School districts look to Kenton Co. Academies as a model to help students speed down career tracks

12/30/2013 06:10 PM

As Kentucky school superintendents shop around for different ideas to better engage and prepare students, some now are looking to the Kenton County Academies as a model.

The academies have programs aimed at biological sciences — perfect for aspiring doctors, nurses or medical researchers — as well as engineering and even media. And those programs are helping give good students a leg-up for college and are turning average students who might be “wallflowers” in class into flourishing students, as the academies’ director Francis O’Hara.

The academy is part of the Kenton County School system and draws students from across the county, who must apply for a spot in one of its programs. But unlike exclusive academies, like the Gatton Academy at Western Kentucky University, having top grades isn’t a requirement.

As Don Weber reports, here’s how the academies are accomplishing it and why other superintendents from around Kentucky are thinking about duplicating it:

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