education

U.S. Department of Agriculture

An elementary school in Owensboro is launching a program that uses a student’s fingerprint to keep count of meals served for breakfast and lunch. 

Sutton Elementary is piloting the program of finger image recognition technology called Biometrics.

Kaitlyn Blankendaal is the food service supervisor for Owensboro Public Schools and said the goal is to give students more time to eat.

Kentucky education officials say a higher percentage of children who took a screening test have been determined to be ready for kindergarten.

The Daily News in Bowling Green reports 51.4 percent of children who took a standard screening test this year were deemed ready to start school, an increase from the 50.1 percent last year. Fewer students were screened in 2017 because the state changed the kindergarten enrollment cutoff date from Oct. 1 to Aug. 1. Among other things, the evaluation asks children to count to 30 and recite the alphabet.

J. Tyler Franklin

The University of Louisville’s accreditation is no longer under probation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS, announced today that U of L met nine “concerns in areas of governance, administration and finance”  it set down to lift the probation.

The university was placed on probation by SACS a year ago amid concerns raised by Gov. Matt Bevin’s reorganization of the board of trustees, along with a list of other issues.

Wikimedia Commons

Former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the university’s athletic association.

Pitino was fired for cause last month by the association’s board amid an FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting.

The suit, filed Thursday in federal court, says the school effectively fired Pitino in late September when it placed him on administrative leave and locked him out of his office. It says Pitino should have been given 10 days’ notice and an opportunity to be heard, as specified in his contract.

flickr creative commons

Kentucky is among states that have cut public education funding most deeply over the last decade, according to a new report from the Center on Budget Policy Priorities.

Through its funding formula, the state sets aside 15.8 percent less for per public school student than it did in 2008 — the third largest drop in the nation, behind Oklahoma and Texas.

Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research for the CBPP, said the cuts hurt states’ economic competitiveness.

WKU

Western Kentucky University is increasing the number of opportunities to earn certificates in response to a recent executive order by Governor Matt Bevin. That order provides scholarships to those seeking a certificate without pursuing an associate degree. 

Certificates are credentials that lead to a workforce job and can be earned with a degree or as a stand-alone credential. Those wanting a certificate must complete a minimum of 12 hours of classes.

Changing Course: A School Cooperative Aims To Remake Coal Communities

Nov 27, 2017
Benny Becker

Betsy Layne High School serves rural Floyd County in the eastern Kentucky town of Stanville, population 206. Students there produce a video program called “Bobcat Banter” where they usually talk about sports and student life. But early last year “Bobcat Banter” introduced some special guests.

“We’re here with Mr. and Mrs. Gates from the Gates Foundation,” the students said.

The world’s richest man and his partner in life and philanthropy, Melinda Gates, had dropped in for a chat.

WKU

The Intercultural Student Engagement Center Academy is accepting a $20,000 grant which will help aid the 2018 cohort of students.

ISEC Academy is a Western Kentucky University initiative that supports students who are first generation, underrepresented and Pell grant recipients.

The program provides participants with upperclassmen mentors, a living learning community and weekly study hours to help guide students to a four-year graduation.

Rhonda J Miller

A group of education officials representing districts across the country will be touring a Warren County elementary school Friday to get a close-up look at an energy-saving material used in construction. They’re visiting to learn more about the construction of net zero schools, or schools that produce enough energy on site to cover their needs.

Jennings Creek Elementary will be a net zero ready school, meaning it’s built in a way that allows it to eliminate the cost of energy. The school is one of a many in Kentucky using insulated concrete forms, or ICF, to reduce energy costs. Warren County is home to the nation’s first net zero school--Richardsville Elementary, which opened in 2010.

A high school that pulls students from both Barren and Hart counties is partnering with Western Kentucky University to create a part-time work and dual-credit program similar to the Learn and Earn program.

Learn and Earn sets college students up with part-time employment with local businesses upon completing the program. Caverna Independent’s program is called Transforming Outcomes through Performance and Scholarship, or TOPS.

Creative Commons

The superintendent of Owensboro Public Schools says the pension proposal unveiled by Kentucky’s Republican leaders is "second-rate" compared to the current retirement system. 

Dr. Nick Brake applauds GOP leaders for not raising the retirement age to 65 for teachers, but fears that other reforms, if enacted, would make it harder for the state to attract quality educators.

Governor Matt Bevin has been outspoken about overhauling Kentucky’s tax system. Bevin said he wants to get rid of the inventory tax, which is placed on a company’s inventory that is held in the state. That tax is used to fund local school districts, and some worry that eliminating the inventory tax will have a negative impact on education. Little detail has been released about what would replace that revenue.


warrencountyschools.org

An effort by a Warren County high school principal to help notify students about an upcoming deadline for  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, caused one parent to complain about 'profiling.'

It's one example of how schools are struggling to navigate the sensitive territory related to race and immigration.

Warren County Public Schools received a notice from the Migrant Legal Action Program asking them to remind students about the Oct. 5 deadline to apply to renew their DACA status. Without the approved status, they could be deported.

Kentucky Department of Education

Kentucky’s education leaders say they are encouraged by some of the results from statewide assessments during the 2016-17 school year. 

However, achievement gaps among certain groups of students remain in many areas. 

According to data released Thursday from the Kentucky Department of Education, overall achievement increased slightly at the elementary and middle school levels, but was down somewhat among high schools.

Facebook Founder Visits Rural Kentucky Schools

Sep 26, 2017
Bruce Parsons

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in West Virginia and Kentucky over the weekend to see some innovative ways that schools are using new technology.

Zuckerberg has been traveling the country working on his New Year’s resolution to speak with people in every state. On Sunday, he met with educators and students from across Eastern Kentucky.

Students showed Zuckerberg a small mobile house, called a tiny home, that they built in a high school shop class. He also toured a drone assembly lab and took a moment to play a virtual reality video game with some students who designed it.

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