Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 30, 2013

Eyes on Boyd excellence

SUMMIT — Teachers at Boyd County Middle School don’t claim their team approach is unique or pioneering, only that they are dedicated to it.

They don’t argue that incorporating multiple subjects in one lesson is their own invention, just that teamwork and teaching across the curriculum, as the practice is known, are in the DNA of their school.

These among others are the qualities an evaluation team from the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform recognized earlier this year when it recommended Boyd County as a School to Watch for the third two-year cycle.

Schools to Watch is an initiative launched in 1999 to foster and recognize high-performing middle schools.

The award recognizes academic excellence, responsiveness to the unique developmental needs of adolescents, and social equitability, which translates to providing all students with good teachers, classes, programs and materials.

Principal Bill Boblett believes the school’s positive culture is its biggest asset. What he is talking about is a constant effort to understand, affirm and work with the unique needs of adolescents — no longer little kids but not quite teenagers either.

“They come in as babies and leave as miniature adults,” Boblett said. That requires faculty to develop a deep understanding of adolescent psychology — and a thick skin, because middle-school kids can be hard to reach.

When they do reach students, the kids get recognition, some on the school wall of fame, some during the “March of the Lions Pride” processions for high-performing students during football halftime ceremonies.

Through good years and difficult budget times alike, Boyd has retained and built up its humanities programs, with art, band, computer, drama, life skills and other classes.

Those classes often are the key to reaching kids who might otherwise lose interest in school, Boblett said.

Each team of teachers includes some in the basic academic areas and some in the related arts disciplines; because teams plan and consult together they can develop lessons that, for instance, use music to illustrate math concepts.

“Quarter notes — that’s math. And we talk about musical phrasing and how it relates to writing,” said band director Annie Johnson. Art and music are so bound up with world history that any topic can yield connections. The study of opera, for instance, leads to the myths of antiquity many are based on.

“We’re not isolated in what we teach,” said math teacher Connie Burns. While she is teaching graphing in math class, for instance, science teachers are incorporating similar concepts in their classes.

The team approach also leads to a small-school intimacy in a building that houses about 700 kids.

That is because each team of teachers deals with a specific group and that leads to more familiarity. Teachers know names, faces, and families. They become familiar with individual academic needs and family issues.

Since its first Schools to Watch designation in 2006, Boyd has continued to improve, which was important in earning the continued designation, Boblett said. He credited the evaluation process with showing the way: “It causes you to take a good hard look at what you’re doing in your building,” he said.

In other words, by the time the evaluation team came, he and faculty had already done a self-assessment.

The school is planning a celebration of the achievement sometime in mid-April.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

Text Only
Local News
  • State’s longest trail system turns 35

    The Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the National Recreation Trail system in 1979. After 35 years, the trail remains Kentucky’s longest distance trail, estimated at 307 miles.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pancake releases new album

    The top of the Sky Tower in downtown Ashland was booming Saturday night with music from Larry Pancake’s new album “Fair Weather Friend.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Telephone scammer fleeces man of $5,000

    A telephone scammer claimed another area victim when a Williams Avenue man paid $5,000 after the con artist told him he had won a sweepstakes but had to pay taxes on the prize money before collecting it, according to Ashland Police Department reports.

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder defendant pleads guilty on lesser charge, sentenced to 8 years

    One of four charged with murder in a 2008 double killing pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just before his trial was to start.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014

  • Morehead gets Trail Town status

    It has been two and a half years in the making and it happens today.
    Morehead will officially be designated a Kentucky Trail Town following Dawson Springs and Livingston.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fallsburg’s traditional haunt attracts unique talents

    Brian Cassidy said there is no substitute for individual talent while tackling tasks ranging from sculpting a massive hillbilly to inventing paintball gun brackets capable of withstanding the pressures caused by an incoming zombie attack.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/22/14

    The Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center on Sunday mobilized two fire crews to assist with firefighting efforts in the western United States.

    July 21, 2014

  • marine3.jpg MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0722burger2.JPG TIM PRESTON: Burgers for Boyd County bragging rights

    Looking at Saturday morning’s rainy skies, I assumed my duties as a judge for the first tailgate and burger grilling competition at the Boyd County Fairgrounds would be canceled.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone