The Russell Independent School District is located in North Eastern Kentucky. It is located on the banks of the Ohio River and serves two small suburban cities, Flatwoods and Russell, Kentucky. Russell Independent Schools was founded in 1892, serving a student population that is approximately 2,200, with a staff of 176 certified employees and 232 classified employees.
A priority focus for the district is to have a culture where the focus, drive, and motivation are “ALL about the kids". Russell Independent’s mission is to inspire and empower all students to reach their maximum potential: one student, one lesson, one day at a time. Russell Independent is a district where you will find open communication with all stakeholders, a place where transparency is evident, and we hold our students and ourselves to a high level of accountability.
Over the past ten years, the district has been very fortunate to have teachers transform their classrooms into digital spaces. Through area grants, teachers have been able to purchase the technology needed to implement technology-driven practices. The district is one that values job-embedded professional learning and seeks opportunities to collaborate, share and seek out the latest instructional strategies utilizing technology.
Currently, we have 31 Google Level I certified teachers and 4 Level II certified teachers within our district of 176 certified teachers. The goal is to continue to increase our percentage of Google Certified Teachers each year. We currently have over 50 teachers registered for Google Boot Camp that is provided through the technology department. Our culture supports this transformational change. We share our learning experiences through professional learning days, Ed Chats, community networks, grade level or content level learning communities, and faculty meetings. We ensure that the learning continues throughout the year and not simply at the beginning of school. We know that for true learning to occur and change to be transformational, teachers will need support for the duration of the school year. We support this learning in small segments based upon the needs of the teachers and the age ranges of the students.
The elementary schools and middle school focus each year on creating a positive culture, care and concern for fellow peers through various motivational methods and programs such as Thrive, KRUSH, DARE and CARES. Additionally, high school students’ benefit greatly from 20 AP classes and 14 dual credit classes offered through Morehead State University. All programs at the Area Technical Center have Industry Certifications where students can gain industry-recognized credentials through an examination process.
As the District Assessment Coordinator, Heather states that she is truly blessed to work with an amazing team. Each year the district focuses on a theme/book for encouragement and strength. She greatly encourages others to read the Power of a Positive Team by Jon Gordon, which is Russell’s theme for the year “Stay Positive!” They even have shirts to wear on certain days with the Stay Positive motto.