In partnership with and in service to our community, the mission of Ballard County Schools is to prepare every student to be a successful individual. Our 1,300-plus students not only attend core content courses, but also have rich choices for additional opportunities. We have one high school and an interconnected middle school, one elementary, and one preschool, located off-campus in LaCenter. A brand-new, state-of-the-art high school opened in January 2006; a new middle school followed in 2007.
Our staff members, certified and classified, all work toward sustaining a positive learning environment with high expectations for all students. Our faculty receives extensive professional development in the areas of differentiated instruction and recognition of diverse learning styles. Ballard County is constantly in the process of analyzing school culture, plus classroom and test data, in an effort to ensure excellence.
Our rural setting and background offer small-town amenities without sacrificing current technological resources. With the opening of our new schools, our upper-level students have a 2.5 to 1 student-computer ratio. There is an interactive Smart Board in every classroom, where technology is integrated into the curriculum on a daily basis. Our teachers bring Internet-accessible materials to life, enhancing the exposure and realism of many studied subjects. We also offer instruction in many other kinds of software currently used by business and industry.
We begin with 3- and 4-year-olds, and continue offering life-long learning classes through our adult and career education divisions. Our younger students can receive some forms of speech and occupational therapies on-site at their schools. For our older students, we currently offer three advanced placement classes, 11 dual-enrollment classes (in biology, solar system, sociology, algebra, American government, theatre, English, nutrition, psychology and public speaking) and dual-credit courses six subject areas (agriculture, business, culinary arts, health sciences, industrial maintenance and welding), in association with Murray State University and West Kentucky Community and Technology College in Paducah. Students can leave high school with a significant number of college credits, or receive certification in several vocational programs, the majority at a discounted tuition cost.
In 2010, Kentucky was the first state to adopt national common core standards in English/language arts and mathematics, and began implementing the new standards in the 2011-12 school year. Science will be the next subject area with new standards. Administrators and teachers from each building, in each of those subjects, either have been or are being trained in the new standards.
All curricula at Ballard County Schools are aligned to the Kentucky Program of Studies and Common Core Academic Standards. Various research-based assessment programs are used in classroom instruction. Comprehensive School and District Improvement plans are revised annually.Our purpose at Ballard County Schools is to ensure that every student receives an education based on high academic standards and gets the resources needed to attain success, regardless of socio-economic status, race or gender. Our system is an equal education and employment opportunities institution. We are fully compliant with Title IX and Title I standards, as well as in requirement of Individual Education Plans for special-needs students and Individual Graduation Plans.
Co-curricular programs provide additional opportunities for students to develop skills for the real world. The following activities are offered to our students:
Elementary: Academic Team; Boy and Girl Scouts; chorus; 4-H Clubs; science fair; speech festival; student council; talent show; and Little League basketball, football and cheerleading..
Middle: Academic Team, student council, choir and band.
High: Academic Team, Beta, Broadcast, Drama, Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Family, Consumer and Community Leaders of America, Future Educators of America, Future Farmers of America, Health Occupations Students of America, National Art Honor Society, Prayer Group, Skills USA, Student Council and STLP.
Middle- and high-school sports: Baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and volleyball.
We welcome parents and visitors into all of our buildings. Please let us know you're coming, and please check in with the school secretary when you arrive. The safety of our students is extremely important to us.