Sunday, March 18, 2018
Fourth-graders Cruz King, left, and Eli McGuffey use tiles to work out a word problem in Crystin Moore's math class at Junction City Elementary (Boyle County). Moore is using inquiry-based lessons as part of pilot program to spread inquiry-based learning to more subjects. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Nov. 30, 2017

Inquiring minds

Boyle County schools have expanded inquiry-based learning to multiple subjects and grade levels as part of a pilot project that educators hope will help students develop critical thinking skills.
Everly James, a 2nd-grader at Rich Pond Elementary, walks to the Blue Ribbon celebration. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Dec. 4, 2017

Family atmosphere key to success at Rich Pond

Warren County's Rich Pond Elementary School is one of two Kentucky public schools to be named this year as a Blue Ribbon winner for the second time. There are only eight public schools in Kentucky to earn the award twice since the program began in 1982.
Laura DeVettori, left, a teacher in the Spanish immersion program at Bryan Station High School (Fayette County), talks with student Maria Vela about a piece of literature tied to the painting "Saturn Devouring His Son" in her Spanish immersion AP literature course. Students at Fayette County schools who become proficient in at least two languages are eligible to earn the Seal of Biliteracy from the district. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Dec. 7, 2017

The benefits of biliteracy

New programs in two school districts are recognizing students who are proficient in more than one language.
Buddy the Elf, Holden Stamper, lifts Jovie, Anna Story, into the air during the closing number of "Elf the Musical Jr." Photo by Bobby Ellis, Dec. 8, 2017

A professional middle school musical

If there's one thing that Carlee Cornett does not want someone walking out of the plays put on by Lincoln County Middle School to say it's this: "That was cute." 
Rae Burgess, a Kentucky Department of Education safe schools consultant, records a video of Grant County Middle School students as they recite a pledge during the Sources of Strength training.

Finding the strength

Kentucky schools using the suicide prevention program Sources of Strength, which mobilizes student social networks to promote positive behaviors.
Adam Grigsby, an instructor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College's Danville campus, demonstrates how to use robots in his classroom. High school students in regional career academies being developed by New Skills for Youth Kentucky could be learning some of the same skills Grigsby's students do, as the academies are being designed to help students prepare for high-demand careers in their areas. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Nov. 30, 2017

Focusing on the future of career education

School districts, postsecondary institutions and other entities are pooling their resources to create more opportunities for students through New Skills for Youth Kentucky.
Larry Smith, a 1st-grader at Norton Elementary (Jefferson County), works on a reading worksheet in Tiffany Brown's class. Students were encouraged to dress up for class during the day to celebrate the school's 50th anniversary. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Oct. 26, 2017

Blue Ribbon winner Norton Elementary wants to be even better

Emily Iliff, the assistant-principal of Norton Elementary, says that part of what makes her school so successful is the family atmosphere that exists inside the schoolhouse walls. Norton recently was named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
Chronic absenteeism is taking significant numbers of students away from Kentucky classrooms. The Kentucky Department of Education's measures to combat chronic absenteeism include making it a part of the new accountability system that will be put in place next year. Photo Illustration by Bobby Ellis, Nov. 8, 2017

Keeping students in their seats

Chronic absenteeism has a place in Kentucky’s new accountability system, as well as a definition that has been written into a regulation.
Faith Woolery, a 5th-grader at Lansdowne Elementary, stands in a window frame while working on a house frame during a build put on by If I Had a Hammer. Photo by Bobby Ellis, Oct. 19, 2017

Hammering Home Math

Working with power tools, hammering nails and climbing ladders with your friends and classmates – what more could a 5th-grader want? 
Owen LauBach, a 3rd-grader at Clear Creek Elementary (Shelby County), shows his work to teacher Stephanie Herndon during a mathematics lesson. The Kentucky Department of Education is creating a uniform system of course codes that will be linked to the Kentucky Academic Standards. The biggest change will be at the elementary school level, where the teaching of standards will be now tied to course codes. Photo by Bobby Ellis, March 1, 2017

Equity a driving force behind course code changes

The Kentucky Department of Education has been working to streamline its lists of course codes and to link specific standards to them.