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Minimum high school graduation requirements proposal advances in regulation process

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – During the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee (ARRS) Feb. 11, 2019, at the Capitol Annex in Frankfort, Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis testified in support of amendments to 704 KAR 3:305, proposed minimum high school graduation requirements. The requirements, which were passed by the Kentucky Board of Education in December, were not found deficient by ARRS and will now be forwarded to the Legislative Research Commission, which will then refer it to the House and Senate Education committees.

“These revisions set a very low bar – right now there is no bar,” said Lewis. “It’s an incredibly important first step that will ensure students will be well prepared for what comes next in life following graduation.”

The new graduation requirements give students entering high school in the 2019-2020 school year the chance to take more classes geared toward their plans after graduation. Freshmen must complete the following 22 personalized credits before graduation:

  • English I and II AND 2 additional English Language Arts credits aligned with the student’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
  • Algebra I and Geometry AND two additional Mathematics credits aligned with the student’s ILP
  • 3 credits Social Studies (at least 1 aligned with the student’s ILP)
  • 3 credits Science (at least 1 aligned with the student’s ILP)
  • 1/2 credit Health
  • 1/2 credit Physical Education
  • 1 credit Visual and Performing Arts
  • 6 additional credits aligned with the student’s ILP

In addition, students must complete one of eight graduation qualifiers. These qualifiers help ensure graduates are prepared for what comes after high school. Students will be required to do ONE of the following:

  • Complete the precollege curriculum as established by the Council on Postsecondary Education; OR
  • Meet the benchmark score in one section (such as English, Reading, Math or Science) of a college admissions test (such as ACT or SAT) or placement exam as established by the Council on Postsecondary Education; OR
  • Earn three postsecondary credit hours or more of a Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)-approved dual credit class with a grade of C or higher; OR
  • Complete one class and corresponding test meeting the following criteria:
    • Advanced Placement (AP) with a score of three or higher; or
    • Cambridge Advanced International (CAI) with a score at or above benchmark; or
    • International Baccalaureate (IB) with a score of five or higher; OR
  • Earn an industry certification as approved by the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board; OR
  • Earn four credits from classes within a single KDE-approved career pathway; OR
  • Complete two years of a KDE-approved or Kentucky Labor Cabinet-approved pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship; OR
  • Complete a KDE-approved process to verify 500 hours of exceptional work experience or alternative requirements as outlined in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Students entering high school in the fall of 2020 and beyond also will have to meet a graduation prerequisite. The graduation prerequisite require students to demonstrate basic competency in reading and math in one of three ways before graduation:

  • Score at least Proficient on the 8th-grade state-required assessment for reading and/or mathematics; OR
  • Meet the minimum KBE-approved required score within the Apprentice range in reading and mathematics on the 10th-grade state-required assessments;
    • Students who do not meet the minimum score on one or both assessments may retake the reading and/or mathematics assessments twice each year in the 11th and 12th grades of high school; OR
  • Complete a collection of evidence to include the following:
    • The student’s ILP, including a student transcript;
    • If applicable, the student’s IEP, including evidence that the student has received specially designed instruction and related services in reading and mathematics;
    • Student performance on the required state assessments;
    • Appropriate interventions, targeted to the student’s needs, to ensure support was provided to the student;
    • Student work demonstrating the students’ competency in reading and/or mathematics, as applicable; and
    • The student’s post-high school plans.

The process shall require the principal to submit the collection of student evidence to the superintendent or his or her designee for review and approval.

“We want to be assured that any student who receives a high school diploma has basic competency in reading and math,” said Lewis. “This would not create a new test. Students could demonstrate competency in 8th grade, 10th grade, or in a demonstration of evidence.”

Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, testified against the regulation saying that while she agrees that Kentucky is graduating far too many students without the skills needed for future success, the regulation does raise some concerns. Ramsey said concerns included the addition of exit exams, which produce few benefits in other states where they have been implemented; the removal of Algebra II as a requirement for graduation; and the potential for students with low test scores to be tracked into low-quality pathways.

“Today’s proposal for new minimum high school graduation requirements deserves the full attention of citizens, students and business leaders, in service to our state goals for student success,” said Ramsey. “This is a critical discussion that has bearing on Kentucky’s ability to deliver on the promise of full college and career preparation for every student.”

Lewis offered a counter argument to Ramsey’s points, saying that only 15 U.S. states require Algebra II as a high school graduation requirement.

“Thirty-five states do not believe that Algebra II is necessary for every student,” said Lewis. “In Kentucky, we currently require that every one of our students successfully complete the course. Juxtapose that with the reality that 60 percent of our highest achieving students go on to college and about 23 percent of them are not ready for college level math. Those two simply cannot be true at the same time.”

Lewis also argued that the demonstration of basic competency in reading and math is not an “exit exam.” Students will have three ways to demonstrate competency, during accountability assessments in 8th or 10th grades, or by submitting a portfolio of evidence to their local superintendent.

As for career pathways, he said, this is just one of eight of qualifiers, and there are numerous high-quality pathway programs throughout the state.

School boards are looking at the graduation requirements now to consider if they wish to add to these minimum requirements to best meet the needs of their students. In doing so, they also are in the planning stages for staffing and class offerings to ensure students have the necessary options to meet the new requirements

HS Graduation Requirements from KDE:


KDE Media Portal


Info Sheet





Surpassing Shanghai





Regional Football Championship @ Campbellsville Friday, Nov 16 @ 6:00 CST.




ED Tech News - Tech Initiatives






How does KY rank? Education, Economics, Health etc.





KY HS Graduation Data from KDE.  ppt


KY Grad Data PPT




Ky Association School Superintendents belief statements for candidates in the 2018 General Election.


We believe that public education is the pillar of our democracy. We believe in the common school envisioned by Horace Mann. A common school is a public institution, which nurtures and teaches all who live within its boundaries, regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation or learning ability. All may enroll–regardless of when they seek to enter the school or where they were educated before.

As is stated in Section 183 of the constitution of our great Commonwealth, “The General Assembly shall, by appropriate legislation, provide for an efficient system of common schools throughout the State.” Therefore, we believe that the General Assembly bears the primary responsibility for funding schools and that funding should be adequate and equitable to address the needs of the served community. Such funding includes full ARC funding annually of the related pension systems for educators while maintaining the inviolable contract between the state and said educators.

We also believe that taxpayers have the right to examine how schools use tax dollars to educate children. Such tax dollars should not be used to provide vouchers, scholarships, or tax credits that would allow these public funds to be used for private schools, home schools, or any other form of school option other than public common schools.

Most importantly, we believe that such schools should be accountable to the community they serve, and that community residents have the right and responsibility to elect the school board and school council members who govern these schools. Citizens also have the right to insist that schooling be done in a manner that best serves the needs of all children.



Tom Shelton, PhD

Executive Director

Kentucky Association of School Superintendents




West KY Gear Up Grant. Crittenden County shares $9.5 million with 10 other west Kentucky schools.


About West Kentucky GEAR UP
West Kentucky GEAR UP is a seven-year, $9.5 million grant project from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary education. The project will assist students in obtaining a secondary school diploma and prepare them for and help them succeed in postsecondary education.
Target Schools: The project includes 20 schools from 10 districts in nine west Kentucky counties: Ballard County Middle/High Schools, Carlisle County Middle/High Schools, Crittenden County Middle/High Schools, Fulton County Middle/High Schools, Fulton Independent Middle/High Schools, Hickman County Middle/High Schools, Livingston County Middle/High Schools, Mayfield Independent Middle/High Schools, McLean County Middle/High Schools, and Paducah Independent Middle/Paducah Tilghman High Schools. These districts represent 10 of the 12 districts who participate in the Cooperative’s Consortium for Innovations in Education (CIE), WKEC’s grant writing division.
Partners: West Kentucky Educational Cooperative; West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC); Kentucky Project Lead the Way (PLTW); WKCTC West Kentucky Partnership Work Ready Skills Initiative; Murray State University (MSU); Murray State University Teacher Quality Institute (TQI); Technology Council of West Kentucky (TCWK); Madisonville Community College; Four Rivers Career Academy (FRCA); Mayfield/Graves County Area Technical Center; Brett Owen/Owen Technologies; Challenger Learning Center; Dave Ramsey Foundations in Personal Literacy; the West Kentucky Special Education Cooperative; the 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) program; On to College (John Baylor) ACT Prep Program; ACT; Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA) and the West Kentucky Workforce Board.
Project Goal: To create a college and career pathway culture at each participating school resulting in an increase in the number of students—particularly minorities, those from low-income backgrounds, English learners, and those who have special needs—who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education, obtain industry certifications, and enter the workforce in high demand industry sectors with an emphasis on STEM related fields, particularly computer science.
Activities and Services: WK GEAR UP will serve 6,699 students from nine rural counties in the Mississippi Delta Region of western Kentucky. This seven-year GEAR UP grant cohort project encompasses critical initiatives and activities for postsecondary success including: standards-based classroom activities in math, science, and computer science; enrollment opportunities in rigorous courses and support in those courses to reduce the need for remedial coursework at the postsecondary level; STEM-related curriculum, activities, initiatives, competitions and camps for middle and high school students; STEM professional development and support for appropriate staff; completion and monitoring of individualized learning plans beginning in the middle school and continuing on to high school; career fairs and other career exploration activities; development and implementation of computer science pathways that lead to industry certifications, post-secondary education, and work-based learning opportunities that include internships and pre-apprenticeships with employers in the business and IT sectors while in high school, then transitioning to either work-study employment while in postsecondary training or registered apprenticeships; personal financial training for middle and high school students; parent engagement activities including financial aid and FAFSA workshops; campus visits; middle, secondary, and postsecondary college and career counseling and mentoring to students and their families; financial aid information to students and families; college and career readiness coaching of all WK GEAR UP students during middle and high school, with activities to increase high school graduation rates, college and career readiness, and ACT bench-marks; assistance with completion of applications for postsecondary enrollment and scholarships; activities to increase postsecondary enrollment; and dual credit and AP opportunities, including tutoring and mentoring for those who need extended support during middle and high school and on through the first year of a postsecondary education.





KBE Proposed HS Graduation Requirements


HS Grad Comparison Chart





Crittenden County Schools just received a Gear Up Grant for WKEC.  We will be sharing $10 million with 10 other school districts over the next 7 years to promote College and Career Readiness.  During September Crittenden Co Schools was granted a $440,000 Striving Readers Grant and a $150,000 PreSchool Grant.  FRYSC was also awarded $1000 from Partners Insurance for the Back Pack Program.  This is good news for our students and our community!




KSBA Link for School Bus Safety








September 28, 2018



KSBA Members,


Earlier this week, the Kentucky Department of Education released the much-anticipated student assessment results which denoted 461 schools as needing some type of improvement. Schools needing the most help were labeled Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), schools where students in certain groups underperformed were labeled Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) and schools in neither category were called “Other.” 


From the moment of their release, the findings have been analyzed, scrutinized, criticized and politicized. As we head into the weekend, I wish to impart a few takeaways from the new accountability report, ones that I hope will help take the edge off what has been a chaotic few days. 


Take a deep breath. 


·     For those having trouble connecting the old accountability system to the new one, stop trying. This is not comparing apples to apples. This is like comparing apples to iguanas. The scope and methodology of the new system do not make for an easy comparison to previous systems. 


·     More changes are on the way. Remember that next year, as a result of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and Kentucky’s Senate Bill 1 (2017), the state will adopt an overarching five-star rating system.


·     Understandably, CSI designated schools may be concerned about unfunded audits and turnaround plans that are now required. Please keep in mind that schools have three options for a turnaround plan, one of which includes district staff and community partners, thereby minimizing costs to the district. 


·     With any changes to accountability standards, there is uncertainty. Since 1990, Kentucky has seen nearly half a dozen systems come and go. All of them different. All viewed as controversial at first. Whatever the shift, it does not change our mission. 


·     Data is good. The new findings give districts another measure of school quality, among countless existing measures. Take advantage of the information provided to highlight the areas where your schools excel and to find the areas that are opportunities for improvement. 


In the weeks ahead, KSBA will be providing additional information and support related to the new accountability system. As always, we are hard at work advocating for Kentucky’s local school boards. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your association. 


Thank you for your commitment to public education and to Kentucky’s students! 


Kerri Schelling

KSBA Executive Director











Kentucky School Boards Association | 502-695-4630 |














HS Graduation Req

HS Graduation Comparison

HS Graduation 1 pager








Interesting video on the Future of Work!  Thanks to Union Co Supt, P Sheffert for sharing.






EPSB MA/ Rank II Waiver


No one coming in with a bachelor’s degree will be required to get a master’s in order to keep their certification valid.


Those who are in a MAT program to earn their initial certification still have to complete the master’s because that is their initial certification program.


Those who already have rank 3 certificate and were to work towards a master’s degree do not have to complete a master’s.  If someone was supposed to have earned 15 hours by 6/30/18, if they have 3 years of fulltime teaching experience within that 5 year issuance they can renew their certificate for 5 years based upon the 3 years of experience.  That is their renewal requirement from now on out – 3 years of fulltime teaching experience or 6 new graduate hours within the last 5 year issuance to renew for 5 additional years.   


All new people coming in would get a 5 year certificate with the same renewal – 3 years of fulltime teaching experience or 6 new graduate hours.




School accountability for the 2018-19 school year will be based on the content tests given at elementary and middle schools. For high schools, the reading and mathematics subscores on the college admissions examination and scores from the science and writing assessments will be utilized for accountability.


At high school, end of course tests will NOT be administered in spring 2019. Instead, students will take the college admissions examination to assess reading and mathematics and participate in field tests for new Kentucky assessments. A college admissions examination vendor is being secured and an announcement is expected within the next several weeks. At grade 11, a new operational assessment in science will be administered and the on-demand writing test will continue. A social studies assessment will be created once new standards are adopted.


At its upcoming August meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) will conduct its first review of the regulations for reading/writing and mathematics content standards and graduation requirements. These topics will impact state testing and accountability for 2018-2019 school year. Content standards are the basis of the state-required tests and much input has been collected on the revision of the content standards over the past two years. With the passage of Senate Bill 1 (2017, Kentucky General Assembly), a formalized process for standards development was established and implemented. As a result, KBE will begin to review revised standards in August.


The KBE will also consider the department’s proposal for revised high school graduation requirements. At their June 2018 meeting, I made the case to the board that receiving a diploma in Kentucky should require the demonstration essential skills and content knowledge necessary for transition to postsecondary and/or the workforce. The proposed regulation requires that students meet a passing point in reading and foundational mathematics on a new state-required test to be administered in the spring of grade 10.


The expected time for the adoption of new content standards and graduation requirements is spring 2019. If you have questions about the state’s assessment plan for spring 2019, please contact Associate Commissioner Rhonda Sims at or Director Jennifer Stafford at or by phone at 502-564-2256.





School accountability for the 2018-19 school year will be based on the content tests given at elementary and middle schools. For high schools, the reading and mathematics subscores on the college admissions examination and scores from the science and writing assessments will be utilized for accountability.


At high school, end of course tests will NOT be administered in spring 2019. Instead, students will take the college admissions examination to assess reading and mathematics and participate in field tests for new Kentucky assessments. A college admissions examination vendor is being secured and an announcement is expected within the next several weeks. At grade 11, a new operational assessment in science will be administered and the on-demand writing test will continue. A social studies assessment will be created once new standards are adopted.


At its upcoming August meeting, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) will conduct its first review of the regulations for reading/writing and mathematics content standards and graduation requirements. These topics will impact state testing and accountability for 2018-2019 school year. Content standards are the basis of the state-required tests and much input has been collected on the revision of the content standards over the past two years. With the passage of Senate Bill 1 (2017, Kentucky General Assembly), a formalized process for standards development was established and implemented. As a result, KBE will begin to review revised standards in August.


The KBE will also consider the department’s proposal for revised high school graduation requirements. At their June 2018 meeting, I made the case to the board that receiving a diploma in Kentucky should require the demonstration essential skills and content knowledge necessary for transition to postsecondary and/or the workforce. The proposed regulation requires that students meet a passing point in reading and foundational mathematics on a new state-required test to be administered in the spring of grade 10.


The expected time for the adoption of new content standards and graduation requirements is spring 2019. If you have questions about the state’s assessment plan for spring 2019, please contact Associate Commissioner Rhonda Sims at or Director Jennifer Stafford at or by phone at 502-564-2256.




Clarification on Background Checks

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has received numerous inquiries concerning a school district’s responsibility to require that contractors submit to background checks through the Kentucky State Police (KSP), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) pursuant to the requirements in KRS 160.380.


KRS 160.380(1)(b) defines a contractor as “an adult who is permitted access to school grounds under a current or prospective contractual agreement with the school, school board, school district, or school-affiliated entity, at times when students are present” and includes employees of a contractor.


Pursuant to KRS 160.380(7)(a), superintendents must require a contractor “who works on school premises during school hours” to submit to national and state background checks by KSP and the FBI, as well as provide a letter from CHFS indicating the contractor does not have any substantiated findings of child abuse or neglect according to CHFS records.


Therefore, if a contractor who has (1) access to school grounds at times when students are present and (2) works on the school premises during school hours, the superintendent must require that individual to submit to background checks through KSP, the FBI, and CHFS. For example, if a school district contracts with an occupational therapist to provide services to students at the school during school hours, the superintendent must require the occupational therapist contractor to submit to background checks through KSP, the FBI, and CHFS under KRS 160.380.


For those individuals who only work on school premises outside of school hours, the superintendent may require those contractors to submit to background checks through KSP, the FBI, and CHFS, but is not required to do so. For example, a sports official who only works at the school outside of school hours is not required to submit to background checks through KSP, the FBI, and CHFS under KRS 160.380, but may be required to do so at the superintendent’s discretion. Furthermore, KRS 160.380 indicates superintendents may require contractors who do not have contact with students; volunteers; or visitors to submit to background checks through KSP, the FBI, and CHFS, but again are not required to do so.


If you have questions, please contact Todd G. Allen.




Commissioner Lewis response to the Rank II Waiver issued this week by KDE/EPSB


Please note that educators can still obtain a Master's degree but it's not required by the state. vc


Dear Superintendent,


At the August 20, 2018 meeting, the Education Professional Standards Board waived the mandatory requirement for an educator to obtain a Rank II. KRS 161.1211 defines Rank II as “Those holding regular certificates and who have a master’s degree in a subject field approved by the Education Professional Standards Board or equivalent continuing education.” That definition has not changed. Educators are still able to pursue and obtain Rank II to advance in the profession. 


The waiver of the mandatory requirement that educators obtain their Rank II, is a waiver of the renewal requirements established in 16 KAR 2:010, Section 3, for the first and second renewal of the professional certificate. Going forward, professional certificates can be renewed using the requirements of 16 KAR 4:060, Section 1. If an educator has three years of teaching experience during the five year period of the certificate, or six semester hours of credit, they will be able to renew their professional certificate.


KRS 161.020(3) states, “The validity and terms for the renewal of any certificate shall be determined by the laws and regulations in effect at the time the certificate was issued.” Therefore, the current waiver does not allow the Board to retroactively renew certificates that previously lapsed due to the requirements of 16 KAR 2:010 not being met. All educators whose professional certificate expired prior to June 30, 2018, will need to meet the requirements of 16 KAR 4:090, Section 1(2), for reissuance. Upon application, and proof of an additional six hours of graduate credit, the educator’s certificate will be reissued for five years.


Those educators whose professional certificate expired June 30, 2018, can renew using 16 KAR 4:060, Section 1. If the educator has three years of teaching experience within the last five years, or six semester hours of credit, they can renew their professional certificate with an effective date of July 1, 2018 in accordance with 16 KAR 4:050, Section 3(1). 


It is important to note that this decision was narrow in scope. The Board did not waive program admission requirements or program completion requirements. If a program for certification requires completion of a master’s degree, the educator will still need to obtain the master’s and complete the program for issuance of a certificate. If a master’s or Rank II is required for admission to a preparation program, that requirement is also still in effect.


We are also developing an FAQ sheet to help as you work with your teachers. Should you have any further questions, please contact Rob Akers at



cid image010.png@01D1F965.FBDCA6D0

Wayne D. Lewis, Ph.D.

Interim Commissioner of Education

Office of the Commissioner

Kentucky Department of Education

300 Sower Blvd, 5th Floor

Frankfort, KY 40601

(502) 564-3141, ext. 4806 – Fax (502)-564-5680




Since 2006, Career Cruising has provided an electronic advising tool for schools in Kentucky to utilize with students in grades six through twelve. As of June 30, 2018, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) is ending its contract with Career Cruising. The termination of the contract comes after feedback from our districts and schools regarding the need and desire for more flexibility in developing advising and career planning programs that meets the individual needs of students. 


Districts and schools will now have the opportunity to develop their own comprehensive advising programs (individual learning plans) by determining the methods which may include tools such as vendor products for advising, developing a program independent of a tool, and incorporating other programs in their design (e.g. Operation Preparation, Close the Deal).


What to expect for 2018-19:

The advising program at each district and school will need to incorporate the requirements for the individual learning plan as outlined in regulation, 704 KAR 3:305Below is a general outline for meeting the advising program requirements for the 2018-19 school year.


What to expect in the future:

Over the next year, KDE will work to develop a comprehensive framework to guide districts and schools in building comprehensive advising programs in the future.





Individual learning plan or ILP means a comprehensive framework for advising students in grades six (6) through twelve (12) to engage in coursework and activities that will best prepare them to both realize college and career success and become contributing members of their communities. (704 KAR 19:002)


The following are regulations and requirements for districts and schools in implementation of an individual learning plan.  During the transition year (2018-19), districts and schools must continue to ensure the following items (at a minimum) are implemented:









District Requirements

All requirements can be found within 704 KAR 3:305.


·         A district is required to:

o   implement an advising and guidance process from grades six (6) through twelve (12) to provide support for the development and implementation of an individual learning plan for each student

o   develop a method to evaluate the effectiveness and results of the individual learning plan process which includes:

§  indicators related to the status of the student in the twelve (12) months following the date of graduation

§  Text Box  Resources   Career and Technical Education Program Areas  KDE Advising Webpage  Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet  Transition Toolkit  Examples    Analysis of transition data and workforce participation data  Student and parent surveysinput from students, parents, and school staff



School Requirements


·         A school is required to:

o   work cooperatively with feeder schools to ensure that each student and parent receives information and advising regarding the relationship between education and career opportunities

o   maintain each student’s ILP (paper format or electronic format)

o   use information from the ILPs about student needs for academic and elective courses to plan academic and elective offerings

Text Box  Resources   Advising and Transition Toolkit    Elementary to Middle School Transition Toolkit    Middle to High School Transition Toolkit    Academic Advising Toolkit    Career Advising Toolkit    Personal Advising Toolkit  American School Counselor Association  Career and Technical Education  College Board Road Map to Careers  Education World Counseling Center  Federal Student Aid  Focus Talent and Focus Career  Junior Achievement USA  Kentucky Career Center  Kentucky Chamber of Commerce  Excellence in Education  Kentucky Academic Studies  Vocational Studies  KHEAA  National Association for College Admission Counseling  New Skills for Youth Kentucky  Regional Career Academies  O NET Interest Profiler  O NET Online  Operation Preparation


Plan Requirements


·         An ILP must:

o   include career development and awareness and specifically address Vocational Studies Academic Expectations 2.36-2.38 as established in Academic expectations, 703 KAR 4:060

o   be readily available to the student and parent and reviewed and approved at least annually by the student, parents, and school officials

o   set learning goals for the student based on academic and career interests (beginning with the student’s 8th grade year)

o   identify required academic courses, electives, and extracurricular opportunities aligned to the student’s postsecondary goals

o   begin by the end of the sixth grade year

o   focus on career exploration and related postsecondary education and training needs

o   include information about financial planning for postsecondary education

Text Box  Resources   Examples from other states and organizations  Career Cruising Xello  Infinite Campus Multi-year Academic Planner  Google for Education  KY GoDIGITAL  National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability ILP Guidance  Naviance  NavigoPrep  State of Washington Student Learning Plans  US Dept. of Labor ILP Resources  Wisconsin Academic and Career Planning Resources


Special Notes:

Early Graduation: Students working toward early graduation and receipt of a corresponding Early Graduation Certificate shall be supported by development and monitoring of an individual learning plan to support their efforts.


Extended School Services (ESS): Schools shall inform parents and guardians of extended school services including a specific notification to parents or guardians of their child's eligibility to be assigned to extended school services, including the manner in which a personalized student intervention plan and goals will be included as part of the student's individual learning plan to help ensure that the student is able to achieve the student's academic and career goals.


Individual Learning Plan Addendum (ILPA):

The ILPA is a different requirement from the advising program requirements stated in 704 KAR 3:305, and is used to support student transitions to and from alternative education programs.  It is critical to note that the ILPA will continue to be required for every student enrolled in alternative programs per 704 KAR: 19:002. As a reminder, the ILPA is an action plan that addresses the changed educational needs of a student based upon entry into or exit from an alternative education program that includes, as appropriate, academic and behavioral needs of the student, criteria for the student’s re-entry into the traditional program, and provisions for regular review of the student’s progress throughout the school year while in an alternative education program.


For more information on ILPA please review the KDE ILPA resources. The entry of the ILPA in Infinite Campus is required for all students transitioning into a district-operated alternative education program.

Text Box  Resources   Alternative Education Programs ILPA Data Standards  Smart Goals PowerPoint   ILPA with Smart Goals PowerPoint  Alternative Education Programs ILPA Training PowerPoint    Resources for use of ILPA in Infinite Campus   ILPA User Security Instruction  ILPA Set-up Instruction  ILPA Team Member District Assignment Instruction    Alternative education programs that serve students from outside districts should reference the Alternative Education Programs Out of District Services data standards.  KECSAC facilities should reference the Alternative Education Programs KECSAC Data Standards.    All programs should reference the Student Records Transfer Data Standards to ensure policies and procedures are in place to transfer student data in a timely manner.

Kentucky Department of Education Contacts


Sherri Clusky, Alternative Learning Branch


Robin McCoy, School Counseling Program Coordinator


April Pieper, Academic Program Manager


Jennifer Pusateri, Education Consultant


Jarrod Slone, Intervention Consultant






v Dealing with Tough Questions: How to Help Your Students Cope after a Tragic Event

In the aftermath of the recent school shootings, difficult questions from students are inevitable. We have compiled a list of resources that can help parents and educators when confronted with these tough questions.


·       The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created a document called “Tips for Talking with and Helping Children and Youth Cope after a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers” to help guide adults respond to youth in an appropriate manner. This four-page document details age-specific behaviors that children might exhibit after a traumatic event and offers tips for dealing with student responses to a tragedy. SAMSHA also provides more resources on its page “Coping with Traumatic Events: Resources for Children, Parents, Educators, and Other Professionals.”

·       Media coverage of the events might even be traumatic for some children. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers guidance to help parents and educators deal with media coverage. Coping with Disaster explains how to recognize signs of stress, how to ease this stress, and how to help children cope.

·       The National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers a compilation of School Shooting Resources including documents for helping school-age children and teens with traumatic grief.

·       The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress compiled a list of Disaster Response and Recovery Resources after the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting. Fact briefs include Coping with Stress Following a Mass Shooting and Grief Leadership: Leadership in the Wake of a Tragedy to name a few.

·       The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress offers Practical Suggestions for Assisting Children in the Aftermath of a Tragedy.


For additional information about crisis response and school safety in general, please contact any of our school safety consultants by email or phone.

·       Victoria Fields, or (502) 564-4772, ext. 4015

·       Rae Burgess, (502) 564-4772, ext. 4019

·       Doug Roberts, (502) 564-4772, ext. 4055




April 2018 BOE Working Session ppt




KASS Final GA Report




State Budget


Pension Info Summary


Threat Assessment


Enacted 2018 Bills





Link to a Better State Budget and Tax Revenue Plan by the KY Center  for Economic Policy








Legislative Update:


Good morning Rocket Staff:


I’m sharing this email from Tom Shelton, my KY Assoc School Supt President.  We expect the Gov to VETO the Budget, Pension and Tax Revenue Bill.  I need to clarify some discussion points from yesterday.


We need to advocate for Public Education!

We need to encourage our legislators to fully fund public education.  Not Charter Schools.

We need to demand that legislators honor our pension benefits and reconsider their plan to put new hires into a “hybrid system” which will force new talent to consider other careers other than education.


If the Gov vetoes the Pension Bill and the legislators don’t override the veto then our pension will revert back to the way it currently is.

If the Gov vetoes the Budget Bill and the legislators don’t override the veto then the budget reverts to the Gov spending plan, which is bad for Ed and our State.  We need to strongly encourage that our legislators override the Budget Veto. If not it would cost our district over $500,000 for Transportation, HealthCare and Classified Pensions (CERS).  The secondary cuts in the form of 6.5% and support programs could reach another $300,000+


We are committed to sending a delegation of 12 staff to Frankfort on Friday to rally these points and encourage ALL that can to rally in Frankfort on Saturday which is the final day of the legislative session in which lawmakers will be responding to the Gov vetoes. 




From: Tom Shelton [
Sent: Monday, April 9, 2018 2:59 PM
Subject: Governor Announces Intent to Veto Budget/Revenue Bills


Vince Clark <>

8:50 AM (4 hours ago)
to eccChrisrmasseyrmcdanielspcollinswasbridgeedlacue

Good morning Rocket Staff:


I’m sharing this email from Tom Shelton, my KY Assoc School Supt President.  We expect the Gov to VETO the Budget, Pension and Tax Revenue Bill.  I need to clarify some discussion points from yesterday.


We need to advocate for Public Education!

We need to encourage our legislators to fully fund public education.  Not Charter Schools.

We need to demand that legislators honor our pension benefits and reconsider their plan to put new hires into a “hybrid system” which will force new talent to consider other careers other than education.


If the Gov vetoes the Pension Bill and the legislators don’t override the veto then our pension will revert back to the way it currently is.

If the Gov vetoes the Budget Bill and the legislators don’t override the veto then the budget reverts to the Gov spending plan, which is bad for Ed and our State.  We need to strongly encourage that our legislators override the Budget Veto. If not it would cost our district over $500,000 for Transportation, HealthCare and Classified Pensions (CERS).  The secondary cuts in the form of 6.5% and support programs could reach another $300,000+


We are committed to sending a delegation of 12 staff to Frankfort on Friday to rally these points and encourage ALL that can to rally in Frankfort on Saturday which is the final day of the legislative session in which lawmakers will be responding to the Gov vetoes. 





Legislators release SB1 / Pension Reform Bill after 33 days.  The message below is from Ky School Boards Association:

This bill is more Educator Friendly but there are some concerns for Local BOE and Communities:


Senate Bill 1 | the Pension Reform Proposal



By now, you have likely read the news reports regarding Senate Bill 1, the pension reform bill introduced Tuesday by Sen. Joe Bowen. This bill represents the work of leadership in the House and Senate over the last several months and it does, indeed, contain some significant changes when compared with the bill proposed by Gov. Matt Bevin last fall. 


SB 1 involves all public pension systems, covering legislators, judges, state employees, state police and, of course, teachers and classified school staff. We want our members to know that legislators have met with us and other K groups, including the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, several times since the session began to discuss pension reform, and we have offered input that has had an impact on this bill. We are grateful for those opportunities and, while some of the most significant drawbacks of the previous bill from last fall have been addressed in this version, some major concerns for school boards and our employees remain to be analyzed and addressed.


Please find the text of the bill itself at this link.


Please also consult this section-by-section summary of the bill, prepared by staff of the Legislative Research Commission.





Three Primary Concerns



As we continue to re-read and analyze the bill over the next few days, we do want to draw your attention to perhaps the three foremost concerns from the school board perspective:



1) This bill does NOT contain any provision to allow for a gradual phase-in on the CERS employer contribution rate increase set to take effect July 1. School boards, cities, counties and other local entities simply must have some relief from that dramatic rate increase. Without it, some districts may face insolvency from that cost increase alone, even without other budget cuts or cost shifts. 


A bill was introduced in the House Tuesday by several members of the minority caucus to enact such a phase-in; however, that bill is unlikely to be the vehicle to accomplish this critical change. We believe members of the House or Senate majority caucus will file a similar bill on this issue soon, and we will be watching closely for such a filing. 


—PLEASE CONTINUE to advocate for this important change.





2) This bill would require school boards to begin making a 2 percent (of payroll) contribution toward pension benefits for new hires in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) going forward, on and after Jan. 1, 2019. These new hires would be covered by the new tier of benefits to be created in TRS, structured as a hybrid cash balance plan (meaning a hybrid between a traditional defined benefit pension plan and a defined contribution system – having elements of both). You can see this specific provision on page 227 of the bill draft. The contributions from local districts would be used to help offset amounts contributed toward the pension fund by the state. Due to the numerous cost shifts to local districts over the last decade or more, combined with proposed state budget cuts and the collapse of local tax revenues in many areas, this or any new local funding mandate (in virtually any amount) is concerning.





3) The bill would shift the method by which the pension systems are funded to the so-called “level dollar” method. This would cause the overall amount of contributions into the funds in the near future to increase substantially. This change would not fully take effect for another two years, pushing it beyond this state biennial budget cycle; however, without tax reform to generate additional state revenues before then, it is possible the increased costs to the state in the next budget cycle will mean further state budget cuts to schools into the future.


—PLEASE CONTINUE to advocate for tax reform that is revenue positive, meaning it will generate additional state receipts for an adequate investment in our students, as well as the pensions provided to our staff.





At this time, Senate President Robert Stivers, House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne and Sen. Bowen have stated that preliminary estimates from the actuaries show this overall bill would save the state more than $4 billion over the next 30 years, as the unfunded pension liabilities are paid off. The formal actuarial analysis statement on the bill has not yet been posted to the LRC website, but it likely will be soon.


—PLEASE CONTINUE to review this bill. We will provide more information soon as we continue to work on this.





State Budget Proposal is Close



Lastly, on the budget front, we are perhaps a week away from the House releasing its budget proposal. We are cautiously optimistic that your advocacy is having a great impact in Frankfort, and that many, if not most, of the proposed budget cuts will be restored to our classrooms. Your continued engagement on that front is essential until the very last moments of session!





LRC Message Line: 1-800-372-7181





Proposed cuts to public education by Gov Bevin.


Ky Center on Economic Policy





This white paper explains the lack of funding for American Public Schools including KY, which is funded 3rd worse in our nation since 2008.


Funding for Public Education




Career Progression Task Force ladder research from EPSB.


At the December 11, 2017, meeting of the Education Professional Standards Board, the Board created the Career Progressions Task Force and approved the charter. For additional information, we encourage everyone to review the Board presentation from October and Toward a Coherent Kentucky Teacher Career Ladder.




The following link takes educators to the top 10 ASCD articles of 2017.



Be The Difference Video


NOVICE Reduction slideshow from KDE Jenora Anderson on Teacher Planning Day, Jan 2





More resources over Pension Reform Concern


Revenue Options


Revenue Options to Meet Obligations and Protect Investments

By Jason Bailey
October 31, 2017

To meet our pension obligations and begin reinvesting in a stronger future for the commonwealth, Kentucky needs new revenue. Currently, too many tax breaks drain money that is needed to shore up and sustain public schools, higher education and workforce development; teacher and state worker pension systems; preschool, child care and other family supports; health care, public and mental health; and other priorities.

This menu of revenue options describes some of the main ways to clean up special interest tax breaks so that we can invest in thriving communities. Click here to view the full Revenue Options Report.

In addition to describing options — a comprehensive selection of which could generate more than $1 billion in new revenue — the report explains why Kentucky faces such deep budget challenges and the principles of good tax reform that can put the state on a better path. Because of vast inequalities in our economy today, those at the top are taking home the lion’s share of total economic growth. Yet because Kentucky taxes those at the top the least as a share of income, our tax system does not adequately track this growth. Cleaning up special interest tax breaks will improve the fairness of our tax code and the ability of revenue to grow over time.

Click to read the report.

Click to read a press release summary of the report.





Talking points from KASS Director, Tom  Shelton, on the Proposed Pension Plan:


(1) We don’t need to apply a one-size-fits-all solution to all eight public pensions. The various pensions plans do not have the same level of unfunded liability. TRS and CERS are not in crisis.  We need a more thorough analysis with full collaboration and more transparency to develop long-term, sustainable solutions for the TRS and CERS pension plans.


(2) When TRS and CERS are funded, the systems work. If they had received the actuarially required funding required over the past 12 years, we would not be engaging in these conversations. This is evidenced by the positive results of investment returns over the last two years after additional funding provided from the Governor and General Assembly. 


(3) We should not affect current retirees and current employees; doing so will not eliminate the liability and will only create additional problems. With the Governor’s recent proposal, the pension liability will remain, as it is today, an obligation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  This obligation still must be paid.


(4) We should expand and continue conversations about developing a Shared Responsibility Plan.


(5) A five-year suspension of COLA under the Kentucky pension proposal would have direct and dramatic impact on retirees. In that scenario, a 60-year old retiree making $3,000 a month would lose $71,000 of benefits!


(6) Control of the Teachers Retirement System should remain with TRS, regardless of changes made.  TRS is rated in the top 10 in the nation for teacher retirement investment returns and efficiency of operations!





Kentucky would lose years of education gains if legislature heaps retirement costs onto teachers, local districts-Article below/

Read more here:








Email Letter to our Legislators with concerns of the proposed Pension Reform by Gov Bevin:


[Clark, Vince - Superintendent] Dear Representatives and Senators;



Please accept this email as official communication of my concerns over the proposed pension reforms.  My concerns are listed below:


  • If passed KY should expect forced mass retirements that will have a negative impact on the quality of KY Public Education
  • Actuarial damage to the KRS system
  • Legal challenges
  • Challenge to Recruiting and Retaining new Teachers and Administrators
  • KY should consider a “Shared Responsibility Plan” after committing to properly funding our Retirement System, as promised and considering Tax Reform.





The proposals are unacceptable for the following reasons:



  • The proposals will cause mass retirements of current teachers and administrators.

More than 14,000 TRS members are eligible to retire right now. By diminishing the value of their continued service, most will choose to go ahead and retire. The thousands of vacancies that will result – especially the administrative vacancies – cannot be filled. There simply aren’t enough candidates available to do so. School districts will be crippled.


  • Mass retirements will cause lasting actuarial damage to TRS.

A flood of retirements will place a catastrophic financial burden on TRS. Any substantial change in retirement patterns creates an actuarial impact on the system. A massive number of retirements in a brief period of time has the potential to do permanent harm to the actuarial soundness of TRS. Rather than help the problem, these proposals will make it worse.


  • Eliminating retirement credit for accrued sick leave will result in immediate legal challenges.

Thousands of TRS members have been accruing sick leave days for decades based on a legislative promise, contained in statute, that those accrued days will have a value for retirement purposes. Eliminating the value of those accrued days as part of the retirement calculation for TRS members will almost certainly trigger a complex, protracted and expensive legal challenge.





  • Mass retirements combined with the adoption of a defined contribution retirement plan for new teachers will result in permanent impairment of the ability to recruit and retain a sufficient number of teachers and administrators.

These proposals will make it impossible to staff Kentucky’s school districts with an adequate number of teachers and administrators. Kentucky’s students will pay the price. Achievement and instruction will suffer permanent harm. We will see immediate and irreversible decline in the quality of our public schools.


  • Educators will see their lives and futures permanently harmed, and will hold legislators accountable for their vote on these issues.

Pension reform is an issue that has permanent, life-changing consequences for all current and future educators. And it will impact the quality of public education in Kentucky for generations to come. Make sure legislators understand that their vote on this issue will be assessed on the

basis of how it impacts hundreds, if not thousands, of their constituents.


  • There are other ways to achieve needed reform of TRS.

Numerous other options have been suggested to improve TRS. They are worthy of consideration. A “shared responsibility” plan has been successful in other states, but has barely been considered in Kentucky. TRS is far healthier financially than some other public pension plans in Kentucky, and is worthy of a solution specifically crafted to TRS, rather than sweeping changes that are disproportionate to the issues.



Please reconsider the drastic proposed overhaul to the TRS.   Please consider funding the TRS and Tax Reform before drastically cutting benefits to the educators that have moved our state from the bottom half to the top half in our nation.


Thank you for hearing my concern,





There is a lot of talk on the Pension Reform that Gov Bevin proposed yesterday.  I expect he will call our lawmakers into special session in NOV to pass law to address the Pension Issues we have in KY.  I will post important information on this Blog that will address some of our concerns about Pension Reform Efforts that will impact our Employees and the future of Education.


Keep the Promise Document



Article from KSBA that reviews the plan


The statement below is KSBA's initial response to the pension reform framework released by Gov. Matt Bevin and House and Senate leadership today. Attached is the summary of the framework released at this morning's press conference. If you have questions, please contact KSBA Governmental Relations Director Eric Kennedy,


We at the Kentucky School Boards Association, representing the locally elected school board members across the state, thank Gov. Matt Bevin and the House and Senate leadership for involving us in discussions as they developed the framework for reform of the state public pension systems. Several points of the framework introduced today alleviate some of the concerns we have discussed to this point.

The proposed framework addresses one of our biggest concerns by not including a provision to move teachers into the Social Security system, which could have increased costs at the local level, and increased risk over time.

We are pleased the proposal includes a three-year window for teachers at or near the retirement age to remain in the classroom under their current benefit structure. 

We are also pleased there will be no clawback of the cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) retired teachers have earned over the past few years. The framework does not raise the retirement age and we believe that will benefit students in the classroom.

These changes in the plan, compared with the original PFM recommendations, may alleviate concerns about a mass exodus of experienced teachers from the classroom.

As we continue to analyze the framework, however, several issues will need to be clarified in more detail so that we can know how the entire plan will impact school districts. Among them, district leaders will need to know the total contribution required at the local level toward both retiree health care and toward future pension benefits for new teachers and support staff.  It will also be necessary for us to carefully review the bill language itself, when it is finalized, to ensure no unanticipated negative consequences to education would result.

We are reviewing the framework and look forward to continuing to work faithfully with the governor and the legislature to address the pension issues in a manner that will not lessen the ability of our local schools to provide a world-class education to each and every child across Kentucky.







Good morning Rocket Community,

We've had an spectacular start to the school year.  Thanks to all the staff that made this a Launch to remember!  Just a reminder that school will be cancelled on Monday due to the Eclipse event.  Classes will resume on Tuesday, Aug 22.  The following news release is from KDE on the Every Student Succeeds Act and the implications for KY Education.




No. 17-102 August 16, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: Nancy Rodriguez

Office: (502) 564-2000, ext. 4610 | Cell: (502) 330-5063 | E-mail:


(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt is encouraging all Kentuckians to read and offer feedback on the draft Consolidated State Plan Under the Every Student Succeeds Act that lays out a blueprint for public education in Kentucky.

Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), state education agencies are required to submit a plan detailing the implementation of the law and how federal education dollars will be spent. The ESSA transfers the bulk of education policy and decision making from the federal government back to state and local control.

"Just as the name of the law says, we want every student to succeed," Pruitt said. "This plan will help us close the achievement gap, and enable us to fulfill our vision to empower and equip every child with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to pursue a successful future."

Kentucky's plan is grounded in a year and a half of extensive outreach and engagement efforts with thousands of Kentuckians, including educators at all levels, families, businesses, education partners, policymakers and communities. Senate Bill 1, passed by the Kentucky General Assembly earlier this year, further guided the development of the Kentucky plan.

Kentucky’s Consolidated State Plan is designed to ensure that:

resources are allocated to support the learning of all students;

all students have access to rigorous academic standards, coursework and aligned assessments;

all students have the opportunity for rich learning experiences and a well-rounded and supportive education including opportunities in career and technical education;

the state’s accountability system moves away from a system of competition to one of collaboration among schools and districts, and away from a mentality of compliance in favor of a mindset that promotes continuous improvement;

the school report card provides a more complete and transparent view of each school’s and district’s strengths and weaknesses; and

support is provided to schools with low performance and very low-performing student groups.

At the heart of Kentucky’s state plan is the state’s newly redesigned accountability system. The focus of Kentucky’s new system is students – ensuring they are well-rounded, transition-ready, and prepared to successfully pursue the pathway of their choice after graduating from high school.



Page 2 – Kentucky ESSA Plan

"In developing the system, we challenged our residents to think boldly, to innovate, and in the words of Walt Disney, to ‘plus it’ by taking our system of public education in Kentucky to the next level," Pruitt said.

The system uses multiple academic and school quality measures, not a single test or indicator. An overall rating from one to five stars (lowest to highest performing, respectively) is determined by school or district performance on the following indicators:

• proficiency (in reading/writing and mathematics);

• other academic indicator (proficiency in science and social studies);

• growth (elementary and middle school only);

• transition readiness;

• graduation rate (high school only);

• achievement gap closure; and

• opportunity and access.

Additional information will be reported to provide a complete picture of education in Kentucky.

The state plan outlines measurable goals to address existing challenges in public education. The goals are based on the improvement of performance for a class of students starting kindergarten the first year of the plan and graduating in the year 2030.

In general, Kentucky’s goals are to:

• Increase academic achievement significantly for all students in the state;

• Decrease the achievement gap of all students and among each student group;

• Significantly increase the cohort graduation rate to 95 percent (4-year rate) and 96 percent (5-year extended rate) for all students and each student group;

• Increase the proportion of proficient English language learner (EL) students making significant progress toward becoming proficient in the English language;

Specific goals are set for each student group. Progress will be reported annually. Intermediate goals also are established in three-year intervals from a 2018-19 baseline to 2030.

"The goals are very ambitious," Pruitt said. "This rate of improvement has never been seen in Kentucky or the nation, yet will result in each of our students being prepared for additional education, training and ultimately the workplace or military."

To see the draft of Kentucky’s ESSA plan, an overview of the accountability system or other information on ESSA in Kentucky, click here:

Public comment on the draft state plan may be emailed to by

September 5. Comments also may be mailed to:

Mary Ann Miller, Chief of Staff

Kentucky Department of Education

300 Sower Blvd, 5th Floor

Frankfort, KY 40601

All comments will be considered before submission of the plan to the U.S. Department of Education on September 18.





Welcome Back to School, Students and Staff!  We are excited to get this school year started and implement our LAUNCH, LEAD, LEARN !  #bethedifference theme for the 2017-2018 school year.  Our painters are completing their summer projects, the custodians have the floors and buildings ready and our maintenance team has completed a LED lighting project that will reduce our energy consumption by 25%.  Teachers have spent countless hours preparing rooms for their students.  Our administrative teams have been busy hiring new staff and training their teams to be lead our students.  Our football, soccer, volleyball, golf, band, cheer and cross country teams have been working hard this summer for their upcoming seasons.  The extra time this summer break has been nice to get things ready for an outstanding school year full of opportunities to Empower and Engage, Every Student Every Day!


I am happy to report that many initiatives that we LAUNCHED last year will be sustained this school year.  Free Breakfast and Lunch for every student will be available again and we encourage everyone to participate in these meals every day.  Participation is key and critical to keep this program available to our students.  Our Chromebook initiative will continue at the HS and MS and will be expanded to 5th graders this school year.  5th graders will be day users only and will not be allowed to take the devices home but we were able to add 60 more Chromebooks for the 3rd/4th grade teams to use devices for daily learning activities directed by their teachers.  All our district’s IPads were pushed down to the early elementary grades to promote technology learning opportunities for all students. We will keep the $20 Tech fee for MS and HS students but this year there will be $5 reduction for each MS/HS student in the household.  No Tech fee will be implemented for elementary students.  Other initiatives that we are proud to offer is the RocketWay Snow Day-learn from home initiative, Crosswalk/Bridgeway Learning Centers, Mountain Comp Care, Pathway Academy through Virtual Education, and School Nurses.  It’s worth noting that our district will be launching All Day PreSchool for our students this year.  This is a great opportunity for our students to get a head start on learning and preparing them for Kindergarten.


I am pleased to share that our LEADERSHIP teams are making significant impact on learning opportunities for our students.  Our Student Energy Leadership Teams at each school have helped our district reduce our energy consumption, #ChromeConnect Leadership team helped us roll out 700 Chromebooks at the HS/MS in January and now we are adding 150 devices at CCES and each 5th grader will be assigned a device.  We were able to recognize 17 HS students in May for Work Ready Ethic Certification which was a huge collaboration among our local community members.  We were able to expand  dual credit credentials from 22 students in 2016 to 47 students in 2017 that completed over 100 dual credit courses.  Anyone wishing to make a difference (#bethedifference) can donate to this initiative because our students get a discounted rate of $54 per credit hour.  This is a great way to help a student get a head start on college.  Our MS Lighthouse Academy Leadership team is making a difference with their community service leadership projects.  


All of these initiatives and projects impact LEARNING opportunities for our students.  I want to mention a few more Learning initiatives that we especially excited about.  Our Medical/Health Occupations pathway/shadowing will allow our HS students a chance to explore careers related to Health Occupations.  We appreciate the collaboration with the good folks at Crittenden Health Systems that are allowing our students to shadow them and learn more about occupations connected to a hospital.  The Google Tools that we are using with our Chromebook initiative are making us more efficient and less dependent on paper and we continue to move to a more paperless work environment.  Our BOE is making courageous steps to improve our district facilities. We just completed a HS library remodel that will allow us to serve MS and HS students in one library while creating much needed space in the MS.   We are working hard for our students, they deserve our best effort, every day.  Nelson Mandella once said that “it always seems impossible until it’s done.”  We look to improve our 0.9% dropout rate and our 95.13% attendance rate.  Even though this is our best rate in 12 years we still had 25.11% of our students miss 10 or more days of school this past school year.  Our Rocket Leadership Team is working hard to provide our 1300 students the best education possible.  We look forward to seeing you at our CCES Sneak A Peek on Thursday, August 10 from 5:00-7:30, CCMS Back To School Bash from 4:30-6:00 on Monday, August 14 and the CCHS Mission Launch is Monday August 14 from 5:30-7:30.  This is going to be a great school year to #bethedifference!




Rocket Reflection for EOY


Let me begin by saying it’s been an exceptional great school year, evidenced by the 82 graduates last Friday at Rocket Arena.  I was inspired to see the many family, friends and staff that came out to support our graduates during graduation week.  I am reminded that it truly takes all of us to make this Rocket Education work.  The good people of Crittenden County always rally around our students and the support for our schools is tremendous not only from the scholarships handed out last Thursday but also from the volunteer, mentoring, fundraisers and just words of encouragement.

Even though this has been a rewarding school year for all our students, it has had it challenges.  But from adversity comes success.  I am reminded of an old adage that says “ most people don’t aim too high and miss, they aim too low and hit”.  Our district has implemented several initiatives this year that deserve recognition for their impact on time, revenue and engagement.  A few of those include the Infinite Campus Online Registration, Free Breakfast/Lunch for all students, Rocket Way Learn from Home Snow Day, Work Ready Certification and #Chromebook device rollout for our middle and high school students.  Our leadership teams also grew, they include District Teacher Leaders, Student Energy Efficiency Leadership Team, #ChromeConnect Leadership Team and our Lighthouse Academy Leadership Team at CCMS.  Forty Seven students took dual credit courses at our high school this year with minimal cost to the student and family.  These students get a head start on their college pathway with the opportunity of graduating earlier, saving time and funds.  Our district will be implementing full day preschool next year, which in my opinion is the most important initiative our district and state can implement for the future our Commonwealth and our community.

One of the greatest challenges public schools face is preparing students for future careers/jobs that don’t even exist today.  4 of the top 10 jobs in 2010 didn’t even exist in 2005 and that # is expected to grow.  As we strive to Empower and Engage, Every Students Every Day we challenge students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, collaborators, communicators and innovators.  As a proficient school district we embrace change but our Crittenden County BOE also embraces courageous leadership.  The type of leadership that gets involved and creates learning opportunities for all students.  Our BOE developed our Crittenden County School District Strategic Plan which focuses on 1) Student Success 2) Highly Qualified Staff 3) Resource Efficiency/Effectiveness 4) Safety/Security.  These four components help align our efforts and calls attention to what’s most important.

In closing,  I want to Thank all our staff for making Crittenden County Schools an Inspiring place to teach and learn.  I want to Thank our community for supporting our students and our efforts to provide them a ROCKET Education for which they can be proud.




This information addresses some our concerns surrounding the Charter School Legislation that was recently passed:


Charter Schools Question and Answer Document





The following ppt shows essential information about our finances and the need to replace our 67 year old MS with a new $6.7 million HS.  This ppt was shown at the April 20 BOE Facility Forum at the CCMS Library.


April 20 Facility Forum @ CCMS


An investment in our students and schools is an investment in our community.


The second Crittenden County BOE Facility forum was well attended with folks expressing support and opposition for the proposed “Second Recallable Nickel” tax to fund the replacement of our 67 year old middle school with a new high school.  It was important that our BOE hear from our community, the tax payers that fund educational opportunities for our students.  At issue, is the proposed additional nickel equivalent that would be added to our property tax that would generate an additional $239,000 of local revenue that would translate into an additional $3.4 million to our existing $4.75 million bonding potential to build a new $6.7 million high school and renovate the existing high school and 8th wing for a total of $8 million.  The average home owner ($76,000) would pay an additional $44 and the average land owner (251 acres) would pay an addition $54 each year to give our district the extra funds to upgrade our facilities for our students.  The state add an additional $3.1 million through their equalization formula if we adopt the “Second Recallable Nickel”.  Currently there are 52 school districts (out of 173) that are receiving additional funding from the state for adopting the second nickel.  This funding will help address some of the $31 million in facility needs identified by the Local Planning Committee who developed our District Facility Plan last year.

It is more important than ever that our students are getting a 21st Century Education so they can compete for high in demand jobs and careers.  This is a difficult decision for our BOE to consider and we appreciate the feedback and support given at our forums.  Educating students is complex and intense work.  With increased accountability that includes graduation rate, Novice reduction, response to intervention and preparing students to be College and Career Ready, it is important to make sure our students are getting the best education possible so they can compete for the best paying jobs.  An investment in our students and schools is also an investment in our community.  An educated community is connected to economic development and ensures that we can provide community services like healthcare, government and commerce which play a vital role in our quality of life for all citizens.







SB1 Update from KDE




Our District and HS Administrative team enjoyed a Lunch and Learn session with Madisonville Community College today discussing future Dual Credit Opportunities for our students.  Please note the following:

HS students may, with proper approval, begin registering for Dual Credit courses offered through Madisonville Comm College in April.  In the past students had to wait until August.

KY will cover up to 9 hours of Dual Credit Courses while in HS and our Rocket Academy Scholarship up to 9 hours.  Other cost will be covered by the student/family at a reduced rate of $52/credit hour (1/3 the cost).

MCC offers over 200 dual credit courses for HS students, please see your Guidance Counselor.

The following link covers the information shared today in Madisonville.


Madisonville Comm College-Dual Credit Opportunities






Congratulations to Crittenden Co Middle School as they rolled out 300 Chromebooks to assist in student engagement and development of 21st Century Learning Skills.


Our District Admin Team collaborated with Union, Webster, Henderson Schools and Madisonville-Henderson Community Colleges today to promote Postsecondary Readiness opportunities for our students.  Good conversations and updates on SB1, Legislative action, Career pathways and College Readiness information.  Click on the link to see more information


Audubon Ed P-16 Council, Jan 17-2017





Here are some links that explain the #Chromebook Connect TECH Initiative









Crittenden County Schools is proud to initiate our Chromebook plan for Crittenden Co Middle and High School students.  The high school rollout was initiated on December 15 and will conclude on February 3.  The middle school will initiate a daily Chromebook plan in January but all students will have access to their own personal Chromebook to complete projects and lessons.  The middle school principal and SBDM will determine at what time students may become Take-Home users.

This is an exciting time for our students and staff and the goal is to Empower and Engage students in 21st Century Learning skills like Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Collaboration and Communication.  Teachers are also piloting Chromebook Touch devices to design lessons that involve the learner so that our students are producers of information and not just consumers of information.

Here are some details that may be of importance to parents and students:

All MS/HS students will be assigned a Chromebook.  They will be a Day User or Take Home User.

Students will be assigned the same Chromebook each year.

$20 Tech Fee for all students will help us sustain this project.  

50% repair charge for those that pay the Tech Fee.  100% repair charge for all others. Chargers=full price

We will have a few loaner devices that students may borrow while a device is repaired.

If your device is lost or stolen you must report it immediately to a school official.




Article for The Crittenden Press


With silent lips.  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearing to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  Emma Lazarus

Public education plays a vital role in preparing our students for the future of our communities.  It is not just making sure that students graduate,  but also that they graduate career- or college-ready and, above that, that they are community-ready.  One of our collective missions is to make sure students can accept the the challenges of the common good.  John Adams stated in 1785 that the whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people.  Our public schools are expected to fulfill certain public missions that go beyond the purely academic purposes of all schools, including:

  1. To provide universal access to free education
  2. To guarantee equal opportunities for all children
  3. To unify a diverse population
  4. To prepare people for citizenship in a democratic society
  5. To prepare people  to become economically self sufficient
  6. To improve social conditions

I wish to recognize our teachers and staff for all they give to not only educate our young people,  but also to make sure they are community-ready.  It’s our duty to educate all students, and “all” means all.  Our community depends on it. Our society depends on it.  The investment we make today into our students impacts the future of our community, state, and nation.  Crittenden County Schools is grateful for the support from our community.  We continue to build relationships and collaboration to grow opportunities for our students.  By working together, we can make Crittenden County a great place to live and learn.





Great start to the school year!  Our theme is "Inspiring Greatness" because we have great students and great staff.  Please read my back to school letter and first week report under Supt News.  I want to report our Sept 27 BOE meeting is changed to September 22 @6:00 pm and will be held at Crittenden Co Elem School.

We will hold a special called BOE meeting on Sept 2 at 5:45 to set the Local tax rate.  The meeting will take place at Rocket ARena Conference Room.  Currently our rate is 47.8cents per $100 of assessed property value and I will making a recommendation that our new rate be 45.9 cents per $100 for real property and 47.4 cents/$100 for personal property.




Prichard Committee, Kentucky Chamber issue "citizen's guide" to education in the state, progress made since enactment of KERA, ongoing issues


The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce have produced a special report tracking changes – and improvements – in the state's public education system over the last three decades. The document is now available online.

Titled "A Citizen's Guide to Kentucky Education reform, progress, continuing challenges," is a 10-page pamphlet that examines the state's K-12 and postsecondary education systems from the 1980s through today.

"Educators and policymakers have contributed tirelessly to Kentucky’s efforts to build a world-class education. But they have not tackled the problems alone," the report's authors write. "The state’s advocacy and business communities have been consistent partners in this work – sometimes pointing out shortcomings and calling for change, sometimes conveying messages of celebration, but always remaining steadfast in their support of Kentucky’s schools.

"Through the passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act, the adoption of tougher academic standards, the reforms of postsecondary education and other key developments, business and community leaders have been consistent in their outspoken advocacy on behalf of Kentucky’s future and the high-quality education system essential to building it," the report reads.

The report covers areas such as the changes brought about in the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 and the Postsecondary Education Reform Act of 1997, dealing with the impact on P-20 programs by both of those laws. Information includes how Kentucky's academic performance measurements have changed in that period of time as well as how the state's per-pupil spending has fared compared with the national average. Also featured are data points on college degrees awarded over the last decade.

The full report may be viewed in pdf-form on the Web here





Our district will initiate our LPC/Facility PLan starting on July 14 @ 6:00 pm at Rocket Arena Conf Room.



Advertisement for Crittenden County Schools

Local Planning Committee  Orientation/ Training Meeting


The Crittenden County Schools’ Local Planning Committee (LPC) will conduct a PUBLIC MEETING on July 14, 2016 at 6:00pm, at the Crittenden County Schools, 601 West Elm Street in the Rocker Arena Conference Room, Marion, KY  42064.   This is the first in a series of meetings to develop a District Facilities Plan for Crittenden County Schools.  The Kentucky Department of Education will be conducting a training session for LPC members at the first meeting. These meetings and future meetings will be informal gatherings to encourage local participation through community suggestions relative to future utilization of existing school facilities and construction of new school facilities. These community suggestions or recommendations will be closely monitored by the Local Planning Committee in the development of a proposed District Facility Plan for the Crittenden County School District.


The public is welcome and invited to this series of meetings.



Please find below a letter from our Commissioner of Ed, Dr. Stephen Pruitt, to USED on USED directive on accountability surrounding ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), which replaces NCLB and is supposedly allowing for more local control.


KY Commissioner Letter




Please note our statement concerning the US Department of Justice and Education letter of guidance on the use of restrooms by transgender students.


The goal of Crittenden County Schools is to protect the rights of all students while providing equal access to a public education in a safe learning environment.  While our district does not have a specific policy pertaining to the use of restrooms  by transgender students, we do have  a non-discrimination policy in place that states: There will be no discrimination in the Crittenden County School District based on age, color, disability, race, national origin, religion, sex or veteran status in its programs, services, activities and employment.


Crittenden County schools is waiting on guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education and the Kentucky School Boards Association before adopting policies that address the rights of transgender students. Currently, our practice is to accommodate all students in a safe learning environment within the resources of our facilities through collaboration with the student, parent, and school staff.




Good morning, lots going on this month in Crittenden County Schools.  Horizons and the Jr Class have returned from their trips to Europe and Washington DC.  Mrs. Kim Vince will be presenting to the BOE on Thursday, April 21 on both trips.  Our CCMS Chess Team just returned from Indianapolis yesterday where they finished 6th out of 32 teams in the United States Chess Federation National Tournament.  We are so proud of our "Blue Knights" and Coach Don Winters.  What a great accomplishment. They defeated teams from New Jersey, New York, Michigan and Nebraska to finish in the top ten. They missed 4th place by 1/2 half a point.  They will be recognized at our BOE meeting on Thursday night. 


CCMS Chess Team Info


CCMS Chess Team Photo w/ Trophy


FBLA will be competing this week in Louisville.  We'll know more on WED.


On another note, it appears that public education will escape proposed budget cuts by the Gov as Legislators hammered out a Budget last week.  The Gov still has Veto authority without any overrides by Legislators due to time constraints.

Some of the good news is that public education may not endure the 4.5% for the current year or 9% for each of the following 2 years.  We are not getting any more funds but we are not getting any less funds either.  This is important as Textbook/Tech, ESS, Safe Schools, and especially FRYSC appeared to be spared.  These programs help to support staff and schools to close the learning gap for students.

Another item that I'm excited about for our graduates includes the establishment of the "Work Ready Scholarship" for students with a 2.5 GPA who take at least 15 hours of college credits at any Community College or University/College in KY.  This "tuition gap scholarship" provides a debt free 2-year jump for students working towards their college degree.


I invite everyone out to the CCHS/MS "Arts in the Evening @ 6:00 in the MPR.  You'll see some special projects that our students have completed!




Congratulations Chess Team,

Here is a note from Chess Team Coach Don Winters,


On Saturday the Blue Knights competed in the State Team Chess Tournament in Shepherdsville.  There were 64 total teams, 16 in each section, K3, K5, K8, and K12 competing for a state championship. 


The K8 team of Chase Stevens, Skyler James, Cole Swinford, Gage Russell, and Dominic Rorer was able to get 3 out of 4 points and come away with a 2nd place finish.  They were able to win against Beaumont, Sayer, and Thomas Jefferson.  Their only loss would come against Winburn Middle from Lexington, who would go on to be this year’s state champions.  I could not be prouder of this K8 team.  They have been at the top of their section all year and to come away with 2nd in the state is truly an accomplishment.  A 2nd place finish earns them a trip to the Junior High National Championship in Indianapolis in April.  This is the first team to place in the top two at State since 2000, in which the Middle School team won the state championship, and I was a player on that team.


The K12 team of Benny Tucker, Clay Stevens, Gage Moore, and Brandon Wilson tied for 7th place with just 2 wins. 


The K5 team and K3 team had a tough tournament playing against and losing to teams who all placed in the top 5.  K3 team members were Hayden Hildebrand, Wyatt Russell, Zak Smith, Nai’Zayah Bell, Donte Bell, Kole Willams, and Zeke Smith.  K5 team members were Evan McDowell, Abbey Swinford, Marley Phelps, Mya Moore, Maddie Schiller, and Koby Willams.


I am extremely proud of all of these players.  Each one represented their team and community very well.  They played very well against some very tough competition.  We have had a great season, and I’m looking forward to next year.  Thank you all for your support.


K-8 Chess Team




Good afternoon, I was sad to hear that Judy Rhoads will be retiring as the President of Madisonville Community College.  She has faithfully served MCC and our region since 1998.  I am reminded of the opportunities that our Community Colleges offers our high school graduates through degrees, diplomas and certificates.  MCC helps provide citizens with higher wage in high demand work ready programs as well as seamless transfers into the baccalaureate programs at our universities.  MCC offers several on line, dual credit courses for our high school Jr and Srs.  This is a great way to get a head start on your college academics at a reduced tuition rate.  Visit   for more information.




Good afternoon,  I want to share some important information that will be shared at our March 10 BOE Working Session.

Emily Lowery will be sharing our progress on the Community Eligibility Program for Breakfast and Lunch.  The powerpoint below shares the process for you:


Mrs. D Lusby will be sharing our work on the Non Traditional School Day Application for 2016-17.

This learn from home model has been piloted by 40 school districts this school year and we hope to implement our program next school year to keep learning fresh for students and help manage excessive snow days that we accumulate.  Students would complete electronic lessons from the the internet or prepared learning lessons.




Good morning. Crittenden Co Schools focuses our efforts on creating opportunities for all our students.  From College/Career Ready to Kindergarten Ready, we devote our time and expertise to challenge our students and develop strategies to close performance gaps.  Last week our BOE weighed in another topic of concern for Crittenden Co Student-Athletes as well other small schools across the state.  As you may already know our Boys Basketball team opted out of the All A Classic this year along with neighbors Lyon and Livingston in protest of the recruiting practices through scholarships and financial assistance of other schools in our region and state.  In response, the All  A Classic drafted a rule that now requires all teams in a district to participate in the All A Tournament or none can.  Essentially they told us that if our Boys team did not play next year then our Girls BB team would not be allowed to play or any of our teams which include Golf, Volleyball, Soccer, Baseball, Softball and Cheerleading.  It is disappointing that they would punish other teams to make a point.  To preserve the opportunity for our student athletes we will be participating in the 2016-17 All A tournaments, I applaud our BOE for making the best decision for our students.  The statement by our BOE is included under Superintendent News.


BOE response from Feb 16 on the ALL A





As of today Crittenden County Schools has missed 9 days of school (Jan 11,12,20,21,25 and Feb 9,11,12).  We intend to have a student day on April 11(originally scheduled for a Teacher Plan Day) and move that TP day to May 17.  Last day for students is scheduled for Thursday May 26 at this time but there is more weather expected Sunday/Monday.  At this time Graduation is set for Friday, May 27.  Many more snow days and we will consider Saturday and Spring Break days for make up days to keep students out of June.  I recommend having students read at home and research topics and have discussions about the content.  It is good to challenge their thinking skills when they out for consecutive days.

I want to share a video link that shows us the importance of College and Career Readiness with an emphasis on the Career Ready/Work Ready.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.







Good morning, our 2 hour delay has proven successful as students arrived safely and are now in class.  A 2 hour delay allows our buses extra daylight to see random patches of snow, ice and turnarounds and allows extra time for our HS drivers to arrive safely.  It's amazing how a little more sunlight on our asphalt roads help clear up the roadways. 

I wanted to share that our Food Service Dept is unable to prepare breakfast on days that school starts at 10:00(2 hour delay).  Our kitchens are actually preparing food for lunches at that time.  So we are asking that parents feed their child breakfast on days in which we have a 2 hour delay.  If we operate on a 1 hour delay(9:00 starting time) then students can expect breakfast in the school cafeteria because it allows time to prepare breakfast.  Thank you for your cooperation on these matters.




It was nice to have a full week of school.  I just returned from Frankfort where I was able to meet with several Senators and Representatives about Education issues, Teacher Pension Plans, Budget for Public School Districts and SB 1(KY CommonCore, Assessment/Accountability and Program Review).  I am happy to report that the general feeling is there is a strong commitment that Teacher Pensions will be fully funded but it will take about 4 years to phase in the complete plan as the current budget covers about 2/3 of the required funding from the state budget. Even  though SEEK funding is expected to remain constant at $3981 for each child there are expected cuts in the area a FRYSC, Textbooks, SafeSchools, PreSchool, PD and Extended School Services in terms of 4.5% currently then possibly 9% for the upcoming school year.


I want our community to know that we will remain focused on student and student learning while we adjust to a new governor and budget adjustments.  One of the areas that we are working on is improving the Kindergarten Readiness for students between birth and the age of 5.  Research shows us that 90% of the brain develops in the first 5 years.  A child's vocabulary as early as age 3 can predict third grade reading performance. A child's first classroom is the home and the parent is the first and most important teacher.  The quality and quantity of language is critical.  Reading at grade level by the end of the third grade is a huge predictor of school success.  Any parent or guardian can click on the link below to find more research and activities to engage their child.





December has arrived as our first semester is rapidly coming to a close this month.  We have had a great semester with Proficiency scores for our district and last weeks auditor report stating that our district is in good financial shape with over $1 million in restricted and unrestricted fund balance.  This good news will allow us to move forward on some blacktop projects and facility needs.  We will also be replacing one of our district vehicles used to transport students and staff.  We have held a tight financial line while improving our bus fleet, purchasing textbooks and instructional resources and upgrading technology in all schools.  We are able to maintain our teaching staff to deliver quality instruction with state mandated staff raises thanks to increased enrollment and the 4% tax increase in 2014 that helped generate an additional $110,000.  Our BOE has met twice with KDE to discuss our bonding potential to start conversations about our next building/renovation project.  Currently our Middle School was built in 1949 and our High School was built in 1975.  More conversations will occur during the spring with our Facility Comm meeting in May.

I am also happy to report that the Elementary and Secondary Education Act passed the Every Student Succeeds Act which replaces federal adequate yearly progress with statewide accountability system.  So more local control is in order for public education.

Here is a link to the summary of ESEA reauthorization:




Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.   This quote by Margaret Meade makes me think of our Crittenden County educators and the incredible work they do each day on behalf of all our students.  We have a lot to be Thankful for in Crittenden County and our staff from Bus Drivers, Food service, Custodians, School Office Staff, District Support, Administrators, Teachers and Assistants make this a great place to teach and learn.



Crittenden Co Schools welcomes Mountain Comprehensive Care Center to our district as they provide school based counseling for all students.  MCCC has been established in eastern Kentucky and is expanding their services to western Kentucky.  Students can be referred for services by teachers, parents, medical provider or Family Resource Centers.  Referral forms are located at each school and are managed by the school Guidance Counselor.  Services will begin in November and will be provided by Bill McMicman and Ashley Turley as the search for additional counselors will continue.  Specific information can be found on the MCCC on the Quick Link section on our webpage.




Welcome back students and staff from Fall Break.  I hope everyone had a restful break.  Keep in mind that our 2016 Fall Break is 3 days long opposed to our regular 5 day Fall Break from the past.  We had a great first quarter and we look forward to our second quarter.  Teachers had a Teacher Planning Day yesterday, Oct 19.  Our next Teacher Planning Days will occur on Tuesday, Nov 3 and Monday, January 4.  Teacher planning days allow staff to get updates on district and State initiatives and provide essential planning time for teachers to develop/design Lesson Plans, Formative/Summative assessments and interventions for struggling learners.  Our last Teacher Planning Day is scheduled for Monday, April 11, after spring break. Teacher Planning Days can be used as student make up days due to inclement weather or flu.

Our mission is to engage and empower students every day.  An important part of this mission is for students to be in attendance each day unless they have a valid reason for missing school.  Our District attendance rate after the first quarter stands at 95.51%.  Please make sure students are at school each day unless they have a valid reason for missing school.  Students learn best when they are in a classroom connected to trained educators.  Our goal is to increase our attendance rate to 97%.




We are happy to report that our school district has earned Proficiency Status for the second consecutive year with our 68.6 overall score ranking us in the 86th percentile.  This is the result of coordinated efforts by our teachers, support staff and administration.  None of which could occur without the support and encouragement of our Rocket community and families.  Kudos to Crittenden Co High School and Crittenden Co Elementary for their Proficiency/Progressing rating.  Crittenden Co High School also earned a High Progress rating for being in the top 10% of improvement schools in the state. 

Click here to visit our District or School Report Card:


Our school district is working hard to improve attendance in our district.  Recent data show that after 8 weeks of school our Attendance Rate stands at 95.52 which is greater than last year's mark of 94.86 and the previous year of 94.99 for the same amount of time.  Good attendance is so important to the success of our students and research shows us that excessive absentism is an strong indicator of potential drop out.  Children in pre school, Kindergarten and first grade are less likely to read at grade level by the third grade.  Students that cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.  In high school, irregular attendance is a better predictor of school dropout than test scores.  High school dropouts contribute to a cycle of poverty, poor health, homelessness and incarceration.  Excessive absences are excused or unexcused absences that total more than 10%.



Good morning, I wanted to share our plan to address the ant problem at CCMS.  We have been treating our ant infestation since school started but state regulations control when, what chemicals are used and how often treatments can occur.  Our Pest Management contractor will be here on Friday after students leave the building to inspect and make an interior and exterior treatment for the ants.  They will also inspect the crawl space to determine a nesting site.

We apologize to our students and parents that are enduring the extra visitors when they arrive home. We realize ants are being found in backpacks, books and materials.  Our contractor has been treating the problem and will continue to address the problem.  We need all the lockers emptied tomorrow by 3:00 so the exterminator can treat the infected areas. 

This process will be repeated over fall break.

Thank you,

Supt Clark



A letter to staff:

I wanted to share out some information with everyone as we enter September and we are generating momentum.

Our Blueprint for Success includes the following components that we must be ALL IN(All IN Shirt day is tomorrow) in order to move our district forward.

  1. The development of Pre and Post Summative Assessments that represent what students should learn as a result of being in your classroom.

  2. Concept Calendars that represent what should be covered in 36 weeks.  These big ideas should be chunked out over 36 weeks, divided into instructional units

  3. Lesson Plans that include the Standard, Learning Target, Learning Activity, Question(s) and how the learning will be evaluated (Formative Assessment)

  4. A plan for what happens FOR students in the classroom or school when they don’t learn it

  5. A commitment to PLC Teamwork in which the focus on collaboration reviews the following:

    • What are students expected to learn in my class during the Unit (standards)

    • How will I know when they’ve learned it (assessment)

    • What happens when they don’t learn it (interventions)


Another point of discussion for all Certified Staff involves the issues surrounding KTRS.  Yesterday, GRREC shared the Gov link that shows the work of the KTRS Funding Work Group with Superintendents.  They hope to have a recommendation to the Gov by Dec 1, 2015.  This link will show you the agendas, ppt presentations and other pertinent information that we all should be interested in.  The bottom line is there’s a funding gap for KTRS and recent numbers show that the system is currently 54% solvent and the proposed $3billion selling of bonds(highly recommended) would get us to 74% solvency.  Many legislatures are hesitant to approve the selling of bonds to offset the funding gap and is asking for other components of the KTRS system to be tweaked before adopting a funding solution.  The best advice given yesterday was for all certified staff to contact your legislatures and let them know how important KTRS is to each of us, our community(recruiting/retaining HQ staff) and our state economy.


Here is the link:


Here are our legislator links:


Lynn Bechler, Representative

Bechler, Lynn (State Rep.) (LRC) (


Dorsey Ridley, Senator

Ridley, Dorsey (State Sen.)  (LRC) (Dorsey.Ridley@LRC.KY.GOV)


Thank you for all you do on behalf of students, staff and our schools regardless of the issues we face.



Vince Clark


Crittenden County Schools

601 West Elm Street

Marion, KY   42064

Work: 270-965-3525

Fax:  270-965-9064



As we close out August and get ready for September I want to share some important upcoming dates


Grow Our Own Leaders Program (for any staff member): 3:30-4:30 @ Rocket Arena Conference Room

                *Send me an email if you plan to attend on Sept 10 or any day.  I plan to use ED Leadership articles, Gallup Poll results plus Maxwell’s 21 Laws of Leadership

September 10

October 22

December 10

Spring dates will be determined later.


District Teacher Leader: 3:30-4:30 @ Rocket Arena Conference Room

                *You will receive a calendar invite

September 24

October 29

December 1

Spring dates will be determined later.


Energy Efficiency Leadership Meeting:  1:30-2:30

                *Tammy Duvall, Jody Porter, Carol Davis and Jennifer Bell.  We will need one student leader from each grade level to attend this training.

September 28 @ CCES

December 10 @ Rocket Arena Conf Room

Spring dates will be determined later.


Other important dates are:

#therocketway  ALL IN shirt day is September 4, October 2, November 6, December 4

Safe School Assessment Audit @ CCES on Sept 9

Picture Day at CCHS is Sept 18 ( *All staff need to have picture badges)

Picture Day at CCES is Sept 24

HS Color Run on October 27

Council of Councils Meeting on November 19 at 6:00 ( This includes our BOE, SBDM and Student Councils)


Tax Hearing is Sept 10 at 5:30

BOE Special Called Meeting is Sept 10 and Sept 24 @ 6:00


High Attendance Day is Sept 24 (Currently our attendance is 96.21 compared to 96.21 from last year)


Teacher Planning Days

October 19(KTRS information and TECH Update in the morning and Teacher Planning in the afternoon)

Nov 3 (Understanding Poverty #2 in the morning-Teacher Planning in the afternoon)


I will start my Drop In schedule in September so don’t be surprised to see me in your classroom.

Keep up the good work and the positive energy that has been generated.


ALL IN (Relationships, Optimism, Committed to Excellence, Kids First, Engage/Empower, Teamwork


Please note that our September BOE meeting dates have changed.

Our September 1 working session has been rescheduled for September 10 @ 6:00. This will be a special called meeting. Our required Tax Hearing will be held at 5:30 in Rocket Arena Conference Room

Our September 29 Regular session has been rescheduled for September 24 @ 6:00.  This will be a special called meeting.


Crittenden County Schools has had a busy week with Co-Teaching Training at CCHS and CCES and the Understanding Poverty PD yesterday for our entire staff was a huge success.  Today we have Back to School Bash at CCMS/HS from 4:30-6:00 and CCES has Sneak A Peek from 5:30-7:30.  Cameron Mills (2 time National Champion at UK) spoke last night in Rocket Arena.  Day 2 of our Instructional Strategies Inst will be on Friday, August 7 for all Certified Staff with a Legal Update wrap up by BOE Attorney Roy Massey in the MPR.

Opening Day Event for all staff is on Monday, Aug 10 with Lunch to follow at 11:00.  Students first day is Tuesday, August 11.  Doors open at 7:30 for students.


Crittenden Co Schools is gearing up for an outstanding 2015-16 school year!  I want to share some very important upcoming dates:

Please note the following:


July 23   Administrators Retreat @ the Ed Tech Center     8:00-5:00;  Light Breakfast at 8:00 then Tech Check;

July 24   Bus Driver Update Training @ MPR          8:00-4:00

July 27   SBDM New Member Training @ Rocket Arena Conf Rm - 9:00-3:00 with a working lunch

July 30   BOE Regular Meeting @ 6:00 Rocket Arena Conference Room

July 31   New Staff Orientation 9:00-3:00 at Rocket Arena Conf Room, This is for all new hires to our district, Classified and Certified Staff.   A light breakfast is provided and we’ll go out for lunch together

Aug 3     SBDM Experienced Member Training  4:00-7:00 @ Rocket Arena Conference Room

Aug 3     Co Teaching Training at CCES 8:30-3:30

Aug 4     Co Teaching Training at CCHS 8:30-3:30

Aug 4     BOE Working Session at Rocket Arena Conference Room 6:00

Aug 5     Instructional Strategies Institute / District PD Day – Understanding Poverty at MPR @ 8:00-3:00 for ALL Staff

Aug 6     Teacher Planning Day    CCES-1:30-8:30(5:00-6:00 A-L; 6:30-7:30 M-Z=Sneak A Peek)                         CCMS/HS-12:00-7:00(4:30-6:00=Back to School Bash)

Aug 6     Substitute Teacher Training         9:00-12:00 @ Rocket Arena Conference Room;  11:00-12:00 is Active Shooter Training for new hires and any staff member that missed the June training!

Aug 7     Instructional Strategies Institute 8:00-3:00 @ MPR

Aug 10  Opening Day at Rocket Arena-ALL STAFF ; Grab&Go Breakfast at 8:00; Speaker at 8:30; Proficiency, Beat It! @ 10:00; Lunch at MPR at 11:30  ALL STAFF

Aug 11  Best first day ever!



Crittenden County Schools had a great Closing Day on Wed.  Thanks to everyone for an outstanding school year. Thanks to our Community Business Partner of the Year, Farmers Bank, for joining us for our EOY event and Breakfast.

I am also happy to report that our Rocket Summer Feeding Program kicked off yesterday with great success, 66 students participated.  Good job Crittenden County Food Service Director Emily Lowery!


The KY State Police will be conducting an Active Shooter Training Drill on June 1 at CCES and June 2 at CCHS/CCMS for all staff this week.  Visitors and traffic will be limited.  This is another layer of safety that our BOE has approved including the Intruder Drill last December with local law enforcement.



Congratulations Graduating Srs, we are proud of you and your accomplishments for representing our school and community in a positive light.



We had a nice Baccalaureate service last night. Brother David Davis' message focused on 4 things for our departing Seniors:

1) Be careful in all that you do

2) Have a caring heart for everybody

3) Be calm

4) Be courageous, have the courage to do what is right



Transition Day was a big hit today for Head Start through 8th grade.  Students were able to visit with their teachers for next year and learn expectations for a new grade level and for some, a new school.  There were lots of positive energy and plenty of smiles which showed me students are ready to move forward.  Parents, please discuss this event with your child tonight or this weekend.

Congratulations to our HS Girls Softball Team for winning the 5th District last night by defeating Lyon C0 2-1.  It was an outstanding team performance by our girls. We are proud of them.

Good luck to Margaret Sitar, Aaron Lucas and Colby Watson at the State Track Meet..



Congratulations to the following teachers that were recognized on May 16 for Excellence in Teaching at Campbellsville University:

Kim Vince-Crittenden County High School

Neal Bryant-Crittenden County Middle School

Sarah Riley-Crittenden County Elementary School

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Curtis Brown, CCHS Principal for his acceptance into The Leadership Institute for School Principals sponsored by the KY Chamber Foundation.  This is a collaboration between the KY Business Community and the KY Public Schools/KDE.

Read more....

CCHS Girls Softball had a great victory over Livingston last night in District Tournament play.  Our girls now play Thursday @ 7:00 in the championship game against Lyon Co.   The CCHS Baseball team played a great game but lost to Trigg 2-1 last night.

Kudos to the following for qualifying for the State Track Championship:

Aaron Lucas is the Regional Champion in the 3200 m and runner up in 1600 m.

Colby Watson is the runner up in the high jump

Margaret Sitar is the Girls Regional Champion in the 1600 m

All three will be representing Crittenden Co on May 22/23 at State, Good Luck!



Everything is moving at a rapid pace for Crittenden County Schools!  The Greenhouse is selling flowers and schools are preparing for Testing.  CCHS started End of Course Assessments today and the Elem and Middle School is preparing for KYPREP on Thursday, May 14 through Wednesday, May 20.  Please encourage our students to try their best.  We've had a great year and want to finish strong.

On another note we are currently searching for full time custodians to fill a retirement and 2 resignations.  Interested candidates should complete an online application found on our website.  Starting wage is $9.63/hour with an increase to $9.82 after July 1. Full time positions include benefits including Health Insurance.

Congratulations to Diane Winters on her appointment as the District Finance Officer!

Important Dates to remember are:

May 21 @ 6:00 pm  -  5th Grade Graduation/Recognition

May 26 @ 6:00 pm  -  8th Grade Graduation/Recognition

May 27     Baccalaureate @ 6:00

May 28     Class Night @ 6:00

May 29     Last Day for students and HS Graduation date @ 6:00 ; Distinguished Alumni Luncheon at Noon.

June 1  Ky State Police  Drill at CCES

June 2  Ky State Police  Drill (CCHS am / CCMS noon)

June 3  Closing Day for all Staff, full day



School is back in session after a great spring break.  Teachers and students are working hard to prepare for May assessments.  I was honored to be part of the County Judge Executive's Proclamation for Child Abuse Month yesterday.  You might be alarmed to know that KY ranks 13th in the country in child per capitia in child abuse  and neglect deaths.  Let's all make an extra effort to pay attention to be aware of possible abuse.  You can report suspected abuse at 877 597 2331 or online at :

Join our community and wear BLUE on Friday, April 24 to promote Child Abuse Awareness!

Other happenings in Crittenden County Schools included:

On March 27 our district conducted a Truancy Diversion Program for middle and high school students that have excessive unexcused absences.  Plans were developed after identifying obstacles and challenges for students to be at school.  Attendance is very important  for the success of all students and funding for our districts (buses, textbooks, technology and teachers).

On April 7, Mr. Binkley, our Maintenance Supv and Energy Efficiency Director conducted an Energy Eff Comm Meeting where we discussed the efforts our student leadership teams at each school in reducing energy by turning off lights and unplugging devices and appliances over spring break.  Each school is implementing a comprehensive recycling program.


Our BOE approved the following adjustments to our School Calendar last week:

May 29     Last Day for students and HS Graduation date @ 6:00

May 28     Class Night @ 6:00

May 27     Baccalaureate @ 6:00

May 26     8th Grade Graduation @ 6:00

May 21     5th Grade Graduation @ 6:00

School will be in session on April 6 and May 19(Election Day) but there will be NO Class during Spring Break or Memorial Day, May 25

The following adjustments were made to the BOE Meeting Schedule:  The May 26 Regular Meeting will be held on May 12 at 6:00 to accommodate the end of year events and activities.  The June BOE Working session will be held on June 9 with Regular June BOE meeting scheduled for June 23.  The July BOE Working Session will take place on July 23 at 3:00 with the Regular meeting on July 30 at 6:00


Good morning and welcome to March!  I wanted to share that our BOE just attended the KY School Boards Association Winter Conference where we attended sessions on Leadership, Communication, Finance and Academic Success. I wish to commend our BOE on their dedication to our students and staff.

Right now the last day for students is scheduled for Thursday, May 28 with Graduation set for Friday, May 29 at Rocket Arena.  Tuesday May 19 is a Teacher Planning Day with no students since its an Election Day.  We intend to observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 25.  Spring Break is still scheduled for March 30-April 3.  With winter weather pending on WED all this could change.

Congratulations to our Girls and Boys Basketball teams for advancing to the Regional Tournament this week.  Our girls  will play Henderson Tuesday at 7:30 at Rocket Arena and the the boys play Henderson on WED at 7:45 in Union Co.  Go Rockets!


School will be in session for Wednesday, February 25 on a one hour delay.  Classes will begin at 9:00.  There will be no  am/pm preschool for Wednesday.  We encourage everyone to be cautious as they travel to school tomorrow.  HS/MS students will enter through the Middle School Front entrance or through the Multi-Purpose Room. 


Good afternoon, Crittenden County Schools, much like our community, is digging out from the snow that has left our county and region locked down.  A big THANK YOU goes out to Gary Cruce and the family of Randall Lanham for clearing our parking lots this week. Their hard work this week will help us get back to school next week.  In addition, Brian Kirby and David Perryman have been working to get sidewalks and buildings ready for the return of staff and students.  Of course with pending weather this weekend things could change very quickly.  Our BOE meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb 24 at 6:00.  The 5th District BB Tournament is scheduled for next week at Livingston County.  Boys are slated to play on Monday and Girls on Tuesday.  Also, the CCHS Baseball Schedule was released this week so find it on our homepage.


Thank You to SHOPKO for their generous donation of $750 to our school district to support students and staff!  It's great to live and work in a community that cares so much about its Schools.  Thank You.


Congratulations to our January Pathway Academy Graduates last night:  Adam Jay Collins and Devin Russell Tanner.

Also, please note that parents can register their Kindergarten child using a form on our website.  This is for students that will enroll in August.


Good Friday Afternoon!  I wanted to share out some information from our District Crisis Management Team Meeting on Thursday.  First of all, Thank You to all that attended our meeting and shared out information to make our schools a safe place to learn and teach.  We discussed our evacuation procedures in the event  that students and staff need to evacuate the building.  I want our community and parents to know that our first priority is to keep our students and staff safe in our buildings until circumstances dictate otherwise.  At that time we will decide to remain in our buildings, report to a location on campus or if we need to locate to a remote site off of campus.  In the event that we evacuate to a remote site off of campus then we will communicate our plan to the community and parents through our District One Call, District Website, The Crittenden Press/BlogSpot and WMJL.  In our communication we will let the parents know where to report so they can pick up their child.  We will have strict procedures so students can be transferred safely and efficiently.  It is very important that parents make sure their contact information is correct in Infinite Campus.  We will need the cooperation of parents/families if such an event occurs so please do not rush the school campus so our Local Law Enforcement, EMS and Fire Departments can perform their duties.  Crittenden County Schools conducts periodic safety drills so our staff and students are aware of how to react in certain situations.  We take very seriously the safety of our students and staff. Please read more from the Parents Safety Letter found on our Website Homepage.


Good morning, unexpected snow accumulation canceled classes today for Crittenden Co.  Please be aware that today's classes will be made up on Monday, April 6 and our November 17 snow day will be made up on Monday, February 16.  Have a safe day!


Attention Parents & Guardians:

Our area will be experiencing very cold temperatures over the next several days.  The safety of our students and staff is our top priority when making the decision to close or delay school.  We can assure you that our school buildings are warm, safe, and an ideal place for students to be when it is extremely cold outside.  Parents should make sure that their child is dressed appropriately for the cold weather.  The district urges students to wear winter hats, gloves, heavy coats and boots. Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately in layers over the next several days.  We will continue to monitor weather reports and send updates as necessary.  Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the district office at 9653525


Welcome back to school students and staff!  Please be aware that the flu bug, H3N2, is still making way so please cover up when coughing and wash your hands frequently.  I wanted to share that our Rocket Kindness Assembly went really good this morning at CCHS.  We met with all HS students this morning to discuss the impact and consequences of bullying and cyber-bullying and strategies to combat the act of making hateful and hurtful comments to students.  Did you know that research shows us that Peer Intervention reduces bullying behavior by nearly 60% when implemented within 10 seconds.  We all have a role in creating a positive culture where all students feel safe.  Here are a couple of links that parents can use with their children.

On other notes, Parents of Seniors, please make sure that you complete a FAFSA form online so your child can be eligible for State and Federal Grants and Loans to attend college.

Good Luck to our CCHS Cheerleaders at State this week in Richmond !!


Welcome to Crittenden County Middle School, Mr. Jared Choate.  Mr. Choate will be teaching 8th grade Social Studies.  He is from Princeton and just finished his student teaching at Trigg County High School.  Other good news,  The English/Language Arts textbooks approved at the December BOE meeting  were delivered yesterday.  All 6th-12th grade students and teachers will have new ELA text to teach and work from starting next Monday, January 5.  Our January working/special called  session will be next Tuesday, January 6 where we will be swearing in new BOE member, Eric Larue at 6:00.  This meeting will be at the CC Central Office.



Congratulations to our new District Food Service Director, Emily Lowery!  She is a 2008 Crittenden County Graduate and has a Nutrition/Food Service Degree from Murray State University. She will begin her duties on January 12.  Welcome to our team Emily.



Great news!  Our BOE approved the purchase of English/Language Arts textbooks for grades 6-12.  Our new text will help provide resources that are aligned to the Common Core for ELA.  We are excited about our staff and students having another reading, writing and grammar resource to get College and Career Ready!

Crittenden County Boys and Girls Basketball vs Lyon Co tonight / Wear your white for the White Out!

Thanks to a $3 million grant, Crittenden Co Middle along with 9 other middle schools will be participating in The Leader in Me initiative which builds self esteem, motivation and leadership for student learning.  this is a 5 year participation grant.

Data and Dinner at Crittenden Co Middle School on Dec 15 starting at 5:00.  Door prizes will be awarded.

A big Thank you to all those that participated in my Student Advisory Groups, Community Advisory Group and the Council of Councils Meeting in November.  Continuous Improvement is our goal.

I am please to report that Crittenden County Schools currently has 837 computers and devices for staff and student engagement.