Various educators in the Barbourville Independent Schools system gave progress reports on how well students are doing academically so far in the 2019-20 school year at September’s board meeting.
Barbourville High School Principal Paul Middleton gave an update on the various career pathways available to students.
According to Middleton, there are 12 career pathways available to Barbourville students and 5 of those are offered on Barbourville High’s campus. Other pathways are available at Kentucky Technical College in London, Ky.
“For a long time, we talked a lot about getting students ‘college ready’ but now we are giving an option to be ‘career ready’,” said Middleton.
On Barbourville’s campus, the school offers Administrative Support, Informational Processing, Accounting, Business, Engineering, BioMedical Science, and Family Consumer Science which is life skills, money management, and interpersonal relationship skills.
At Kentucky Tech’s campus, they offer to Barbourville students: Nursing, Auto-mechanics, Carpentry, Electrician study, Welding, E-commerce (web design, entrepreneurship), and Information Technology also known as I-T (the use of computers and software skills).
“We want to make sure all of our students are career ready,” Middleton added, “We would love to have them all college ready too.. but we know that in reality, college isn’t for everybody. So we want all students to be ready when they step out into the real world after high school.”
“In the 3rd-5th grade level, we noticed the vocabulary and informational comprehension levels were lower than others,” said Amy Sprinkles, Point of Contact Advisor. “So when noticing the deficits, we purchased Phonix to add to our regular SFA program and the teachers are already using that in their classrooms.” She added, “We’re also working on Dibbles Scoring for fluency and we looked at MyOn [through Promise Neighborhood] which will help with comprehension development. We will have a Literacy Night to challenge students and have prizes so there’s incentives to encourage learning. Hopefully this will bring scores up!”
The cost of AP testing for students has been the main topic of discussion for the Barbourville Ind. School Board lately.
“We have 25 U.S. History students, 10 of those AP tests are free and 15 students that we need to pay for,” said Sprinkles. “So that’s a $85 test so the total will be $1,275.” She added, “You have 113 students and 60 of those will be free, 53 of those students for all other categories would pay $42.50 (half price) which the total would be $2,252.50 and your overall total amount would be $3,527.50 if you choose to pay for their testing.”
“I just wonder how much more seriously students would take the classes if they knew they have this opportunity to receive college credit through this test,” said Board Member Bonita Williams.
“The purpose of AP classes is that it’s weighted, because it’s a college level class, I feel very strongly they should have to take the exam,” said Dixon. “If they are college bound kids, they need to see what the real college exam and real experiences are.”
She concluded, “As an administrator, I would like to see what our kids can accomplish, reducing the barriers of the cost.”
“I would be interested in the Board paying for a year.. just to be able to see the data analysis, in terms of aligning the data to our curriculum… I think this would benefit everybody,” said board member Jason Reeves.
The Board made a final decision to offer the AP exam as an option to students who want to take the exam this year. The Board will revisit the discussion next year to decide if the AP exam will be required for all students in AP classes in the 2020-21 school year.