January 26, 2018
#TeamHopkins supports #MarshallStrong

Our hearts go out to the Marshall County community after the tragedy earlier this week. Please continue to keep the students, faculty and staff in your thoughts and prayers.

#TeamHopkins has been reaching out to Marshall County High School. Three of our counselors - Shannon Bowles of Pride Elementary; Jeannie Morris of Madisonville North Hopkins and John Tichenor of Jesse Stuart - have volunteered their services to Marshall County through a state-wide effort to support the district.

At tonight's rivalry basketball game, the Madisonville Maroons and Hopkins County Central Storm are teaming up in support of Marshall County High School. All fans are encouraged to wear orange to the game. Also, "Marshall Strong" T-shirts will be sold by the dance teams from both schools today. If shirts are still available, they will be sold at the game tonight. Cost is $10. Thanks to board member J.W. Durst for taking the initiative on this project. Proceeds will be donated to MCHS. 
Sources of Strength
Tools promote mental health

Middle school students throughout the district are learning to be "Sources of Strength" for their KDE trainer leads group activity at South Hopkins MIddle School peers.

A select group of students, staff and community members have taken part in training for the Sources of Strength program. While the trainings have already taken place at South Hopkins and West Hopkins, they are scheduled for Jan. 30-31 for James Madison and Browning Springs. Organizers plan to continue the program in future years.

Sources of Strength is a mental wellness program for youth and young adults that uses the power of peer-led social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying and substance abuse. The Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health paid for the training, which was led by KDE.

Community partners include Hopkins County Health Department, the Extension Office, Pennyroyal Mental Health, and youth ministers. Interested community members are volunteering to be adult advisors, as well.

The program is peer led.

"While the message is the same, each school gets to personalize it," said Wendy Watts district PBIS coach and KSI coordinator. "This is an 'upstream' program because instead of talking about suicide prevention, it covers wellness factors. It gives them the tools of what it takes to be mentally healthy."

Education Commissioner visits district classrooms
Education Commissioner Pruitt and another KDE administrator observe science class at Earlington Elementary.
Click image to view a photo gallery from the visit.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt visited Hopkins County Schools on Nov. 30.During the visit, he observed science instruction at the Career & Technology Center, Earlington Elementary, Hopkins County Central High School and South Hopkins Middle School. He said in a tweet that the CTC health sciences program is "an incredible example" of how quality, highly needed jobs can be filled through partnership with K-12 and industry, with the help of a federal research grant.

All in a Day's Work
Superintendent stays busy with school visits, strategic meetings,
long-range planning and more

Hopkins County Schools Superintendent Deanna Ashby starts her work day early. Well before
Elementary students work together at desks_ with Superintendent Ashby and other administrators observing.
Hopkins County Schools Superintendent Deanna Ashby observes in a classroom at Earlington Elementary School during a hands-on science lesson. This was during a visit by Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt.
the sun rises, she is emailing assignments to employees and responding to others who have asked for direction.

"You lay out your plans," she said. "You try to start planning for what you're doing during the day."
Events of the day often intervene, however, causing changes to her daily plans. However, the overall mission and responsibilities remain the same.

"We want to make sure that our teachers are prepared with the resources that they need," Ashby said. "The supports that we give them are going to impact every child's desk. We want to make sure that from a district standpoint we're providing the supports that they need."

The day-to-day responsibilities of a superintendent include developing long-range plans consistent with population trends and community needs; providing for the optimum use of staff; following appropriate budgetary procedures; safeguarding all district assets; and maintaining a liaison with community groups, other school districts and the state and federal departments of education.

"For me, education truly is a mission field," Ashby said. "One Team, One Mission, One Community truly is what I stand for. It's what I went into education for. It is about servant leadership. It is our responsibility to love, protect and educate our kids. That may mean helping a single mom or dad, it may be taking the time to walk the parents through some of the paperwork that we have to do, it may be trying to help faculty and staff see things from a parent standpoint."

Link to full story from the Chamber of Commerce Magazine

SKILLS Day Expectations

As a reminder, expectations for instructional staff on a SKILLS Day include the following:
  • All are responsible to connect with students and parents from noon-2 p.m.
  • An additional 4 ½ hours of work must be documented. This work may include grading, creating lesson plans, and interacting with students, as well as professional growth activities.
  • No non-instructional social media posts during work hours.
  • Do not complete work for a second job.

Notes from Finance

W2s will be mailed today to district staff. Also, the 1095C forms will be mailed before March 2, 2018.
Suzanne Duncan
Duncan elected board chairwoman

Suzanne Duncan has been elected chairwoman of the Hopkins County Board of Education for 2018. She succeeds board member Steve Faulk, who served in the role last year. J.W. Durst was elected vice chairman.
Ky School Board Recognition Month

Kentucky is again observing January as School Board Recognition Month and Hopkins County Schools is joining in the celebration.

The Hopkins Board of Education is composed of Suzanne Duncan, Division 1; Steve Faulk, Division II; Susanne Wolford, Division III; Shawn Brumfield, Division IV; and J.W. Durst, Division V.

"The voters of our community have created a special group of education leaders in this board," said Superintendent Deanna Ashby. "They are true partners in the work to ensure every child in every classroom can experience high quality teaching and learning."

Kentucky's 173 public school systems will use January to recognize the work of the state's 867 local school board members.

Angela Richards
"A 'Lion Chaser' is one who perseveres and will do whatever it takes to reach a goal.   As a classroom teacher, I set many classroom goals. I spend countless hours tweaking and changing instructional plans to meet student needs. Seeing my students achieve at their highest potential is worth all the time invested. Each student is one caring adult away from success. At Hanson Elementary, our faculty and staff are "Lion Chasers." We work diligently to ensure students are getting what they need. There is no "I" in teamwork, and at Hanson Elementary, we are a team with a "Lion Chaser" approach. We have hearts of gold, and we will continue to let them shine!"
- Angela Richards
Hanson Elementary Kindergarten Teacher & HCEA President

"A Lion Chaser to me is someone who is ready to face a challenge head-on. They are not looking for someone else to take up the challenge, but they are ready to accept it themselves.   The Lion Chaser is also not afraid of failure when facing a Kent Akin challenge. If the Lion Chaser does experience failure, he continues to come back and chase the lion. 
One of the biggest problems that I - and others - face is fear of failure. A Lion Chaser shows by example that you can fail at something and get back up and try again.  A true Lion Chaser is also there to help others when they are facing failure and realize that we can chase the lions TOGETHER.  I have been blessed that God has put so many Lion Chasers in my life. They are still helping me continue to fight my failures and turn them into successes. Sometimes, failing to catch the lion and accomplish what I was after has made me see that I really needed to be chasing another lion. God had another thing for me to do. With other Lion Chaser's help, I have been able to do this. I hope that I am able to help others chase their lions, also."
- Kent Akin
Hopkins County Central Athletic Director

How are YOU being a Lion Chaser?
State Immunization Requirements Changing

Hopkins County Schools wants to make parents aware of changes in immunization requirements for the 2018-2019 school year.

"Parents need to know about these changes now so that they can check their child's immunization record and start making appointments with their doctor or the Health Department to stay up-to-date on vaccinations," said Hopkins County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Laura James. The district is working closely on this issue with Hopkins County Health Department, which operates a clinic in each school.

An amendment to Kentucky law (902 KAR 2:060 - Immunization Schedules for Attending School) added new immunization requirements for the school year beginning on or after July 1, 2018. Changes involve the following:
  • All students in kindergarten through 12th grade must show proof of having received two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine to attend school (doses are administered 6 months or more apart), and
  • Students ages 16 years or older must show proof of having received two doses of Meningococcal ACWY vaccine (MenACWY) to attend school. However, if the first dose of MenACWY was received at age 16 or older, the second dose is not required for school entry.
Also, all vaccines administered should now be printed on the Commonwealth of Kentucky Certificate of Immunization Status form.

Parents are encouraged to see their child's medical provider or local health department as soon as possible.  All students should have an updated and current certificate on file at school before the start of the 2018-2019 school year.

Grant to fund Green Dot Club at HCCHS

A Hopkins County Central sophomore has been awarded a grant to start a Green Dot Club at the school.

Brooklyn Stone wrote the proposal that was awarded a $500 Change Maker Grant by the Brooklyn Stone Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs. Sanctuary Inc. has also been involved in this effort. Plans call for starting the club in January.

The goal of the Green Dot Club is to recruit members from all the different groups within the school culture. Through education and participation, they hope to prevent sexual assault, dating violence and bullying.

"I think it helps kids because you get to be involved in something that changes people's lives," said Stone, who was selected to go through Green Dot training as a freshman.

"I was bullied once, and I wanted to change that," she said. "Nobody deserves to get bullied for what they wear, what they drive, where they live, or anything else."

One activity Stone can see the club doing is leaving positive messages in people's lockers.

"A lot of kids talk about how they want to make a difference or how they want to see something done about bullying," said guidance counselor Robyn Richardson, "but Brooklyn is actually doing something. She really is trying to be the change."

Community Partners

The community organizations that #TeamHopkins have been highlighting in January are the Humane Society (Pride Elementary) and United Way of the Coalfield (Earlington Elementary. The organizations for February are Breaking Bread (Hanson Elementary) and Red Cross (Jesse Stuart Elementary).

Breaking Bread is a free meal program that provides a hot lunch and distributes groceries the
Group photo of Hanson staff and students outside Breaking Bread.
Hanson Elementary School staff & students volunteer at Breaking Bread earlier.
third Saturday of the month. Since it started in 2012, nearly 600,000 meals have been provided to needy residents. Hanson faculty and students helped serve at Breaking Bread in the fall, and plan to help again this spring.
United Way of the Coalfield brings together community, business, nonprofit and government leaders to support nine agencies in Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties. Hopkins County Schools' employees contributed $5,955.57 during the fall fund-raising campaign. EES, its partner school, was the 2nd highest contributor of those funds. Earlington teachers and staff also supported United Way's Got Talent in August.

The Western Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross serves 24 counties across the region, including Hopkins. The organization is involved in disaster response, classes that teach life-saving skills, support for U.S. service members, and more. Students at their partner school, JSES, created Christmas cards for veterans that were distributed across our region.

Hopkins County Humane Society works to place adoptable animals into safe, loving homes while promoting spaying and neutering pets. Pride Elementary has supported the organization this year by collecting donations of food, bleach and blankets, and $400 cash. The school also sent home information about the Kroger reward card program and Courtyard of Curiosity Club members volunteered there for an afternoon. Another event is planned in conjunction with a family night.

Group of people with 12 display checks at Independence Bank sign.
Banking on the Community
Several groups that are part of Hopkins County Schools received donations from Independence Bank in December. Family Resource Youth Services Centers received $2,000 from the Buzz contest. The FFA chapters at Madisonville North Hopkins and Hopkins County Central each received $1,200 from the proceeds of the Farm to Fork Dinner. The 4-H organizations at both high schools also received $1,200 each. Thanks to Independence Bank for its support!

Heather French Henry with Southside students.

Poppy Project

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Commissioner Heather French Henry visited Southside Elementary School on Dec. 4 to collect Hopkins County Schools' contribution to the Kentucky Poppy Project.

The project is a state initiative to remember local lives lost during World War I. Hopkins County students contributed 1,700 construction paper poppies to the effort.

Henry, Miss America 2000, also spoke to Southside students about the contributions of Kentuckians during World War I. Southside students made more than 400 of the flowers - more than any other school.

The Kentucky Poppy Project will be displayed on a wall at the 2018 Kentucky State Fair.
A STEP Forward
Group photo with display check

Hopkins County STEP (Start Thinking Exer cise Powe r) Coalition has donated $1,600 to Hopkins County Schools' elementary school for the purchase of equipment. Each elementary PE program will receive $200. These are the proceeds from the 2017 BAJA 5K and 1 Mile Fun Walk held on Sept. 30.  The STEP Coalition was formed in 2005 to support, encourage and endorse activities promoting health and wellness. The next BAJA is tentatively set for Sept. 29, 2018.
The Giving Season

BSMS students serve Thanksgiving lunch

Student serves lunch to man
Browning Springs Middle School's Leadership students continued the school's annual tradition of serving Thanksgiving lunch at the Salvation Army. Students say they enjoy the opportunity to give back to the community.

Kenergy donates socks, hats

FRYSC coordinators with sacks of donated items
Kenergy collected socks and hats for our Hopkins County students. These items were divided up among our Family Resource Centers to give to students.

Coats for Kids

Coats for Kids gives coats to FRYSC coordinators.
The Coats for Kids organization generously donated coats for needy children. The organization has worked with FRYSC coordinators to get the exact sizes for our students for the past several years.

Jeans for FRYSCs

Group of bank employees with display check for _1_300.
First United Bank employees donated $1,300 to our Family Resource Centers and $1,300 to Shop with a Cop. The money was raised through "Jeans Day"fundraisers last year.

Grapevine Bell Ringers
Four students at Salvation Army kettle location
Grapevine Elementary Junior Beta Club volunteered as Salvation Army bell-ringers this year. They worked at the Market Place kettle location.

Breakfast Bunch

Group photo of volunteers
Hanson Elementary students collected breakfast food for the Christian Food Bank. Students in kindergarten, 2nd grade and 4th grade collected more than 720 items.

MNHHS ag students make Toys for Tots
Group of people_ several of them holding toys_ pose by fire truck.
For the past two years, students of the Madisonville North Hopkins Agriculture Department have been helping Santa around the holiday season. In order to demonstrate their ability to use shop equipment, these students begin the class by building wooden toys that are later donated to the local Toys-for-Tots program. Each year students in this program build more than 30 toys to be donated. The past two years, Anton Volunteer Fire Department has served as a community partner for the program. This year, they donated an additional 72 toys for this cause. The group also seeks out various community partners to match the number of toys built with donated toys. Both years the Anton Volunteer Fire Department has gone above and beyond by donating more than twice as many toys. This year they donated an additional 72 toys for this worthy cause. More than 100 toys were donated to children of Hopkins County through this initiative.

Event Calendar

Feb. 19 - No School / Presidents' Day
Feb. 20 - Board of Education meeting, Central Office, 5:30 p.m.

High School Sports Schedules

MNHHS on maroon background HCCHS on blue background

To submit information for upcoming issues, email Communications and Community Engagement Specialist Lori Harrison

We are one team,
      one mission,
      one community