Image of Paducah Public Schools SROs

(l to r) Cassandra Ravens (Paducah Middle School), Scotty Davis (Morgan Elementary), Rene' Long (Paducah Tilghman), Robert Beach (McNabb Elementary), Gretchen Morgan (Clark Elementary)

Paducah Public Schools employ five school resource officers (SRO/Police Officer). Each SRO is a sworn police officer and a graduate of the Department of Criminal Justice police academy. These officers receive annual training through the DOCJT. Our School Resource Officers cover every school in the district and are responsible for enforcing all local, state and federal laws. 

All schools have school safety and emergency management plans and these plans are reviewed with faculty/staff. Drills for lockdown, fire, severe weather and earthquake are mandatory in all schools and are conducted throughout the year.

All school doors are locked to outside visitors and all visitors are buzzed in to a single main entrance to the school. All visitors, including parents, delivery drivers, vendors and media, are required to check in to the office immediately upon arrival.

Procedures are in place for drug and weapon detection with students and staff trained to immediately report the location, identity and description of any suspicious individual. Students and staff have received instruction in lockdown, evacuation and other security procedures. All exterior doors are locked. Our staff and school resource officers are available to supervise the buildings and grounds during the school day and as students arrive and depart.

The Kentucky Center for School Safety provides  information and resources about bullying, internet safety and other school safety issues for schools and families.

Security and Safety News

Parents: Beware of Marijuana Edibles Packaged to Look Like Candy

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our schools are committed to the safety and education of all our students. We also want to clearly communicate with parents/guardians about safety issues when they arise. 

Please be aware that we are receiving reports locally and statewide of students who have needed medical attention after accidentally overdosing on marijuana edibles that look like popular candy and snacks. 

Marijuana concentrates (usually referred to as THC, the main psychoactive compound found in marijuana) can be put into various food products, known as marijuana “edibles”. Edibles can be difficult to identify and can have a minimal to no odor of marijuana. Edibles can look like candy, snack products or beverages. Some examples of these types of edibles are included below. 

The amount of THC in these edibles varies. Any child who eats the edible not knowing that it contains THC can overdose and end up in the hospital. For example, the “Nerds Rope” pictured below looks like the regular product but holds 400 milligrams of THC, which is well more than an average marijuana cigarette. 

Please share this information with your children and remind them that in Kentucky possession or use of edibles and beverages containing marijuana is illegal. 

We appreciate your partnership in keeping our children safe. If you have any questions, concerns, or information to share please contact us at 270-444-5600. You can also text the anonymous STOP TIPLINE if you know of suspicious activity @ 866-399-6659. 

images of Marijuana Edibles Packaged As Candy

images of Marijuana Edibles Packaged As Candy

images of Marijuana Edibles Packaged As Candy

Paducah Sun: School Closure Protocols Outlined

by David Snow

The Paducah Sun

February 3, 2023

Used with permission.

When schools close due to harsh winter weather, a number of factors are considered by the superintendents before making that decision.

Steve Carter of the McCracken County School District and Donald Shively of the Paducah Independent School District spoke with The Sun about what goes into making the decision.

One of the main considerations is if the roads are safe to transport students to and from schools.

“Ultimately, the question is if it’s safe to bring students and faculty and staff into the school district with the idea that we have a large number of students who live outside our Paducah public school boundaries,” Shively said. “And, we have several employees who drive across county lines to work in Paducah public schools.

“One of the major factors in us not being open (Thursday) is we have snow routes that we run at times where we ask kids to walk a little farther; however, they are not ice routes. The significance here is we had ice on many secondary roads across our school district on Wednesday afternoon.”

Once a school district decides to close its schools, it must be determined if it will be a snow day — which will be made up later in the school year — or a nontraditional instruction day, or NTI day.

By law, a school has 10 NTI days to use in a school year. NTI days became widely known when the Kentucky legislature gave school systems and expanded the number of NTI days so students could have their instruction at home.

“Originally, they existed before COVID,” Shively said. “We did not use them pre-COVID, but they really existed for a lot of the flooding and weather in eastern Kentucky and other areas.

“You have to apply for them, and it’s a tool for instruction, remediation and review on inclement weather days.”

The Paducah school system had Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as NTI days, while the McCracken school district took only Wednesday and Thursday as NTI days.

“Tuesday was not an NTI day; it was a traditional snow day,” Carter said. “We’ve said from the very beginning that we want to use as many in-person instructional days as possible, but we also want to have our last student day prior to Memorial Day, that Friday, hoping we’d be able to get back.

“We have a day that we can use as a makeup day and still be able to meet that goal. It’s not something set in stone, but it’s something we try to achieve.”

Public school districts are required to use a minimum of 1,062 instructional hours and 170 instructional school days each year. When schools are unexpectedly closed due to weather or illness, schools make that time up by adding snow days throughout the rest of the school year or expanding the hours that schools are open over a period of time.

When students are at home during NTI days, they may have received instruction during their most recent day at school. Assignments may also be available online or sent home in a packet.

“We have a lot of teachers who use Google Classroom,” Carter said. “The younger grades, they may have sent home packets to be completed over the last couple of days.

“You can also utilize various information systems, like ClassDojo, to communicate to parents for assignments as well.”

Paducah students use a communication app called Kinvo to communicate with students’ parents about changes to the school schedule.

“It sends an email or text message to each parent or guardian across the district,” Shively said. “I think it’s 64 languages that it translates to, based on references to Infinite Campus. That also sends to faculty and staff, and then we put it out to media outlets.”

Carter said that following weather news about approaching storms can give administrators and teachers a heads-up as to how many in-person days are likely to be missed.

Both school systems also have communications programs to help them quickly notify students’ families about changes to the schools’ schedule.

PTHS SRO White Receives PPD Meritorious Service Award

Image of Zane White

Paducah Tilghman SRO Zane White received the Meritorious Service Award, the second-highest award given by the Paducah Police Department, at an awards ceremony held on February 2.

The Paducah Police Department honored more than 30 officers and civilian employees, and nine Paducah citizens for their outstanding acts of duty and service to the community in 2022.

Officer White received the Meritorious Service Award for his work at a tractor-trailer/pickup truck crash that actually occurred outside the city limits. The pickup truck had caught fire with the driver trapped inside, and city officers were able to respond quickly to assist the deputy on scene. White and the deputy used multiple fire extinguishers to help keep the fire from engulfing the truck.

Without regard for his own safety, Officer White endured heat, nearby flames and heavy smoke to help ensure the safety of the driver. Congratulations, Officer White!

Three Officers Sworn In For Paducah Schools PD

by David Snow, The Paducah Sun

November 23, 2022

Used with permission.

Three officers were sworn in Monday at the Paducah Independent School District Board meeting. They will be the first three officers assigned by the board to the school district’s police department.

Robert Beach, Scotty Davis and Rene Long were sworn in by Family Court Judge Deanna Henschel. Beach will be the school resource officer for McNabb Elementary School, while Davis will serve Morgan Elementary and Long will serve Paducah Tilghman High School.

“Basically, we’ve got a number of officers to serve as a district police office,” said Superintendent Donald Shively. “When we’re dealing with issues like truancy, we can deal with the students.”

Two Paducah Police Department officers also serve as school resource officers. Eric Abbott serves at Paducah Tilghman High School, Gretchen Morgan serves Clark Elementary School and Cassie Ravens serves Paducah Middle School.

The board later approved a resolution for the application for participation in the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund Training Incentive Program.

The Paducah Independent Schools Police Department was established by the school district board at its Feb. 15, 2021, meeting. The department office is at Paducah Tilghman High School.

SRO Swearing In