(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Ten Kentucky public schools were recognized Sept. 21 for outstanding teaching and learning conditions. These Winner’s Circle schools were recognized for their effective teaching and school leadership practices and will be shared as models of best practices across the state.

The Winner’s Circle schools were selected based upon their 2015 TELL Kentucky Survey results, school safety and student achievement scores. The 10 were chosen based on data from the 2015 Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Kentucky Survey, which was administered to all public school teachers and principals in March.

During the Continuous Improvement Summit in Lexington, each school received a certificate and a banner. Schools recognized as being in the Winner’s Circle of teaching  and learning conditions are:

  • Ballard Memorial High School, Ballard County
  • Earlington Elementary School, Hopkins County
  • North Marshall Middle School, Marshall County
  • Park City Elementary School, Barren County
  • Gamaliel Elementary School, Monroe County
  • Thomas Nelson High School, Nelson County
  • Chenoweth Elementary School, Jefferson County
  • Carter G. Woodson Academy, Fayette County
  • Arnett Elementary School, Erlanger-Elsmere
  • Allen Central High School, Floyd County

Tell Honorable Mention Chart copyThe 10 schools were selected in a four-phase process. In Phase I, schools that reached the minimum 50 percent survey response rate threshold were identified. In Phase II, student test scores from the 2014-15 school year were analyzed, and a cut-off point was set to ensure that successful schools continued to the next phase of selection. In Phase III, schools were examined for details regarding their TELL Kentucky results, as well as other criteria (such as school safety), using a rubric designed by the New Teacher Center and the TELL Kentucky Advisory Team. Phase IV schools met all of the minimum criteria for selection, and the Advisory Team reviewed these to select exemplary schools across the state.

From the Honorable Mentions, one school in each of Kentucky’s State Board/Judicial Districts, and three at-large schools were awarded Winner’s Circle honors. Winning schools and Honorable Mentions will be used as examples of best practices for other schools across the state.

In March 2015, Kentucky provided the opportunity for educators to share information about the conditions in their schools and the supports needed to do their jobs well. The anonymous, online biennial survey included topics such as time, school leadership, teacher leadership, facilities and resources, professional development, community engagement and support, instructional practices and support, student conduct, and new teacher support. The New Teacher Center, a national nonprofit dedicated to improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders, administered the TELL Kentucky Survey.

Nearly 45,000 – more than 89 percent – of the certificated educators in the state completed the voluntary TELL Kentucky Survey, setting another national record and surpassing the 2013 response rate of almost 87 percent. All but two of the traditional public schools in the state met the minimum response threshold (at least 50 percent response and a minimum of five respondents) for data to be made available.

School, district and statewide results, as well as the New Teacher Center’s Preliminary Findings, Guides, and Tools for Using the Data, can be viewed at www.tellkentucky.org.

The intent of this work is to provide schools, districts and the state with data that can be used to enhance school improvement efforts. The Kentucky Board of Education has used the results of the 2011 and 2013 TELL Kentucky Survey in policy discussions. The Kentucky Department of Education is using the findings to guide its assistance to persistently low-achieving schools and in the work with improving effective teachers and leaders.