A group of third graders sharing lunch and a good time on the first day of school.
by Kay Steele Faulk
Rich Crowe, superintendent of Frankfort Independent Schools, first heard those words spoken by the late Dr. William Parker, a renowned advisor in multicultural affairs.
For two years, Dr. Parker was mentor to the 13-member coalition that spearheads the district’s diversity initiative. The coalition is composed of parents, teachers and district superintendent.
“We have a student population from diverse backgrounds,” Crowe said. “And all indications are that we work well with them and teach them.” Crowe attributes this success to the coalition and district’s focus on viewing differences as a good thing rather than something that must be dealt with. “Our diverse student population brings other perspectives, and having other perspectives is a strength for us,” he said. “Recognizing this has enriched our district and made us better and stronger.”
In keeping with the district’s theme to always strive to make things better, they recently moved the seventh and eighth grades to the high school. Those students are now offered more learning opportunities such as foreign languages, a stronger and broader math curriculum and a variety of science courses with labs. Also, a cafeteria was added to the high school building.
Crowe commented that public school districts in the rest of Kentucky would die to have the Frankfort district’s student-teacher ratios. Frankfort’s elementary classrooms (K-6) have 18 students or less. Seventh and eighth grade classrooms are 18:1, and high school classrooms average 17 or 18:1. The state average is 31:1.
The superintendent said the real world asks school districts to graduate kids from high school who know how to work together, who can communicate in writing as well as by speaking and who know basic skills. “If we can teach our kids those things, we’ve done what society asks. Our assessment results show we’re doing a good job of that.”
But as the late Dr. Parker liked to say, “If better is possible, good ain’t enough,” so the Frankfort district continues to constantly look for ways to improve. “We feel like we offer our kids a great education,” Crowe said. “We invite everyone to the table, fill everyone’s plate and ask them to eat. If they eat, we will satisfy their hunger for education so they can get what they deserve, which is a better future.”
For more information, visit the Frankfort Independent Schools online at www.frankfort.k12.ky.us
. You’ll find such things as assessment and accountability reports, district report card, superintendent’s newsletter and a national aviation publication’s article featuring the Frankfort High School Aviation Academy.
In addition to basic reading and math, prescholl teacher 3- and 4-year-olds necessary social skills. Preschool is available to students with special needs identified in individual screenings conducted in the spring
by Wayne Dominick
Those who get a good start can usually expect a good result. Getting students off on the right foot is just one of the reasons behind the recent decision to convert Hearn Elementary School into an Early Childhood Learning Village.
The Village will be the educational home to all the preschool, kindergarten and first grade students on the east side of the county. Instead of going to Elkhorn Elementary, Hearn or Peaks Mill, students in those grades will attend the village.
“We found ourselves in a very interesting position,” said Franklin County Public Schools Superintendent Harrie Buecker. “We were in the process of building a brand new school and we could either do what we’ve always done, or we could do something that would make an impact on student success. We looked at several options, including moving all the fourth and fifth graders to one building, but in the end, the Early Learning Village made the most sense.”
As she promised when taking over as Franklin County’s superintendent, Buecker based her decision on proven data. “All the data and research we looked at pointed to the fact that one of the best and most reliable indicators of future student success is whether or not they are on grade level at age 6.” Buecker found study after study that concluded students reading and doing math on grade level at age six have a 90 percent chance of graduating high school with their class. Added to that were studies that showed that students starting at grade level required fewer special needs interventions later in their academic journey.
“It seemed as though we were looking at a no-brainer,” Buecker said. “All the research pointed to an Early Learning Village. If we really wanted to do something that would make a difference, this was the thing to do.”
With the concept in place, the next step would be work out a plan for assigning students to schools. Since Hearn would become the Early Childhood Village, most students who would be in the second through fifth grade for the 2008-2009 school year would go to the new school off Leestown Road in the Copperleaf subdivision. Some students currently attending Hearn would be reassigned to Elkhorn. Buecker said the reassignment was made to both equalize numbers at the schools and for practical purposes.
We wanted all the schools to be close to equal in size and we discovered that we had children riding past one school to get to another. Moving them from Hearn to Elkhorn solved both problems.” The move also puts fewer students onto the new school, allowing for future growth.
Projected enrollment numbers for the 2008-2009 school years would be: Elkhorn Elementary (Grades 2-5) 345 students; Hearn at Copperleaf (Grades 2-5) 303 students; Peaks Mill (Grades 2-5) 354 students; Early Childhood Village (Grades P-1) 594 students.
Capital Day School
Capital Day School is an independent, non-sectarian school for students from preschool through eighth grade. The school was founded in 1955 with a mission of academic excellence. Capital Day School provides students with a solid academic foundation enriched with opportunities for cultural, physical, and social growth. Art, music, drama, French, computer, and physical education enrich the core curriculum. Small classes allow for individualized instruction. CDS offers athletic and academic team competition and curriculum-based field trips.
There are approximately 180 students and 21 teachers. Optional after school and summer day camp programs are available for all students. Financial aid is available and is administered confidentially through SSS. The school is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, and also belongs to the National Association of Independent Schools.
120 Deepwood Drive • 502-227-7121 • www.capitaldayschool.net
Frankfort Christian Academy
The Frankfort Christian Academy is a non-denominational, evangelical Christian school designed to provide and alternative to public schools for children whose parents desire this option. The Academy provides a loving, academic environment for children to grow socially, emotionally, physically, academically, and spiritually. This is achieved through individual and group learning experiences under the guidance and nurture of carefully chosen Christian teachers, administrators, and under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, while providing an opportunity for academic excellence.
1349 U.S. Hwy. 421 S. • 502-695-0744 • www.frankfortchristian.org
Good Shepherd Elementary
GSS has been providing an excellent Christ-centered education to members of Good Shepherd Church and other Frankfort area residents for nearly a century. A qualified staff of over 30 serves 320 students. GSS offers an enriched curriculum that includes Spanish, Music, Art, and Physical Education along with a diverse range of extracurricular activities. The school has a full service cafeteria, library, computer lab, gym, after-school care program and summer camp. GSS administers the nationally-normed Terra Nova test in grades 3-7. Students have a uniform dress code. A PTO encourages family involvement. Accredited by KNPSC.
316 Wapping St. • 502-223-5041 • http://gss.catholicweb.com
Capital Area Christian Homeschoolers (CACH) offers its members a wide variety of programs, services and events to help make homeschooling in Frankfort interesting and fun. Contact Jane Nitz at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Visit Kentucky Home Education Association at www.khea.info.
by Kay Steele Faulk
Even though KSU is the smallest of the comprehensive institutions in the Commonwealth, ethnically it’s the most diverse. For the last two years, KSU has led the Commonwealth in enrollment growth, with students ranging in age from 14 to 82.
The Governmental Services Center is located on the KSU campus. KSU also has a Whitney M. Young Honors College, which has produced some spectacular graduates as well as leaders for the Commonwealth. KSU graduates currently serving in the Kentucky General Assembly include Rep. Derrick Graham, Senator Gerald Neal, Rep. Arnold Simpson and Rep. Jesse Crenshaw. Former Frankfort Mayor William May is a Honors College graduate.
With KSU’s wide variety of courses and programs, students have wonderful opportunities to acquire both fundamental and specialized skills. “With a faculty-student ratio of 1:13.6 and the personal attention students receive, classes are more like those at a small private institution than at a state university,” said Dr. Mary Evans Sias, KSU president. Students leave KSU with the high-level knowledge and range of skills needed to master new challenges, expand their career choices and lead their communities.
“Our Aquaculture Program is our program of distinction and is one of the top five programs in the country,” Dr. Sias said. “We offer a master’s degree program in computer science, public administration and aquaculture. Our master’s program in special education is done completely online. We recently added a master’s program in business administration.”
Boasting a television studio that’s state of the art, KSU added a new undergraduate major in mass communication and journalism last year.
Dr. Sias said it’s an exciting time at KSU, and it’s an exciting place year round. “The summers are almost as busy as the spring and fall. We have lots of program opportunities for families with children when we put on academic camps and programs. These start near the end of May and run to early August.”
KSU is exactly the right size and type of university for the Frankfort community, which has a small town feel. And KSU is an integral part of the Frankfort community. “We work closely with both the chamber and the tourism board,” Dr. Sias said. “In fact, you’ll find Kentucky State almost any place you find something happening in town. We’re excited about showing ourselves off to prospective new citizens of this area.”
For more information, visit www.kysu.edu.
Founded in 1847, Midway College is Kentucky's leader in women's education and accelerated, evening degree programs for men and women. Midway College's School for Career Development offers degree programs in several areas including Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Organizational Management, Human Resource Management, Teacher Education, Equine Studies, and Nursing. As Kentucky's only women's college, Midway College empowers students as leaders through a professionally-oriented liberal arts education.
The Central Kentucky Technical College, Anderson Campus, located in Lawrenceburg, provides both advanced secondary and postsecondary vocational-technical training. The system provides technical assistance and services, and will establish customized training programs for business and industry.
Mid-Continent University ADVANTAGE Program provides a variety of accredited degree programs in Frankfort and Online. Founded in 1949, the university is chartered by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the ADVANTAGE Program is ideal for adult students who wish to begin college for the first time or build upon existing credits. The unique cohort format allows adults students to fit a college education into their busy lives.
ADVANTAGE face-to-face classes are offered in 5-week intervals one night per week. Adults can earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Management or an Associate of Science with an emphasis in Business Administration.
For those adults who prefer to take classes online, the Bachelor of Science in Business Management is available. Mid-Continent University has a working relationship with most employer reimbursement programs.