Employees put themselves in students’ shoes prior to first day of school
By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools
Almost every single Adair County School District employee boarded a school bus Wednesday morning to kick off the 2016-2017 school year with a “Think like a Kid” tour.
The purpose of the exercise, according to Supt. Alan Reed, who spoke to faculty and staff before departing from Adair County High School, was for teachers, administrators, bus drivers, and other employees to understand the rigors that some students go through just to make it to school each day.
“We want you to experience how taxing it is,” Reed said, noting that some students spend more than an hour on the bus in both the mornings and afternoons. “We hope this puts you in students’ shoes—some of them only 5 or 6 years old, just for a day.”
The two-hour tour, which included approximately 40 employees per bus, allowed teachers and staff to see the perilous routes that some bus drivers must navigate daily, from narrow roads running beside steep bluffs to winding hill climbs and descents.
Federal Programs Director Steve Turner, who served as one of the buses de facto tour guides, explained that these roads are the ones Reed and Transportation Director David Jones investigate to determine if school should be canceled for snow.
“It might be clear in town or on [Ky.] 55, but they’re not looking at the roads in town,” Turner explained. “This is what they look at because these are the roads our drivers are on every day.”
Another aspect of the tour served as a reminder to teachers the conditions in which some students live. Turner explained that Adair County’s poverty rate, which hovers near 70-percent, includes many students in the district, and some poorer areas were noted for having a lot of children living in the area, though no homes were pointed out specifically, to protect families’ privacy.
The event concluded with a meal for all employees at A Barn Affair at Turkey Trot Farms.
District Board chairman Floyd Burton, who joined employees on the tour, said he was impressed with the idea of such a tour to bring in the new school year. “Seeing is believing,” Burton said. “This really let’s you see how where and how some of these kids live, and that’s important.”