Around three thousand Fayette County Public School fifth graders this week take a field trip to the Keeneland Race Course. Special events coordinator Kara Heissenbuttel says they worked with the school district to target a good age group.
Frankfort Independent students who pride themselves on their unique style may have to abide by a strict dress code or wear uniforms next fall as part of an effort to curb dropouts. Alan Spade, assistant principal at Frankfort High School, discussed the idea with more than 30 students, parents and teachers Monday night. Studies have shown a correlation between uniform dress codes and higher attendance and graduation rates, he said, though there’s no proof that attire alone did the trick. But as much as they love their small, tight-knit school, the half dozen girls that gathered after the meeting agreed that they would rather transfer to Franklin County Schools than wear uniforms.
After a half century of effort, Eastern Kentucky University has acquired the Elmwood Estate. The mansion and 20 acres of property, which sits directly across from EKU on Lancaster Avenue, has been a private residence. Elmwood, which was built in 1887, is believed to be Kentucky’s only Chateauesque-style house outside Louisville.
A growth spurt in Warren County Public Schools requires more than new buildings and additional teachers. It also creates a bus driver shortage, and the district is trying to fix that problem. Transportation officials need to hire around 15 new bus drivers - a majority of those will be substitute drivers to take over when regular drivers cannot work, said John Odom, district transportation director.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today over an interpretation of a state statute, which could affect the JCPS student assignment plan. The debate was between the words enroll versus attend. Since 2000, a state statute (KRS 159.070) has allowed districts to chose where students go to school by removing the word “attend” in legislative language, said Bryon Leet, a JCPS board attorney. Leet said JCPS can enroll a student at one school and have them attend another, like in the case of the current student assignment plan. But that’s not the state law’s intent, said Bruce Miller, an appellant attorney.
Students, parents, teachers and community members can now access free Kentucky-specific educational materials through iTunes. During Wednesday’s launch at Woodford County High School, state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday called the resource “mass customization of learning,” comparing it to his own Yahoo News page and Twitter feed. “It’s no longer a cookie-cutter education,” he said. “Students can customize their learning lists like they do their music playlists.” The iTunes U project is a partnership among the Kentucky Department of Education, the University of Kentucky and KET.
Irina Voro, the University of Kentucky's new faculty trustee, makes at least $3.3 million less than basketball coach John Calipari, teaches in a cramped studio that houses two pianos, and won not one but two elections to get her seat on the board. She criticizes UK's spending — "Is this the University of Kentucky or Wall Street?" — and said in her platform statement that UK's administration treats the faculty like "bumpkins."
A gas leak at a construction site briefly shut down a Danville street Monday morning, forcing the evacuation of a nearby Centre College building and putting glass-blowing equipment in jeopardy. The street was shut down for about an hour, and the few people in the arts building, including Professor Stephen Rolfe Powell and one of his assistants, were evacuated.
More than 1,500 University of Kentucky students got out of their dorms and into the Lexington community Monday as part of the annual UK FUSION service event. Junior Son Doan first heard about UK For Unity and Service in Our Neighborhoods, or FUSION, a couple of years ago as a freshman. The finance major spent his Monday afternoon painting a pavilion at the Living Arts and Science Center.
Monday found fairly a consistent flow of students into Richmond’s book stores. Classes resume this week at a number of state universities across the Commonwealth. The job market is on the minds of many of the college students. If all goes as she plans, Lancaster Junior Sarah Elliot will graduate next year from Eastern Kentucky University with a nursing degree. Then, Elliot hopes to work for a Lexington hospital. Despite the slow economy, the health industry is relatively health. Still, Elliot worries job seekers may soon flood the healthcare professions.
Female police officers from close to 60 nations are in Lexington for training. Among them are officers with the United Nations police division. U-N gender officer Lea Biason says some of the training is for international peacekeepers. “These are the minimum requirement skills needed for police officers to be deployed in international peace keeping operations,” said Biason.
As students begin moving onto Western Kentucky University’s campus, President Gary Ransdell wants to get them in, get them through, keep them around and get them out. A major hurdle for faculty and staff this academic year will be student retention, which has dwindled over the years. More than 1,000 students are lost from each new class, Ransdell said during WKU’s opening convocation. “This is tough to accept,” he said.
The Murray State University professor who was suspended last spring for allegedly making a racial comment to a black student has been hired by the university on a part-time basis to teach online courses, officials say. In February, it was reported that one of Mark Wattier’s former students had filed a complaint against him with MSU’s Office of Equal Opportunity.
The nonprofit organization that proposed building a $1.5 million aerospace education center at the Capital City Airport has reached an agreement with state officials to stay in Frankfort. Kentucky Institute for Aerospace Education leaders announced last month that they would move to Southern Indiana if a plan to use hangar and runway space in Frankfort collapsed. But Tim Smith, a teacher at Frankfort High School and chief executive officer of the nonprofit organization, says he and state Transportation Cabinet officials negotiated a solution this week.
Parents and educators involved in Kentucky’s Head Start program are watching Washington warily. The federally-funded pre-school program could lose funding if Congress cannot agree on a budget reduction plan. If there’s no deal, Kentucky Head Start executive director Bob Wilcher says it would mean a serious cutbacks.
Every eighth-, ninth- and 10th-grader in Kentucky would get a chance to consult with an adult next year about career goals and the education courses needed to reach them under a plan announced here Wednesday. Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said Operation Preparation is intended to reach about 150,000 students statewide from March 12 to 16 next year.
Scores on the ACT test taken by juniors in Kentucky's public high schools in the spring improved slightly over last year in most subject areas, according to results released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. The composite score for Kentucky juniors this year was 18.8, up from 18.5 in 2010.
Georgetown College has landed in a top 10 list compiled by a well-known news magazine, highlighting decisions made by the class of 2009. U.S. News and World Report put Georgetown No. 10 on a list of colleges and universities with the highest percentage of students that go on to pursue graduate studies. Sixty-five percent of the private, faith-based college's 2009 graduates went on to graduate school within a year after completing Georgetown.
An advocate for early childhood education says more attention needs to be paid to existing programs in rural communities. June Widman serves on the Early Childhood Advisory Council. The panel met for the first time Wednesday in Frankfort. Widman says sound quality child care should not go un-noticed.
“If we want to increase the availability of quality programs for young children, let’s look where young children already are…instead of saying it could only be done at school or could only be done under the auspices of Head Start,” said Widman.
Avid planker and incoming Western Kentucky University freshman Tyler Webster tweeted Tuesday that “It’s all over, i’m going to #WKU !!!” Webster, who was banned last week from WKU’s campus after a story about his activities was published by the Daily News, will now be allowed on campus - and presumably to enroll in classes - for the fall semester.
The percentage of Kentucky high school graduates reaching benchmark scores on the ACT test improved in some subjects this year, but educators still have much work to do, results being released Wednesday show. For example, more than 35 percent of Kentuckians who graduated from high school this spring failed to achieve any benchmark score on the ACT. The benchmark scores indicate likely success in college.
A group of University of Kentucky freshmen will arrive on campus in the next few days as members of a new technology-based learning community. The group of 175 freshmen, to be housed at an updated Keeneland Hall near Memorial Coliseum, will be given new iPads and have access to touch-screen technology in the front lobby.
The Union College board of trustees named Dr. Thomas McFarland acting president last week following the announcement of President Edward de Rosset’s indefinite leave of absence. McFarland, a 1969 graduate of Union College, has served the college in various roles for more than 25 years, most recently as vice president for academic affairs.
The federal government will pour another $7 million into the University of Kentucky's efforts to research and treat Alzheimer's disease at its Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, the school announced Tuesday. The five-year grant from the National Institute on Aging makes UK's Alzheimer's Center one of 10 in the United States that has been continuously funded since 1985, said UK President Eli Capilouto.
More Kentuckians are turning to GEDs as a way to prepare themselves for the workforce or transition to college. The number of diplomas awarded rose 10 percent this fiscal year. Not only are more students in the Bluegrass earning GEDs, the pass rate is also increasing. Bob King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, attributes the jump to free testing offered in April, May, and June, along with deeper economic worries.
Burgin Independent School may be small in enrollment, but its high school graduation rate makes a big impression. Figures just released by the Kentucky Department of Education show the independent school system in Mercer County had a 94.74 percent Average Freshman Graduation Rate in 2009-2010, better than 167 other school districts.
Bluegrass Community and Technical College is expanding. Not only did the college begin construction on a new building today, it also broke ground on a new campus. The new four-story, 28-million dollar building is set to house eleven academic programs, including Computer Information Technology and will host about a thousand students upon completion. BCTC President Augusta Julian explained why the expansion has the potential to be transformative.
Classes begin next week at Eastern Kentucky University, but a combination pep rally/reality check took place Monday on the Richmond campus. The fall annual convocation drew hundreds of faculty and staff. President Doug Whitlock says to expect about 16-thousand-500 students. Although that’s about the same as last year, Whitlock sees positives in the numbers.