of the next Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent, the Fayette County Board of Education is required to appoint a Superintendent...

Group proposes new funding system focused on resources each school needs for success

By Brad Hughes Special to KyForward   A yearlong study of how Kentucky funds K-12 schools has led to a comprehensive proposal to replace the existing SEEK formula with a model focused on the resources each school needs to achieve academic success for all students.   “Adequacy and Equity for Excellence in Kentucky” was prepared for the Council for Better Education, a consortium of 168...

No stranger to Fayette County schools, Helm will 'hit the ground running' as interim chief

By unanimous vote, the Fayette County Board of Education appointed Marlene Helm as acting superintendent of the Fayette County Public Schools. Current superintendent Tom Shelton announced his resignation in November and will become executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents.   “Dr. Helm’s variety of experiences and familiarity with our school district make her...

No stranger to Fayette County schools, Helm will ‘hit the ground running’ as interim chief

By unanimous vote, the Fayette County Board of Education appointed Marlene Helm as acting superintendent of the Fayette County Public Schools. Current superintendent Tom Shelton announced his resignation in November and will become executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents.   “Dr. Helm’s variety of experiences and familiarity with our school district make her...

Superintendent-for-a-day provides insight into qualities Fayette's new leader will need

Daksha chatted with Melissa Bacon, vice-chair of the Fayette County School Board (Fayette Co. Schools Photo)   By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward   After serving as Superintendent for the Day, 8½-year-old Daksha Pillai offered a few suggestions on what Fayette County Public Schools might look for in a leader.   The Cassidy Elementary fourth-grader recommended a generous spirit,...

STEAM Academy students use day out of school to sample new technology program

Teams from host Bryan Station High, the STEAM Academy and The Learning Center at Linlee (TLC) tackled the “solar roller” and “wind commander” kits in a pilot of FUSE, an interest-driven learning experience developed by researchers at Northwestern University (FCPS Photo)   For about three dozen students, this particular day out of school meant fun and games of a whole new variety. Teams...

FCPS board hopes to have interim before Shelton leaves, new chief in place July 1

Tom Shelton The Fayette County Board of Education met last night for the first time since Superintendent Tom Shelton announced his resignation last Thursday (see KyForward story). Following the meeting, board chair John Price sent a letter updating employees, families and community members about the process to select a new schools chief. Among the highlights:   ‣ The board hopes to have...

Statewide 'Alive at 25' defensive-driving program serves as wake-up call for teens

Alive at 25 instructor Ron Turley, speaking at Lafayette High School, uses workbook exercises, videos, interactive discussion, re-enactments and role playing to reach teenagers, along with personal stories from his 27 years with the Kentucky State Police. (Photo by Tammy L. Lane/FCPS)   Ron Turley spent 27 years patrolling the highways of Kentucky as a state trooper. Ask him what the worst part...

Statewide ‘Alive at 25’ defensive-driving program serves as wake-up call for teens

Alive at 25 instructor Ron Turley, speaking at Lafayette High School, uses workbook exercises, videos, interactive discussion, re-enactments and role playing to reach teenagers, along with personal stories from his 27 years with the Kentucky State Police. (Photo by Tammy L. Lane/FCPS)   Ron Turley spent 27 years patrolling the highways of Kentucky as a state trooper. Ask him what the worst part...

FCPS calls on community, United Way to help struggling William Wells Brown Elementary

To volunteer to help the William Wells Brown Elementary, email volunteer@uwbg.org.   Staff report   While four Fayette County Public Schools outperformed nearly all other schools in Kentucky on state tests, one school – William Wells Brown Elementary – earned the state’s lowest rating, with scores only in the first percentile.   “We’re thrilled to see so many of...

FCPS' Shelton calls auditor's report 'deeply troubling,' says district will take 'bold action'

In the wake of the release of a special examination by the Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen, Fayette County Public Schools officials today said they welcomed news that no money is missing and there has been no criminal activity. At the same time, they announced that immediate steps would be taken to restructure the district’s budget, staffing and finance operations.   “All public dollars are accounted...

FCPS’ Shelton calls auditor’s report ‘deeply troubling,’ says district will take ‘bold action’

In the wake of the release of a special examination by the Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen, Fayette County Public Schools officials today said they welcomed news that no money is missing and there has been no criminal activity. At the same time, they announced that immediate steps would be taken to restructure the district’s budget, staffing and finance operations.   “All public dollars are accounted...

FCPS audit finds fiscal mismanagement, benefit disparities; no sign of criminal activity

Auditor Adam Edelen today released a special examination of Fayette County Public Schools, finding chronic mismanagement of the district’s budget and finances that have contributed to its financial instability.   Auditors did not find any evidence of alleged criminal activity; however, they determined that poor financial management, weak policies and failed communications culminated in a weakened...

‘Born Learning’ making sure youngsters, as well as their parents, are prepared for school

In the “Born Learning” series, teachers read aloud to youngsters as they get accustomed to the routines of school. (Photo by Tammy L. Lane)   By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward   Expansion of the “United Way Born Learning Academies, driven by Toyota” means more youngsters will be prepared for school.   “Our goal is for them to start on the playing field ready to...

'Born Learning' making sure youngsters, as well as their parents, are prepared for school

In the “Born Learning” series, teachers read aloud to youngsters as they get accustomed to the routines of school. (Photo by Tammy L. Lane)   By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward   Expansion of the “United Way Born Learning Academies, driven by Toyota” means more youngsters will be prepared for school.   “Our goal is for them to start on the playing field ready to...

Rosa Parks’ sustainability initiatives among highlights of national ‘green’ schools tour

Parents painted fruits-and-vegetables murals on the cafeteria walls at Rosa Parks Elementary. ‘Everywhere they go, we want them to have visual reminders,’ said Principal Leslie Thomas, whose school promotes green sustainability and healthy living. (Photo by Tammy L. Lane)   By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward   Rosa Parks Elementary stepped up to help represent Fayette County...

Rosa Parks' sustainability initiatives among highlights of national 'green' schools tour

Parents painted fruits-and-vegetables murals on the cafeteria walls at Rosa Parks Elementary. ‘Everywhere they go, we want them to have visual reminders,’ said Principal Leslie Thomas, whose school promotes green sustainability and healthy living. (Photo by Tammy L. Lane)   By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward   Rosa Parks Elementary stepped up to help represent Fayette County...

What can be done about child obesity? Health care, education leaders discuss critical issue

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News   Children who are physically active are likely to be better learners, but not enough Kentucky schools seem to put that knowledge into practice, speakers suggested at the recent Kentucky Summit on Childhood Obesity and Physical Activity at the University of Kentucky.   Kentucky ranks eighth in child obesity, and nationally, adult obesity is expected to grow...

Auditor Edelen will examine Fayette schools’ finances; Supt. Shelton invited full review

Staff Report   Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said in a press conference Tuesday that there are “no improprieties” in the system’s budget and accounting processes. He said was surprised by accusations of irregularities made by Julane Mullins, the distict’s director of budget and staffing, in a letter to state Auditor Adam Edelen.   Shelton said he...