What's Happening in Kentucky Schools

Kelly Award for Business and Education Partnership

Nominate a business leader
striving for education excellence

The Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) is accepting nominations for the Kelly Award for Business and Education Partnership. The award honors a Kentucky businessperson who has partnered with a public school or district to provide outstanding leadership that promotes school improvement and student success.


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KDE officials call for legislators to create unified CTE system

In a presentation to the Kentucky Budget Review Subcommittee on Education, Commissioner Wayne Lewis and Associate Commissioner David Horseman called for legislators to create a unified system for delivering quality career and technical education (CTE) for students in the Commonwealth.

“At best, we have a bifurcated system, but arguably, we lack a system for delivering career and technical education in Kentucky,” said Lewis.

Lewis said the state operates 53 area technology centers (ATCs), with numerous locally-operated centers spread throughout the state. Only some local centers receiving state funding. The funding for both state ATCs and local centers is too low to deliver quality programs based on regional workforce needs.



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KCM Impacts Pre-Service Teachers

A recent NKU Alumni Spotlight article has illuminated Kentucky Center for Mathematics impact on elementary pre-service math teachers! KCM Faculty Associate, Funda Gonulates, was recognized for her work as a professor of the Teacher Education Department's "Teaching Elementary Mathematics" course, which was revealed to be a favorite by NKU Alumni.

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KASC Summer Reading Workshops

Summer Reading Workshops

Summer Reading Workshops are offered for elementary regular and special education teachers, interventionists, and Title 1 teachers through KASC’s Summer Academies. Diagnosing and Prescribing for Strategic Reading and The Nuts & Bolts of Reading Instruction workshops will be held in London, KY on July 18 and in Lexington, KY on July 23.

KASC’s Summer Reading Workshops are available only through academy participation. These two sessions are led by experienced reading specialists with a passion for teaching reading and a commitment to support the professional growth of teachers.

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Kentucky Department of Education launches summer reading initiative

(FRANKFORT, KY) – Children will be given free books at several lunch programs being held across the state this summer as a part of the Kentucky Department of Education’s summer reading and math initiative, Stride Don’t Slide!

Beginning in mid-June, Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) officials and members of the Kentucky Board of Education will travel the Commonwealth, offering free reading activities and book giveaways as part of a national initiative through READ Up: Stop the Summer Slide℠ and The Children’s Reading Foundation.

“Although the summer months provide a much-needed break for students and teachers, studies show that up to three months of regression in reading and math can happen during the time off. The threat of regression is greatest for students not participating in summer learning and enrichment activities,” said KDE Commissioner Wayne Lewis. “With this initiative, our goals are to encourage parents to read to their youngest children for 20 minutes a day, encourage older students to read daily and promote summer-long learning for all students.”





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Building Groundswell of Support for Education by Engaging Parents, Communities Focus of New Campaign

Groundswell Initiative - Prichard Committee ImageCARROLLTON, Ky. – A statewide campaign to engage families and communities in effective and sustainable efforts to improve schools and student achievement was launched Friday (March 29, 2019) by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence.

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Longtime KSD educator Sandy Smock receives Grissom Award

(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Kentucky Board of Education today presented the eighth annual Dr. Johnnie Grissom Award to Sandy Smock, agriculture teacher and FFA adviser for the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD).

The award recognizes those who exhibit leadership, commitment and service to promote high student achievement through instructional equity and in closing the achievement gap for all children. Smock was nominated by Sarah Warren, graduate teaching assistant at the University of Kentucky.

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Erin Ball Named 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year

(FRANKFORT, KY) – Erin Elizabeth Ball, a language arts teacher at Georgetown Middle School in Scott County, is the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Ball has four years of teaching experience in Scott County Schools.

Valvoline Inc™ and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) made the announcement today at a ceremony at the Berry Mansion in Frankfort. Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Derrick Ramsey, Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis and Valvoline CEO Sam Mitchell were on hand to make the presentation.

Melanie Callahan, a 4th-grade teacher at London Elementary (Laurel County), is the 2020 Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Matthew Kaufmann, an English teacher at Marion C. Moore School (Jefferson County), is the 2020 High School Teacher of the Year.



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Kentucky Teacher of the Year prize used to take 28 students to Washington

Ms. Dueñas, Kentucky Teacher of the Year Image

Photo credit: WDRB, Louisville, KY - Fallon Glick, Reporter

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Tips to Fight Summer Reading & Math Regression

The Kentucky Department of Education presents
Stride Don't Slide: Tips to Fight Summer Reading & Math Regression

Research has shown students, on average, lose two months of mathematics and reading learning during summer vacation when they don't practice the skills they have learned during the school year. Your child worked hard in math and reading this school year. Help him or her make strides this summer by using the resources listed by the Kentucky Department of Education.


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Six-part KET Series Address Youth Mental Health

Six-Part KET Series "You Are Not Alone" to Address Youth Mental Health

You Are Not Alone - KET Series May 2019It’s not easy being an adolescent in today’s world.

One out of every five young people, ages 13-18, live with a mental health disorder, yet stigma keeps them largely in the shadows. Additionally, suicide is the second leading death for youths ages 12-18, claiming more of our nation’s young people every year than cancer, heart disease, pneumonia and influenza combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Boyle County High School Earns Georgia Davis Powers Award

Boyle County High School Earns Georgia Davis Powers Award

Alison Lundergan Grimes presented the Georgia Davis Powers Award to Boyle County High School. They were the only high school in the state with 100% of eligible students registered to vote.

Georgia Davis Powers AwardHigh School Senior Vanita Fitzwater, along with AP Government teacher Mr. Tyler Murphy, and other students campaigned and held lunch time drives to reach their goal and encourage all eligible students to register.


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I Just Didn't Know - Anti-Vaping Campaign

The I Just Didn’t Know peer education campaign is designed to debunk the false beliefs held by many adolescents and teens that using e-cigarettes is either harmless or at least healthier for them than smoking. The campaign launched with four 30-second PSAs (available on YouTube), as well as a website and an Instagram page. It features Kentucky youth sharing the truths they have learned about the health risks of using e-cigarettes or vapes.I Just Didn't Know - Anti-Vaping CampaignAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, e-cigarettes and vapes are not safe for youth and young adults. They contain nicotine which is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development and also lead to smoking and other addictions. They also contain particles and toxins that can cause cancer and lung damage. Yet, youth use of e-cigarettes and vaping doubled in Kentucky from 2016 to 2018 and the rates are much higher than the national averages. More than one in four 12th graders and one in seven 8th graders in Kentucky used e-cigarettes in 2018, compared to one in five high schoolers and one in 20 middle schoolers nationally.

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Commissioner honors three student groups for advancing educational excellence

(FRANKFORT, KY) – Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis on Wednesday honored three student-based organizations from across the Commonwealth for their participation in a new initiative aimed at promoting the importance of education. The groups honored represented a total of five public school districts:

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McLean Co. Public Schools Named Seizure Smart

McLean County Public Schools have become the first district in the commonwealth to be designated a Seizure Smart School District by the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana.

A district reaches this status when all students and teachers in each school have received seizure training, and all the students in the school that have epilepsy have seizure action plans, according to David Pettit, western Kentucky education coordinator for the Epilepsy Foundation of Kentuckiana.

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Reading Priority Gets Results

Perryville Elementary Students Reading

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Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award Winners

24 Valvoline Teacher Achievement Award Winners Named

(FRANKFORT, KY) – The Kentucky Department of Education and Valvoline Inc. have selected 24 outstanding Kentucky educators as recipients of the 2020 Valvoline™ Teacher Achievement Awards (TAA). These teachers qualify to compete for the 2020 Kentucky Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in May.

"Valvoline is pleased to once again honor and recognize 24 of Kentucky’s most outstanding teachers. These individuals play a critical role in preparing students for life after high school graduation, whether that be in college or the workforce,” said Daryl Love, Valvoline’s manager of community relations.

The 24 winning teachers are:



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Congrats! KASC Member National Blue Ribbon Schools

Congratulations to KASC member schools for recognition as a
National Blue Ribbon School

Huntertown Elementary in Woodford County is one of five public schools in Kentucky recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. The Title 1 school serves a population where almost 50 percent of students qualify for free and reduced-price meals, a number that has almost doubled in the past eight years.

The U.S. Department of Education awards the Blue Ribbon honor based on student achievement and other research-based indicators of quality. The other schools recognized this year include Oak Hill Elementary (Pulaski County), Paintsville Elementary (Paintsville Independent), Spottsville Elementary (Henderson County), and Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary (Laurel County).


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