On a quest for the Carter County school system to be “the standard of excellence,” the district has established high expectations for all staff and students. Schools are taking ownership in this vision and the community is proud of new successes.
The two high schools in the district have made tremendous gains. East Carter High School, previously labeled a persistently low-achieving school, has since been designated a Distinguished school. In addition, the school was recently named a Hub School. West Carter High School also has shown considerable growth over the past couple of years. A focus on college/career-readiness (CCR) has enabled the school to increase CCR from 24 percent in 2011 to 92 percent in 2014, earning it the designation of being a Proficient school.
In 2013, the momentum continued as Star Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Continuous learning and improvement planning have been at the forefront of the district’s success. With an intensive approach to professional learning, all teachers are involved in monthly district-facilitated sessions that are data-driven and content- and grade-specific. This aggressive structure for improvement planning has brought about positive change by establishing a sense of urgency to find bold solutions to address obstacles.
The district’s focus on providing all students with a rigorous curriculum has brought about partnerships with Ashland Community and Technical College, Morehead State University, Kentucky Christian University and AdvanceKentucky. Additionally, community partnerships have led to the installment of the Carter County Youth Leadership Program, a group that focuses on community leadership, economic opportunities and establishing cohesion between the two local communities.
Superintendent Ronnie Dotson and all district and school staff are proud to be part of the progress made in Carter County, and more is expected as the district looks toward the future with anticipation and excitement for advancements yet to come. It is Dotson’s belief that the district, which earned the designation of a Distinguished- high performing district in 2014, will continue to flourish in its role as “the standard of excellence.”