Every new school year brings change: The 2009-10 year will be known primarily for its physical changes.
Two new school facilities, along with upgrades at many other school locations and two more facilities in the plans, makes the Bullitt County Public Schools system look like a construction zone as well as an education zone.
Students, parents and school administrators all need to heed caution and be safe at the schools facing construction issues.
Meanwhile, the Bullitt County Public Schools system continues to expand and improve while striving toward a successful future.
The Bullitt Central staff will attempt to offer additional one-on-one student assistance with its new Cougar Connection program.
Assistant Principal Angela Moore said the Cougar Connection was an advisor/advisee program in which each faculty member personally meets with 20 to 25 individual students on a weekly basis.
Faculty members will maintain correspondence pertaining to school issues, grades, attendance and general school performance.
“Overall it’s just to help students be successful and assist them where needed,” Moore said. “It’s sort of similar to having a homeroom, but more structured. We’ll try to pair teachers with their expert grade levels.”
Bullitt Central students will experience class schedule changes this year, attending a five-block schedule rather than four.
“We hope to improve academic achievement by teaching core classes year-round,” Moore said. She added that students could still earn the same amount of credit.
Moore and Principal Christy Coulter return to the school with the same administrative staff. Among the school’s new faces is counselor Shannon Sellinger.
Bullitt Central Freshmen orientation is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 3, at 6 p.m. Moore said parents are encouraged to join the students in attending the event.
Principal Debby Atherton believes there is a solution to every problem.
Atherton said a big emphasis on problem solving should create a friendlier environment for Bullitt East students, teachers and parents.
“We’re really going to try to service them in this whole customer service (concept) that the district is doing,” she said. “I want them to know that if they have a problem I want them to let me know about it. We’re going to try and come up with a solution.”
Bullitt East will welcome a new assistant principal, band director and several new teachers.
The school will also continue to fight Highway 44 traffic problems. Atherton said parents dropping off or picking up students were encouraged to turn into the Old Mill Elementary entrance and make a loop in front of the school.
Other changes include minor dress code revisions available at the school’s Web site, ww2.bullittschools.org/behs.
Parents may sign up for the principal’s weekly newsletter from the site.
Bullitt East will host a Tips for Transitioning workshop for Freshmen parents and students Tuesday, Aug. 4, at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 10 a.m.
Freshman orientation will take place Wednesday, Aug. 5, from 9 a.m. until noon.
The Bullitt East Open House is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m.
For the first time in a number of years, North Bullitt High School will experience no construction issues during the upcoming semester.
The completed building will host North Bullitt’s first Freshmen Academy, a program previously implemented at other county high schools. Principal Tracey Lamb said North Bullitt experimented with a similar program last year to work the bugs out.
Another change at North Bullitt is a new weighted grade program similar to other county high schools.
“We’re making a real effort to be as alike as possible with the other schools,” said Lamb. “We do tend to trade our students, and that eases the transition.”
Brian Higdon was hired as new North Bullitt assistant principal and head of the new Freshmen Academy. Amy Rogers will act as the program’s counselor.
Long-time North Bullitt basketball coach Bill Robinette takes over as the school’s athletic director, replacing the retiring Rob Williams. Lee Barger has become the new assistant AD.
Freshmen parent night is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 5, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Students may pick up their schedules at the school Monday, Aug. 3, and Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.
RIVERVIEW and BULLITT COUNTY DAY TREATMENT
Riverview High School is an alternative institution available for academically at-risk students due to various reasons such as medical issues, educational setbacks or personal problems.
Paula Foster, Riverview’s secretary and technology coordinator, said Riverview’s biggest change this year was the retirement of counselor/coordinator Carolyn Dennison.
The Riverview community remains positive with long-time Bullitt Central counselor Rick Dawson stepping into the vacancy.
Principal Doug Roberts said Dawson served in multiple capacities with Bullitt Central and the Riverview staff looked forward to working alongside him.
“Mr. Dawson is excited about the opportunity to work with students and to provide the needed support in order for every student to be successful and graduate,” Roberts said.
Also new is Marc Hardin, who takes over as instructor of the Middle School Recovery Program (MSRP) classes.
Foster said the Teenage Parenting Program (TAPP) remains open and available to all teen parent-students. She reminded that the program was available to both teen mothers and fathers.
BULLITT COUNTY AREA TECHNOLOGY CENTER
Located behind Bullitt Central, the Tech Center provides intensive technical education and skills training in a safe environment, assisting students in the transition from school to job.
Tech Center courses focus on automotive, carpentry, graphic technology and welding, along with health sciences.
Students may also co-op with local and community businesses for real-life work experience.
Classes are held weekdays from 7:20 a.m. until 2:05 p.m. Office hours are 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The school is led by Principal Brady Southwood.
For more information call 543-7018 or 1-866-969-0003.
Hebron Middle students will have a first-hand view of their school’s two-year facelift.
Principal John Barbagallo promised the building was safe for students and would make for a fun school year.
“Kids are more flexible than adults,” he said.
The 7th grade students will begin the year in a different hall, while the gym will be closed. Physical Education classes will take place outdoors. Barbagallo said sports games would be hosted at neighboring North Bullitt High School, with practices at nearby Freedom Elementary.
During the second semester Barbagallo said Hebron students would eat lunch at North Bullitt.
“By 12:30 we’ll have the whole North Bullitt cafeteria filled with Hebron kids,” he said.
A slight variation will take place at the student drop-off. Barbagallo said students would be dropped at the same location but will enter and exit through the cafeteria entrance rather than the gym.
First period classes will officially begin at 8 a.m., with students arriving to the rooms by 7:40.
“Our goal is that 7:40 to 8 is an eating, homeroom time,” said Barbagallo. “The idea is to go right into the first class.”
Barbagallo will greet students along with new assistant principal Margie Reece. Receptionist and attendance clerk Kara Meredith is Hebron’s new bookkeeper.
Hebron was designated a Title One school this year, meaning more funding for reading and math programs. The school was designated to implement a pilot program called Read 180. Barbagallo said the program focuses on high interest literature, reading and writing skills in learning groups.
“This program could eventually replace the Striving Readers program,” he said.
Other new programs include Literacy Based Enrichment (LBE), a reading program based on subject matter popular to students, and the Carnegie Math program for 8th graders, offering additional in-depth math skills.
Hebron’s back-to-school kickoff will take place Friday, Aug. 7, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Bullitt Lick Middle School returns with its same name and mascot after some discussion to change identities over the summer.
With the decision now in its past, Bullitt Lick looks ahead in a positive direction during Principal Johnda Conley’s first full year.
Aiming toward the future, Bullitt Lick will create a new archery team. Archery will now be included as part of the school’s Physical Education classes.
A new technology class and visual arts class will be included in an arts rotation along with Music and Health/PE.
The Bullitt Lick Academic Team will add a future problem solving team.
Bullitt Lick 7th and 8th grade students will participate in the Carnegie Math Program, giving them two math classes for the year along with their traditional course. The Carnegie Math Program is an award-winning software program focusing on problem solving skills along with detailed math skills.
Bullitt Lick’s ESS program will now be offered during the school day for students without after-school transportation.
The 6th grade Bobcat Days orientation includes four sessions over two days: Thursday, July 30, and Friday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. A cookout is scheduled in between the sessions.
The 7th and 8th students may attend a general orientation Thursday, Aug. 6, at 6 p.m. Conley will discuss important information while students can meet teachers, pick up schedules and purchase school T-shirts for $10.
Student schedule pick-ups will be held Monday, Aug. 3, and Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.
There are still a few details up in the air at Mount Washington Middle. Construction remains in full swing for a new elementary school located behind the building.
Principal Denise Allen was unsure if there would be changes to pick-up and drop-off procedures due to the construction.
“At this point we just don’t know,” she said.
Parents may call 538-4227 for continuing traffic updates.
Because of a new focus on reading accountability, the school will offer an exploratory reading period rather than art classes. She said students would rotate through the class, being individually assessed to determine their reading status.
Building changes include heating and air conditioning upgrades as well as new motion-sensitive, energy efficient lighting.
The annual Generals Bash Open House is scheduled Thursday, Aug. 6, at 6:30 p.m.
Eastside Middle is all about continual improvement.
Principal Bonita Franklin said students would continue to build on great programs as one of the Kentucky Schools to Watch. The school would be re-evaluated for the program at the end of 2009-2010 school year.
“We’re simply going to be honing in on what we have already put into place,” said Franklin. “What we’re doing is simply expanding the successful programs we already have.”
Eastside is adding a second technology class this year. Franklin said the school expanded technology offerings due to positive student response.
“We just feel so strongly that it’s the language our kids communicate in and work in,” she said.
After three years the school’s Parent-Teacher-Student Organization raised enough funds for an all-digital sign to be installed within the next couple of weeks.
Eastside’s open house is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 20.
Bernheim Middle is undergoing some exciting changes this year with the addition of several extra-curricular activities and potential additional sports programs.
Principal Bob Bright said the school would create an archery team. Nathan Hall with the school’s Beta club would work to expand the program.
Students will notice some dress code changes including knee-length khaki or denim hemmed shorts and solid-color Capri pants.
Bernheim will be welcoming new assistant principal Melissa Hogue-Mills to its administrative staff.
Students are encouraged to bring family members to Bernheim’s open house on Thursday, Aug. 6, from 5-8 p.m.
One of Bullitt County’s newest institutions, Zoneton has quickly established itself in the county.
Principal Rita Muratalla said Zoneton’s faculty, staff and students are ready to move ahead to further achievements.
On board to help Muratalla is assistant principal Chad Buckman. The school also has a new counselor, Debbie Burford.
The faculty will welcome incoming 6th graders during Timberwolf Days Monday, Aug. 3, and Tuesday, Aug. 4.
“Pre-registering is very important,” Muratalla added.
Zoneton’s open house takes place Thursday, Aug. 6, starting at 6 p.m.
“We’re excited about this year,” said Muratalla. “There’s a lot of anticipation.”