The LaRue County school district has flourished under Superintendent Sam Sanders’ leadership, and was ranked 11th in the state on 2012-13 Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) assessments.
The district has been recognized for success in closing achievement gaps for special needs students with LaRue County High School becoming a model site for co-teaching and Kentucky System of Interventions.
In LaRue County, the focus is on people and processes rather than programs. Emphasis is on getting the “right people in the right seats on the bus.” Sanders expects principals and central office support staff to be active in classrooms, gathering walkthrough and assessment data and then using the data to coach teachers. The district has implemented several innovative programs that have produced positive results in student learning. LaRue County was one of the first districts in the state to implement a one-to-one laptop learning initiative. Seeing it as a learning initiative rather than a technology initiative, the district recognized the importance of effective professional development in this transition. The high school has experienced great success with this initiative and is preparing to launch round two next year. LaRue County implements an innovative alternative calendar with early release every Friday. The common planning time is used for Professional Learning Communities to meet regularly, focusing on student formative and summative data to plan next steps for improvement.
The district has developed a cohesive, common assessment system aligned to state standards with emphasis on teacher ownership.
Sanders also emphasizes the importance of a well-rounded program for students. He has supported and encouraged expansion of extra and co-curricular opportunities for students and recognizes the impact of the district’s support services in achieving the district’s goals.
The LaRue County school district’s elementary schools have received the HealthierUS School Challenge gold rating. The district has been listed in The Courier Journal’s “Top Workplaces,” has received the Bluegrass Institute’s Diamond in the Rough designation and was the first district in Kentucky to receive a hybrid bus.