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U of L Students Displaced by Fire Have Temporary Housing, Classes Resume After 4 pm

A dozen University of Louisville students were displaced by a fire in their residence hall after lighting struck the building early Tuesday, but officials say the building can house the students in other rooms until a more permanent solution is found.

Providence, the privately-run student housing complex located near U of L’s Belknap Campus, caught fire but no students were injured, officials said. Nearly two dozen students were affected and Providence officials said half of the displaced students had renters insurance.

The Red Cross responded to the incident and provided assistance, said U of L President James Ramsey.

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Kentucky’s Gatton Academy Named Nation’s Top Public High School, But Can It Be Replicated?

Newsweek Magazine has again compiled a list of the best high schools in the country, and a Kentucky school is on top.

To call the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science a high school, you’d have to suspend an element of reality. You’ll find no football games, pep rallies, or dismissal bells on the Kentucky campus. Instead you’d find couches designed for study halls and white boards scribbled with advanced math. Last week, one student even walked around campus in a t-shirt proclaiming, “Extreme science: What a rush.”

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Kentucky Backpedals On Changes Testing Reading Comprehension

The Kentucky Board of Education is resubmitting changes to the way students with learning disabilities take reading comprehension tests.

Last year, the board approved a regulatory change that would prevent certain students from having teachers read them portions of reading comprehension tests. Now, the state is allowing some students in special circumstances to bypass that regulation.

“Most states do not allow readers for students with disabilities on reading comprehension tests,” said Lisa Gross, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education.

Critics say Kentucky’s reading comprehension scores are higher than the national average because the state allows the use of readers. While its still unclear how much allowing readers might affect state test scores, experts in the field have said having readers help students negates test results, said Gross.

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Kentucky Ranks High In National Science Scores

Kentucky’s 8th grade science scores in the latest national assessment exceed that of the nation’s average, but the state made less progress overall.

“The average scale score for our 8th graders in science is six points above the national average,” said Lisa Gross, spokeswomen for the Kentucky Department of Education.

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5 JCPS Schools Among States Top 10, Report Says

Five Louisville schools are among the state’s best according to U.S. News & World Report’s “Best High Schools” list:

• DuPont Manual: #1
• Brown School: #2
• Ballard: #6
• Eastern: #8
• Louisville Male: #9

Manual and Brown are the only Kentucky schools ranked among the top 200 nationally. Ballard, Eastern, and Male are ranked among the top 1,000 nationally.

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Greater Clark Interviews Five to Replace Superintendent Daeschner

Candidates looking to become the next Superintendent of Greater Clark County Schools are being interviewed this week.

Whoever takes over for current Superintendent Stephen Daescher will be expected to continue the district’s success. Daeschner has improved student achievement since taking over in 2009; Greater Clark met all No Child Left Behind goals last year. But Daeschner’s nearly $230,000 salary makes him one of the highest paid superintendent’s in the state and that will likely be cut to $180,000.

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Oldham County Taps New Superintendent to Continue Successes

The Oldham County Board of Education has named its replacement for retiring Superintendent Paul Upchurch.

Dr. William Wells is currently an assistant superintendent for Oldham County Schools. Wells has worked in the district since 1996 and was previously a math and science teacher and counselor in Jefferson County Public Schools.

Oldham County is one of the highest performing districts in the state.

Wells told WFPL he’ll try to continue that tradition by focusing on literacy and said this can be accomplished by having good teachers.

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JCPS Elementary Counselors Approve of Assistant Principal Proposal

The Jefferson County Board of Education has approved a plan to add over 70 assistant principals to elementary schools to relieve administrative work-loads that many school counselors were forced to pick up.

“What we did is we took a half-a-counselor funding away and applied it onto assistant principals,” said JCPS board member Linda Duncan.

The $3.5 million proposal was approved at this week’s board meeting, where several principals showed support. The plan will partly be funded by re-directing financing for half-time counselor positions to assistant principals for elementary schools with over 400 students.

“They needed the extra half-counselor because one counselor was always spending so much time acting as an assistant principal,” said Duncan.

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Kentucky Extends Concussion Training to Middle School Coaches

Gov. Steve Beshear has signed a bill into law, HB281, that extends mandatory concussion training to all coaches involved in inter-scholastic athletics.

Kentucky previously only required high school coaches to undergo training related to preventing and treating common injuries. The Commonwealth now joins 35 other states that have passed some form of state-wide concussion legislation.

Most of those states are supported by the National Football League, which focuses on the three main principals from Lystedt Law model legislation.

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Louisville Parent Meets President Obama

A Jefferson County parent will meet President Barack Obama Thursday in recognition of parent engagement in children’s education.

Myrdin Thompson is a mother of three and an active PTA member who was chosen last year to be a member of Champions of Change, which is Mr. Obama’s campaign to recognize outstanding individuals from educators to entrepreneurs. The small group of 12 champions will help celebrate the one year anniversary of the campaign.