Reflecting on the Past Year
Reflecting on the Past Year
Posted on 01/03/2014
This is the image for the news article titled Reflecting on the Past Year

For our district, and our students, 2013 brought with it many reasons to celebrate.

Here, you’ll find a list of a few of the happenings that really stand out for us when thinking about 2013. However, we also know that some of the most important and exciting accomplishments are those that took place day to day because of the opportunities created every day for our kids to shine. These moments are very often game changers.

Here are a few district-wide happenings worth our list of reflections for 2013:

  • We officially launched an engineering program at all levels, elementary, middle and high, thanks to our teachers’ initiative and the support of a Project Lead the Way grant. (Thanks, Kathy Belcher!)
  • We were featured on PBS’ NewsHour and KET’s Education Matters.
  • DHS hit an all-time high with College and Career Readiness. In two years, they’ve more than doubled their rate. THIS is a celebration – and a game changer – for students. AWESOME. And, they are on track to top this all time high THIS year!
  • The NY Consortium Schools invited (and provided full funding for!) us to be part of their Performance-based assessment work.
  • Thanks to the partnership with the NY Consortium, we’ve developed our own Performance-based Assessment Plan. Bate is the first to implement with Round Tables for 6th graders and individual Defenses for students in grades 7 and 8.
  • Bate was also recognized as one of 25 P21 Exemplars nation-wide by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
  • Students in grades 5 and 8 completed their first Transition Presentations of Learning (along with college-like applications!) in 2013, and made us so proud. Along those same lines, seniors will complete Capstone presentations this spring.
  • Also in 2013, digital portfolios were established for all students. The digital portfolio provides a virtual bookshelf of sorts where students can store evidence of their progress toward the Danville Diploma competencies.
  • Danville was named one of four Districts of Innovation in KY, and is leading the way in the development of a new assessment system. A waiver is in the works and will be submitted to the federal government in February…and we weren’t even supposed to ask for this in the DOI application. Proof that it never hurts to try!
  • We held our first – or the first in awhile – BIG ADMIRAL MADNESS to celebrate our student athletes, and discovered many unknown talents of both students AND coaches!
  • Speaking of hidden talents, Dancing with the Danville Stars earned over $20,000.00 this year, more than doubling last year’s donations.
  • Both DHS and Bate are making major headway with our DOI plan. Bate has their own iTeam, and they are on a roll, already planning for next year. One of the really neat things they did this year was to create a schedule that allowed flexibility for teachers to work together to create interdisciplinary, project-based experiences for students.

    DHS gave their schedule a transformational overhaul, complete with time for advising, independent learning and student internships. (And, thanks to our Pathways Coach, Vaughn Little, and our wonderful community partners, our kids are enjoying incredible experiences!)

  • On that note, our Pathways position was made possible by funding from the Next Generation Learning Challenges initiative, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We are one of the very few public districts benefitting from this initiative. Traditionally, NGLC funds charters. They believe, however, that our work has tremendous potential for public education.
  • Also in 2013, our district was featured in the Harvard Letter, Education Week and in Tom VanderArk and Matchbook Learning blogs.
  • Most recently – and a perfect way to close the year – Toliver math interventionist, Suzanne Farmer, was named a winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor. CONGRATULATIONS, Suzanne!
  • And, can you believe that Suzanne wasn’t the only Admiral to be recognized by the White House? DHS senior Emma Jackson received her own invitation to the White House. We are SO PROUD of both Suzanne and Emma!
  • Danville also holds the state record for girls’ Cross Country championships, thanks to Meagan Smith’s victory this fall. That makes SEVEN for us! GO, MEAGAN and FAST ADS! (Very important note: Meagan is the daughter of Danville staff member Linda Smith, a very proud mom!)

Although this certainly isn’t a complete list of accomplishments for our district, we hope it is enough to give you a sense of the impactful work we are doing. 

We are looking forward to the year ahead. Happy New Year!