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About Harper Kelly

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So far Harper Kelly has created 22 blog entries.

Preventing Dropouts, Building Brighter Futures

October is National Dropout Prevention Month, which calls our attention on increasing awareness of the long-term effects on not only the students, but also the economy and society when students drop out of school. It offers a reminder to us to become better informed about how to prevent students from dropping out of school so that every child has the opportunity for a brighter future that a high school diploma helps ensure. In Kentucky, the [...]

By |2018-10-24T16:12:02+00:00October 24th, 2018|Blog, Education|

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow

Tomorrow, September 20th, is “High Attendance Day” for all public schools in Kentucky. Districts and schools have been building up to this day by finding ways to award the schools who record the highest percentage of enrolled students coming to school that day. We know that showing up to school is important for every child. It’s so important that for at least two decades, state accountability indexes have included school and district Average Daily Attendance [...]

By |2018-09-19T11:33:20+00:00September 19th, 2018|Blog, Education|

Speaking Up for Health and Physical Education Standards

Early this month, the Kentucky Department of Education announced a request for feedback on the recently developed and revised Health and Physical Education Standards. These standards as drafted, follow the requirements set forth in Senate Bill 1 (2017) and involved educators and other stakeholders from across the Commonwealth. The Department is making one final outreach to Kentuckians as a whole for additional feedback through December 6th. All Kentuckians are able to provide their feedback on [...]

By |2017-11-20T16:40:55+00:00November 20th, 2017|Blog, Education, Health|

Are You Up for the Challenge?

As a parent of three children – two who have graduated from the same Kentucky public high school and one who is just two years away from graduating – the past 16 or so years has been focused on helping them navigate through their educational experiences. There has been nothing more important than being a partner with other parents, teachers, and administrators in ensuring my children are accessing the content areas in a way that [...]

By |2017-06-14T17:30:57+00:00June 14th, 2017|Blog, Education|

Consistency, Communication, and Collaboration: Making School Resource Officers Work Best for Student Safety and Success

School Resource Officers (SRO), or law enforcement officers working in the school, were created to improve the safety of schools in response to school shootings. After years of being in place, we’ve learned what works for student safety and success, as well as pitfalls that create unintended consequences. This fall, the Juvenile Justice Oversight Council (JJOC) discussed ways Kentucky can improve the role of School Resource Officers in schools to address safety needs without unintended [...]

By |2016-10-13T13:45:26+00:00October 13th, 2016|Blog, Education, Youth Justice|

The First Lady’s Youth Leadership Council Kick-Off Event

“So many people don’t know how to recognize abuse that isn’t physical.” “Help kids both within and outside of ‘the system’ to learn healthy methods to cope with their abuse.” “Abolish the rumors others outside of the foster care system start that automatically assume those within the system are ‘bad kids.’  Get kids out in the community doing good things.  Show people the good.” “Work on removing the moratorium and get the financial assistance up [...]

By |2016-08-31T15:14:47+00:00August 31st, 2016|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety|

Kids Should Be Treated Like Kids: A Presentation to the Juvenile Justice Oversight Council

Children are not little adults. We don’t expect a little league baseball player to pitch like a high school player. Young children start at the very basic level with a tee and an adult guiding them on how to hit the ball off of the tee. As they get older, year-by-year, they move up to machine pitch, then coach pitch, and eventually kid pitch. Just as we treat kids differently in sports, a presentation at [...]

By |2016-07-13T18:07:56+00:00July 13th, 2016|Blog, Youth Justice|

Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice Reforms: Shifting from Implementation to Integration and Collaboration

Kentucky’s juvenile justice reforms have reached their first year of full implementation and we are seeing positive results in making sure the state’s response matches what youth need to keep them from committing future offenses. Now with implementation well underway, the state agencies can work on ensuring implementation is meeting the standards of SB 200’s requirements for all youth in Kentucky. An analysis by the interim Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) presented [...]

By |2016-07-06T13:26:00+00:00July 6th, 2016|Blog, Youth Justice|

A Checklist for a Healthy and Safe Summer Break

There’s a piece of me that continues to be jealous of my teenagers’ summer break. We have embarked upon our third week of summer, and the idealistic images I had of what their summers days would include while I’m at work have already dissipated. My rough survey of a few teens in my children’s “circle” led me to these top three “activities” on their daily to-do list: They want to sleep – a LOT. Apparently [...]

By |2016-06-13T09:20:51+00:00June 13th, 2016|Blog, Child Welfare & Safety, Education, Health|

Using Data to Ensure Equitable Treatment of Youth of Color

Kentucky’s communities are safest when we invest in what works best for children.  Right now, the stories and the numbers show that there are disparities in how children of color are treated within the Commonwealth’s systems that care for them.  To begin the process of addressing these disparities, Senator Whitney Westerfield has filed Senate Bill 270. SB 270 ensures that all systems who care for our youth -- education, child welfare, and youth justice -- will [...]

By |2016-03-09T16:02:00+00:00March 9th, 2016|Blog, Youth Justice|