LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Oldham County Schools is one of many Kentucky school districts heading back to class next week. Superintendent Jason Radford joined WDRB Mornings on Wednesday to talk about what students and parents can expect.
Radford said the district’s primary focus continues to be keeping students and staff safe.
“We have a great partnership and collaborative relationship with the Oldham County Police Department, the sheriff’s department and the La Grange Police,” Radford said. “They are so responsive. I’m so proud of the partnership that we created. We sit down and review how we can always grow and improve and get better each year, in addition to them always being available to us at any moment’s notice.”
There are also school resource officers on every campus, Radford said, for a total of 10.
“We’re fortunate to have them.” he said. “They do great work.”
Radford said the district has also taken steps to prevent students from vaping in schools, including installing “sensors which track vaping and help deter and keep that from happening in our schools because that’s another way to ensure our students are safe.”
A shortage of bus drivers last year caused the district to make some adjustments to start times, and Radford said they are working on filling those positions.
“We still are experiencing that (shortage),” he said. “However, I’m happy to report that we have an uptick in applications and applicants for people who want to drive school buses for our school district, which is great, and certainly can help us. But we’ve maintained that change to start times. We’re still keeping those start times this year as we did last year.”
The district recently approved a salary increase for teachers, and Radford said it has helped attract more applicants.
“Our board of education approved a 2% plus step increase this past year,” Radford said. “We’ve increased salaries by a total of 7% over the last two years. We need to continue to do more.
“We are still experiencing issues with staffing. However, we will have a teacher in every classroom when we start the school year. But we need to continue to do all that we can. We have worked really hard in engaging our employees and listening to what their needs are in addition to just raises. They want to feel valued and be treated and be respected as professional educators.”
The Oldham County board of education recently approved a strategic plan for the future “that will outline the future for our school district, and that centers around the experiences that our students, our parents our community, and our employees have within our school system.”
Radford said the plan is for students “to experience world-class facilities when it comes to academics, the arts and athletics.”
A new logo and tagline for the district will be unveiled next week. Students and teachers return to class Aug. 9.
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