Carroll school programs attract statewide attention

-A A +A

The Carroll County School District is being recognized throughout the Commonwealth for its effective board of education and its innovative technology and early childhood programs.

Carroll County’s Board of Education was one of 62 boards among 177 statewide (top 35 percent) to earn the Advancing Student Achievement to Proficiency Award in 2012 for completing all ten criteria for effective school boards in 2011.  Carroll County Board of Education members Mona Kindoll, Carolyn Jones, Tommy Unker, Jennifer Beach, and Mary Ann Pearson were recognized for the honor at the 76th annual Kentucky School Boards Association Conference on February 3-5 at the Galt House East in Louisville.

“We are very fortunate in Carroll County to have such committed school board members,” said James. “I hope that our citizens will join me and the staff of Carroll County Schools in recognizing these members for the many extra things that they do to benefit our children.”

Carroll County High School representatives also delivered a presentation at the KSBA conference on its program of providing an Apple MacBook laptop computer to all juniors and seniors this year. Senior Kevin States and juniors Nathan Brands, Daniel Lindsay, Pooja Patel, and Andrea Williams all spoke during the 90 minute session on Saturday morning, along with teachers Lynn Eaglin and Chelsea Mullenex, Principal John Leeper, Technology Director Cindy Johann, and Assistant Superintendent Bill Hogan.

 “Our kids were outstanding; they didn’t buckle under pressure,” Leeper said of the students who spoke before an audience of approximately 85 board of education members and school administrators at the conference.  “There are a whole lot of people out in the state who are interested in doing what we are doing in Carroll County.” The students are part of the Apple Help Desk program, which offers assistance to students and teachers who have computer problems during the school day.

Johann said that each of the presenters gave the audience information about the “One to One” program from their perspective as student, teacher, school administrator, district administrator, and parent.  She said the students commented, among other things, on how access to the Apple MacBooks have helped them become more creative and allowed them to conduct research not only for school projects but on topics that interest them.

“You know how easy it is to look up a college?” said Brands to the audience as he commented on his research into college and career possibilities. 

While the high school’s “One to One” presentation was occurring, Lisa James, superintendent of Carroll County Schools, was participating in a different session on how school districts are working with community partners to address the need for early childhood education.  As one of five North-Central Kentucky superintendents studying the effects of early childhood education on the economic development of the region, James spoke about the school district’s partnership with the Carroll County Community Development Corporation in applying for a federal Early Head Start grant and building the newly completed Carroll County Child Development Center.

“We’re trying to encourage support throughout the state for early childhood education because we know the positive impact it can have, in the long term, on a community,” said James.In addition to the recognition by the Kentucky School Boards Associations, the Kentucky Department of Education’s Office of Knowledge, Information and Data Systems (KIDS) will feature the Carroll County School District’s technology program in its monthly live webcast on Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. Eastern.  The webcasts offer district technology coordinators and chief information officers in school districts an opportunity to get-together online to discuss certain upcoming events or important issues requiring district input.

Johann said that a representative from Kathryn Winn Primary, Cartmell Elementary, Carrol County Middle School, and Carroll County High School will briefly share information about an innovative program at his or her school.

Some of the programs include one-to-one computing, using the iPod for music instruction, teaching community members to use the iPad, and using technology in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses.

“Some of the programs we’ve been working hard at over the past few years are starting to attract attention,” said James.  “We’re excited about the opportunity to share our success with others.”

 Jeff Fremin is director of public relations for Carroll County Public Schools.