High school receives prestigious award for improvements
BARLOW, KY —
The Kentucky School Board Association awarded Ballard County Schools’ with the Public Education Achieves in Kentucky (PEAK) award Tuesday. It’s only given to two schools in the state every year.
The school went from being 34% college and career ready to 86 % in three years. As for their graduation rate, it’s gone from 86.5% in 2011 to 94.2 % in 2013.
Principal David Meinschein said they’re focusing on teaching students skills they can use post-graduation. He said they’ve changed their strategy for teaching to be college and career oriented so students can have hands on opportunities to prepare for the field of their choice.
Senior Jade Tilford said dual-credit classes at her school allow her to start college with most of her general electives done.
“This is a really big deal that we are allowed to be able to do this here,” Tilford said.
It can save students a lot of money and time. Three credits cost about $50.
The school also offers technical classes like industrial maintenance and welding so students can earn state certifications and be job ready.
Principal Meinschein said he wants skills taught in school to transfer into the real world.
“Not just today, but five years down the road, ten years down the road. Skills to acquire new skills as technology changes. That’s our goal,” Meinshcein said.
The school also hired a college readiness counselor to help in guiding students. In 2013, an 88 person class graduated with more than 1,350 college credit hours. It saved about $28,000 for each student.
These college classes are provided through partnerships with West Kentucky Technical College and Murray State.