Boyle County schools uses 'blueprint' to success as the only 'district of distinction' in Ky.

09/28/2014 09:21 AM

DANVILLE – The Boyle County School district is one of eight statewide and the only county school district in the commonwealth to receive the Kentucky Department of Education’s “District of Distinction” award.

Boyle is not your stereotypical high performing school district in the fact that 50 percent of its students are on free and reduced lunch.

Boyle County High School has gone from having 50 percent of its graduates college and career ready seven years ago to over 90 percent today.

The school district has accomplished this through its “Blueprint for Success” initiative which includes eight bullets implemented in all classrooms from Kindergarten through 12.

“It talks about formative assessment, taking a standard and breaking it into a learning target and building a unit test from it,” said Boyle County Superintendent Mike Lafavers. “It talks about engaging kids through cooperative learning and also project based learning. It talks about analyzing student work so you can make instructional decisions. It talks about intervening when kids struggle. It talks about enriching and accelerating kids when that’s appropriate.”

By starting with Cooperative Learning in elementary schools, the district sends better prepared students to the middle and high school.

The students will also see a transition from Cooperative Learning to Project-Based Learning in high school.

“When they came in as 6th graders, it shocked me as to how much these kids already knew,” said 6th grade math teacher Kacie Arnold. “They have such a solid base and that is thanks to all of the elementary schools around this county.”

Lafavers says that the district could not succeed without the support of the community.

“We’ve requested a tax increase and have gotten it every year since I’ve been superintendent,” said Lafavers.

The district also has three camps over the summer for kids to work with a teachers on math and reading skills, advanced math skills and focus on STEM related subject matter.

To qualify as a “District of Distinction,” a district must:

-Have an overall accountability score at the 95th percentile or higher (based on achievement, gap growth, college and career readiness, and graduation rate)
-Not have a focus or priority school in the district.
-Meet the annual participation rate of 95%
-Meet its current year Annual Measurable Objective

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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