With an impressive list of academic and athletic achievements, the Russell Independent School District is the envy of public school districts throughout Kentucky and beyond. But the Russell schools are committed to getting even better, and it has formed five ad hoc committees to develop a roadmap to accomplish that goal.

The committees are made up of teachers, support staff, administrators, parents and even students. In fact, it was the students who provided some valued insight on her committee, said Russell Primary Principal Debbie Finley. The students complained that teachers are spending too much time teaching what the children already know. Instead, they should assess what the children know and begin from there. That’s an excellent idea.

Russell Superintendent Susan Compton said the school district hopes to improve achievement by looking at high school restructuring, advanced placement courses, dual credit classes, technical and vocational needs — in other words, the whole gamut of offerings for both students headed for college and professional careers and for kids seeking a vocation.

Of course, the real value of what now is taking place is what the school district will do with the committees’ recommendations. Too often school districts have actively sought the input and suggestions of teachers and parents and then done little or nothing to implement those suggestions. One gets the impression that that won’t happen in Russell. A school district that is rightfully proud of its achievements is intent on building on its record of excellence.

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