Two OHS African-American studies classes hosted a panel of Owensboro African-American leaders from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the OHS media center on Tuesday, March 7. OHS students are currently reading about the use of the “n” word in their African-American studies class.
The idea for the topic is based on two articles, Leonard Pitts Jr.’s “N-word Keeps Spreading with Stubborn Insistence” and Allen Francis’ “The “N” Word, It Just Slips Out.”
“It’s so important to expose our students to leaders in the community. I think an outside influence always provides a good learning opportunity,” said Lori Thurman, OHS Teacher.
The panel guests were Owensboro NAACP President Rev. Rhondalyn Randolph, City Commissioner Pamela Smith-Wright, attorney Dion Moorman and Owensboro Middle School Principal Cheri Smith.
OIA students taught physics lessons to all five Owensboro Public Schools’ elementary school fourth graders. On Monday, each OPS elementary school fourth grade class taught the lesson they learned to another OPS elementary school fourth grade class in what school officials are calling the Science Olympics.
“It’s been an absolute joy to watch our students teach OPS fourth graders different science labs. What’s incredible is the OIA students wrote the lessons themselves and came up with the hands-on activities,” said Beth Benjamin, OIA principal.
The lessons include marshmallow shooters and catapults, color with CD spectroscopes, telegraphs, rockets and sound by making instruments.
“We believe there’s no better way to teach a science lesson than by doing a project that shows how the lesson is applied in the real world,” said Stephanie Gray, OIA facilitator.
OIA students were on hand to help the fourth graders with the lessons.
Sutton’s chorus performed and their drama troupe did comedy sketches throughout the evening. Art projects were also showcased. School officials cut a ceremonial ribbon to officially open the space. Sutton Elementary has been and is a special place for anyone who has connections to the school. Over the past year, the school has undergone some major renovations and students and staff wanted to showcase their new, state-of-the art facility to the public.
“We are thrilled to partner with KWC to offer an opportunity where our students will get exposure to not only a college athletic event, but an overall collegiate experience,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS superintendent.
There will be several announcements during both games highlighting the Owensboro Public Schools and all of the programs OPS offers. At halftime of both games, several students will be recognized for various achievements. KWC will have an Admissions booth available at the games. All students and parents are encouraged to stop by to learn more about KWC.
“Kentucky Wesleyan College is thrilled to sponsor this event and partner with OPS. We welcome this opportunity to showcase our phenomenal academic programs and extra-curricular activities to our area schools and community. I hope everyone will visit our admissions booth and take a moment to learn about all the great things going on at Wesleyan,” said Jeremy Pittman, Vice President of Admissions.
Members of the Owensboro High School Chorus program will perform the National Anthem before the men’s game. Owensboro High School cheerleaders will cheer for both games. Both teams play Trevecca Nazarene University. The women play at 1 p.m. The men play at 3:15 p.m.
“I wanted to encourage the Parent Teacher Organization to take on a fundraising event that promotes health and exercise for our students and parents. The bike rodeo is the perfect fit,” said Steve Bratcher, Newton Parrish principal.
“The timing of the event couldn’t be better with summer just around the corner. We want to make sure that students’ bikes are in good shape and that they know how to ride their bikes in the safest way possible,” said Katy Harrison, Newton Parrish teacher.
Over $200 was raised for the March of Dimes.
The open house is specifically for eighth-graders and their parents to come check out what OIA is all about. OIA currently serves students in Daviess County and Hancock County.
“Right now we are in the recruiting phase at our school. Myself and current OIA students have been visiting area middle schools to tell students about OIA. Hosting an open house is even more beneficial as it allows the students and their parents an opportunity to come check us out,” said Beth Benjamin, OIA director.
The Owensboro Innovation Academy is a small stand-alone high school where students learn through project-based learning. OIA is in its second year of existence and is the only New Tech Network affiliated school in Kentucky. You must start at OIA your freshman year. New students are selected using a stratified lottery that reflects the population of their home high school. If you’re interested in applying to be a student, you can pick up an application at your middle school or call OIA at (270) 686-1085 and the school will send you one via email.
“Traditional high school isn’t for everybody. I’m thankful to get the opportunity to attend a school that’s designed to best meet how I learn,” said Hannah Clark, OIA student.
The Daviess County and Owensboro Public Schools districts have collaborated to create a new Teacher Education Academy, which will be part of the Community Campus program beginning August 2016. This semester, approximately seven students piloted the program by taking a course at Kentucky Wesleyan College following up on the Owensboro Community and Technical College’s Introduction to Education class they took at Daviess County High School.
The program is designed to provide practical information and experience for students considering careers in the education field. Students will take Introduction to Education classes at their home schools of Apollo and Daviess County high schools through OCTC. Owensboro High School students will take their Intro to Education class at Brescia University. Upon taking classes in English 101 and Intro to Education through OCTC or Brescia University, teacher pathway classes will be taken on the campuses of local partner post-secondary institutions Kentucky Wesleyan College and Brescia University.
Introduction to Education classes have been offered for several years at Daviess County High School under the leadership of Therese Payne. Starting in the fall of 2016, they will also be available to students in-house at Apollo High School. AHS College and Career Readiness counselor Jeremy Camron will teach the course through OCTC. These classes offer students the opportunity to earn up to 21 hours of college credit from OCTC while still in high school through a combination of education and general education courses.
The goals of the Teacher Education Academy are to grow and develop a pipeline of highly qualified teachers for local public schools and to increase the overall diversity of the local teaching staff, in addition to fostering partnerships and promoting local post-secondary institutions as quality teacher education program options. The Teacher Academy allows students to take education courses through the Community Campus partnership at KWC or Brescia at a special cost of $50 per course at KWC or $45 at Brescia University. Credits will be transferrable to other education programs at colleges across Kentucky.
The program is open to students who will be juniors or seniors in the 2016-17 school year. Interested students should contact their high school guidance counselors.
“This career pathway program will be a great opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Nick Brake, OPS Superintendent. “They can take classes while in high school, go to college and get their degree, and then come right back and serve in our school system. It’s a win-win for not only OPS and DCPS but the local colleges as well.”
DCPS Superintendent Owens Saylor said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to nurture a love for learning in students who are still in high school with the vision of allowing them to earn a college degree and then return to classrooms right here in Daviess County as teachers.”