Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 28, 2013

Greenup, East Carter look ahead

Continuing improvement after grant funding runs out

Lloyd — A million dollars per year goes pretty far in helping a rural school dig its way out of a deep academic hole.

Greenup County and East Carter high schools found themselves both at the bottom of the pit two years ago, floundering about with low student achievement, low faculty expectations, little credibility in the community and morale that had bottomed out.

When the Kentucky Department of Education designated both schools as persistently low achieving, an educational jargon term that translates as “failing,” it softened the blow with educational recovery grants of close to $1 million per year at Greenup and somewhat less for East Carter. The money brought in specialists to guide the schools through an academic recovery process that would change the way the schools teach math and reading and improve performance in those and other subjects.

Each school is eligible to apply for a third year of grant money, but after that will have to make do with its regular funding sources.

Further, the pool of grant money is less for the upcoming distribution, largely because of the federal sequester. The grants are competitive and it is up to each school to make its best case. Greenup and East Carter are among 10 schools listed in 2010 and 10 schools also had been listed the previous year.

Officials at both schools hope their records will do the talking. Greenup has risen from the bottom five percent to the 42nd percentile, according to principal Jason Smith, while East Carter principal Larry Kiser said his school has rocketed to the 71st percentile, putting it at proficiency level. East Carter also boosted its college and career readiness percentage — a key component of the state’s new accountability system — from 27 to 66 and saw significant gains in ACT scores, Kiser said.

Greenup is asking for $615,000 in the third year of the grant and Smith won’t know for a while how much he will get. His application seeks funding for what he calls the top five or six components of the recovery strategy. “We got the second highest amount in the first two years, so it must have been a good grant (application), he said.

Smith plans to use the money he gets to retain two educational recovery specialists who have been working with students and teachers and a coordinator of student advocacy and mentoring, and to continue response to intervention programs in math and reading.

East Carter’s grants for the first two years amounted to about $880,000 and $700,000; the third-year amount is still unknown but probably will be less.

East Carter also hopes to hang onto its recovery specialists, of which it has three: one in math, one in reading and a schoolwide recovery leader, Kiser said.

When the grants are gone, both schools will lose the recovery experts, but by then they expect permanent staff will be able to carry on the work.

“The grant got us caught up and got the school headed in the right direction,” Smith said. “We’ll take what we learned and shift the responsibility to the existing staff.” For instance, he will assign one of his permanent English teachers to full-time literacy duty.

The district also will continue using the pioneering math program brought to Greenup by Eastern Kentucky University professor Robert Thomas and will expand it to lower grades.

East Carter is using a business-like systems approach to organize faculty responsibilities, Kiser said. It involves careful attention to each staffer’s responsibilities at all levels.

Among the first steps in recovery was developing a leadership team; department heads meet twice a month, he said.

The school will lose some positions in math and literacy intervention when the grant money runs out but permanent staff will take on those responsibilities, he said.

One thing that won’t change much is the emphasis on interventions and professional development for faculty.

In the long run, according to Smith, the recovery has changed the mindset at Greenup, where 26 new teachers have come on board in the past two years. “We have a young faculty who don’t know any other way to do things,” he said. “These best practices are being embedded in these young teachers.”

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

Text Only
Local News
  • colepotteronline.jpg Acoustic jam night at Callihan's

    With the onset of  patio season, the staff at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill have adopted a new program for Wednesday’s open-invitation entertainment with the all new Callihan’s Acoustic Jam Session, providing a stage for local talent and a spotlight for a featured musician each week.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Parking, history, and some wiffleball

    The calendar flips to August tomorrow and some students in the area will be back in school next week.

    July 30, 2014

  • Students need better counseling to contribute more to the region, working group says

    A group studying how education can lift the economy of Appalachian Kentucky has several ideas, including a “counseling for careers” approach that would begin for students no later than middle school and continue through high school.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tensions rise among city commission members

    The controversy about City Manager Ben Bitter’s moving expenses revealed a division in the Ashland Board of City Commissioners.

    July 29, 2014

  • ambulance.jpg Ambulance flips on Winchester

     One minor injury was reported after a passenger car collided with an ambulance at the intersection in front of the Paramount Arts Center on Winchester Avenue around 10 a.m. Tuesday. Independent videographer Adam Black witnessed the accident and reported the ambulance was traveling south of Winchester with lights on and siren activated when it was struck in the rear quarter panel by a passenger vehicle that had a green light for the intersection and failed to yield for the emergency vehicle.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730Grimes_080.jpg Grimes campaign comes to Lexington

    A recent poll that has twice previously shown Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes with a slim lead over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell now has McConnell up by two points.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • U.S. 60 yard sale will be Friday and Saturday

    Bringing bargain shoppers from miles around, the U.S. 60 Yard Sale officially begins Friday morning in Carter County.

    July 29, 2014

  • John Cannon: Bracing to stand on her own 2 feet: 7/30/14

    My youngest granddaughter, who will turn 5 on Sept. 2, has been fitted with a pair of ankle braces to help prevent her from falling down so often.

    July 29, 2014

  • War firearms demo set

    A few of the most devastating and accurate firearms used in conflicts ranging from the Civil War to world wars will be demonstrated for an audience limited to about 40 during an upcoming event sponsored by the Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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