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Jefferson Parish School Board Approves Superintendent Contract, Including Performance Objectives

The Jefferson Parish School Board today approved the superintendent contract for Dr. James Meza Jr., extending Meza’s term as head of the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) until June 30, 2014. The contract includes specific performance objectives to be fulfilled by Meza over the course of his tenure that focus on improving student achievement, financial efficiency, and workforce development.

“The district’s work will always be driven by student achievement and how we can improve the quality of education for all children in Jefferson Parish,” said Meza. “The performance objectives and targets in the contract provide a snapshot of where the district stands currently, and where we intend to go through continued reform efforts.”

The superintendent’s performance objectives focus most heavily on student achievement, including targets for district, school, and student performance that are in line with district performance targets set by the Louisiana Department of Education. The student achievement objectives also list initiatives that the superintendent is to pursue during the course of his contract; they include plans to improve low performing schools, better support English language learners, and enhance college- and career-readiness for both middle and high school students.

“The Board has been impressed with the accomplishments of Dr. Meza over the course of the past year and a half, especially his leadership in moving the district to a portfolio management system and bringing more support and resources to schools,” said School Board President Mark Jacobs. “The objectives that we approved for Dr. Meza are consistent with the reforms that the district has already started, and we are confident that he and his team will successfully continue this work on behalf of the students and families in Jefferson Parish.”

In addition to student achievement objectives, the approved contract outlines initiatives to improve the financial efficiency of the district, such as the implementation of policies and procedures to ensure proper control of inventory, property, and overtime payments. Workforce development objectives largely focus on improving performance management and accountability for all staff, as well as the improvement of human capital functions to ensure that the district is recruiting, supporting, and retaining high quality employees at all levels.

“As a district, we are shifting to a culture of accountability and performance, where every employee is held to high expectations,” said Meza. “The end of goal for all of us is making sure that Jefferson Parish children receive a world class education, and through these objectives, I am being held accountable to the same high bar.

“I am completely invested in this work and in continuing this partnership with our dedicated teachers, staff, students, and families. There is no work that is more important than providing our children with the high quality education they need to succeed in the future.”