Newport Independent Schools stand poised for a period of sustained improvement. No longer satisfied with looking toward achieving “adequate yearly progress” in student performance, the intention is to build the finest, small urban school system in the country. Structurally, Newport schools are well maintained, safe and boast some of the finest facilities in the region. Inside Newport Independent Schools are highly qualified and dedicated teachers, a second to none support staff and bright students ready for the challenge of higher expectations.
Newport schools have solidified relationships with the City of Newport, county and state elected officials, local businesses, agencies, community groups and institutes of higher education. Through partnerships with each of these groups, district resources and expertise have expanded significantly.
Over the course of two decades, the City of Newport has witnessed a remarkable renaissance in its neighborhoods and in the quality of life of its residents, but for Newport to be great, it will need a great school system. Many neighbors, across the district and community, have begun to collectively roll up their sleeves, committed to the task of building a great school district in Newport.
Stories of Innovation
- Preschool Programming: Bringing together local community groups such as Children’s Inc., Headstart and Northern Kentucky University (NKU) to provide at-risk children an all-day high-quality preschool experience. NKU maintains a data warehouse that includes prescreening and post testing for kindergarten readiness and success. Utilizing the national screening tool, Dial3, NKU is able to test for social, emotional, and cognitive skills. According to data, students enrolled in Newport’s preschool program are 34% more likely to be kindergarten ready. Newport is committed to early childhood development and insuring the structure and support system exists to maintain this effort.
- Curriculum Development: To ensure schools are using a cutting edge curriculum, Newport Schools hired national experts to realign curriculum maps and set new standards. In addition, Newport has created electronic versions of all of curriculum maps. Teachers are working to continually improve the quality of education in classrooms across the district.
- District-Wide Literacy Program: Every school in Newport receives a literacy guide containing instructions on creating a working literacy plan in the school.
- Proficiency Quest: Proficiency Quest is a digital lesson plan guide for teachers that houses and organizes the state standards into subjects by grade level. This is an excellent tool for teachers to create innovative lesson plans around state standards.
- Supplemental Programs:
- Read 180 is a reading program designed for students who are not reading on grade level.
- System 44 is designed for lower performing readers including students with special needs. System 44 is an electronic program that places students in a laboratory setting with a reading specialist.
- Read to Achieve is a state-funded program that provides the opportunity to hire additional teacher support as intervention specialists and reading and math coaches. Teachers work with small groups of students to improve reading and math skills.
- Technology: Classroom technology is being updated. Utilizing a $750,000 School Improvement Grant for middle school technology, Newport is providing additional technical support, wireless pads, and Eno Boards. A $200,000 grant will allow Newport to put Eno Boards in every classroom and train teachers to effectively integrate technology into lesson plans.
- Welcome Center in Newport: Here, enrolling families take care of paperwork, student records, and identify each child’s needs so that the proper services are allocated. The welcome center also serves as the central health center for students during the school day. A fulltime nurse is on staff with crisis counseling and support available by referral. Newport recognizes the need to provide family counseling with the significant population of low socioeconomic families in the community.
- Newport Independent Schools’ compensation and benefits package is in the top 5 districts in the state of Kentucky. Providing life insurance, emergency and sick leave, as well as group health insurance at a competitive rate, Newport Schools takes care of employees.
- As a hiring incentive, individuals with Perkins or Stafford loans that choose to work in a low income district for five years may apply to have those loans erased.
- Newport Schools is currently dedicating a budget to creating a professional development center at Newport Schools’ headquarters.
- The New Teacher Institute offers monthly meetings for first-year teachers to work on different topics centered on skills needed in the classroom like discipline, instruction, classroom management, etc.