By Whitney Leggett, CV&T Summer Intern
Estill High Principal Blain Click spoke to the Estill County Board of Education last Thursday. He told them he anticipates that Estill County High School will rank 45 in the state in ACT scores in 2010, a huge improvement from the scores of the previous two years.
The high school ranked 151 in 2008 and 132 in 2009. Click said that these rankings have not been finalized but that based on his calculations and observations he thinks this estimate is a good one.
Click contributes this success to an, “intentional focus on the ACT.” This focus includes changes in the curriculum that provides extra help in math classes through a pilot program that includes labs, practice ACT exams, an ACT literacy course for all sophomores, and reading classes for disabled students. The high school has also adopted a trimester schedule that allows teachers and counselors to regroup students into the appropriate classes based on their progress.
Click said that the school is, “ahead of the curve,” in terms of preparing students for the ACT and placing a strong emphasis on preparedness for the exam. Kentucky is only one of three states, including Michigan and Colorado, that requires all students to take the exam. Other states require the test for only college bound juniors and seniors.
The board of education commended Click on his efforts to improve scores and board member Verlon Prewitt said that the high school is just one of several schools in the county that have “wowed” the board with their successes.
Click also added that the group of juniors who were, “fun, colorful and aggressive,” had a lot to do with the improved scores.
In addition to the increase in ranking, Click reported that the high school is working aggressively to implement a JROTC program by the 2011-12 school year. As of now he has only a verbal commitment from the program. He also hopes to secure a vocational school.
Superintendent Bert Hensley reviewed the school budget that the legislation recently passed. An additional $2 is alloted for the SEEK base. The budget was decreased in all other categories for the 2011 school year.
According to the budget summary, “The school term for fiscal year 2010-11 and 2011-12 shall include the equivalent of 177 six hour instructional days.” Districts may, however, exceed the 177 instructional days, which are the equivalent of 1,062 instructional hours.
The board approved a resolution, “concerning the untimely death of Eric S. Cox, a student at Estill Springs Elementary,” in which they expressed their sympathies to his parents and family.
The school board also recognized seven retirees who were each presented a gift and commended for their hard work and dedication to education in Estill County. Those retiring are Joyce Christopher, District Supervisor; Elizabeth Crowe, cook, South Irvine; Catherine Kash, teacher, high school; Joan Mott, teacher, high school; Kimberly Reams, teacher, middle school; Wade Richardson, teacher, middle school; James Winkler, teacher, high school; and Marlene Webb, cook and kitchen manager, South Irvine.
Kimberly Barnes Horn will be Assistant Principal at Estill Springs for the upcoming school year and Tonya Isaacs will replace Joyce Christopher as District Supervisor. Amber Roland, teacher, Estill Springs, and Lois Webster, Assistant Academic, middle school resigned.
In other business, the board:
•Approved the treasurer’s report and payment of bills
•Acknowledged notification of personnel actions
•Approved the first reading of policy and procedure updates as recommended by KSBA
•Approved student accident insurance policy with Robert’s Insurance
•Selected ACM Construction as contractor for the Hazardous Waste Abatement Project at West Irvine School at the lowest bid of $4,500
•Approved a request for funds of $1,121.40 to provide rooming in Nashville, Tenn. for the FBLA National Conference