Letters to the Editor, May 2, 2012

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Mall should celebrate horses


As we approach the 138th Kentucky Derby, which has amassed dozens of traditions held dear to millions of Derby fans worldwide, I want to address Horizon Group Properties’ plans for an outlet mall in Simpsonville. I live on Veechdale Road and speak for many of my neighbors.

Residents of Veechdale and Buck Creek Roads prefer pastures and wetlands to be left untouched, but we understand and respect property rights and hope to work with Horizion Properties in creating an aesthetically pleasing facility.

It is my understanding the developer plans to build an upscale outlet mall and wishes to be a good neighbor, being receptive to suggestions and concerns of those living in the area of the proposed mall. I envision equestrian-themed shops, styled in southern architecture topped with spires, surrounded by wood blackboard or stone fencing and bronze horse statues placed in and around the mall area.

It is my hope that Horizon Group understands that the reputation, charm and personality of Shelby County comes from the many stunning horse farms surrounding us. Simpsonville residents want these county traits to be of the highest priority when planning any construction in Shelby County.

Please keep in mind that the prestigious World’s Championship Horse Show is held annually only minutes away from Simpsonville. Likewise the world-renowned Kentucky Derby and Keeneland, famous for its Thoroughbred racing and auction company, are close by.

The Kentucky Horse Park is less than an hour away. The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the annual Rolex 3-Day events were held at the horse park.  This mecca for horse lovers is the world’s only horse park dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse.

It is vital to Shelby County’s legacy that the horse industry and the exquisite beauty created by our horse farms not be forgotten when undertaking construction projects. Since Horizon’s Web site notes the Shelby County region as being the “Horse Capital of the World,” I am optimistic the Shoppes at Louisville/Lexington will reflect the traditions and culture of Kentucky.

Karen Waller




Key tests coming up


Parents are no doubt aware their child has set goals for learning since school began in August. They have worked diligently toward reaching those goals and now the time has come to see results.

Students will be tested under the new Unbridled Learning accountability model in May. The new Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress (K-PREP) tests will assess students in reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing. High school students will also participate in end-of-course assessments in specific subjects. Scores from these K-PREP and end-of-course tests – along with data on closing achievement gaps, student academic growth, graduation rates and college/career readiness – will be used to determine school and district accountability designations.

The Shelby County Public Schools’ test dates are:

§       Elementary – May 14-18 (grades 3, 4, 5).

§       Middle – May 21, 23, 24, 25, 29.

§       High – May 21, 23, 24, 25, 29 (grades 8, 10, 11).

§       High – May 7-31 (AP, end-of-course).

How can parents help? Please:

§       Don’t schedule appointments, trips or other interruptions during testing.

§       Make sure your child gets a good night’s rest and eats a good breakfast at home or eat at school.

§       Encourage your child to review beforehand and do his/her best on testing day.

§       Remind your child of the importance of reading directions carefully and not rushing through a test.

§       Remind your child about the importance of test scores now and the impact they can have on his or her future.

For those of you who want more details about the new testing system, you can access that through this link from the Kentucky Department of Education:


If anyone has questions pertaining to the tests at a specific school, please contact the guidance counselor. If anyone has questions related to the assessments in general, please contact me.

Thank you to all for working with Shelby County Public Schools to make our students successful... like The Sentinel-Newsfor consistently publishing the test dates as an awareness campaign and, for example, the parks department, where coaches avoided late-night baseball games during the testing window!

Together we can reach BIG Goals in education.

Susan Dugle

District Assessment Coordinator

Shelby County Public Schools