Message from Dr. Brumley: September 2018

There is a famous quote that says, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” We’re undergoing a big change right now in our classrooms, because we must improve academic outcomes for all kids. We need your help to get there.

You may have noticed a change in what and how we’re teaching your child this school year. We’ve adopted a Tier 1 curriculum across the district. Every child in Jefferson Parish Public Schools now learns from the best and most relevant materials Louisiana has to offer. Before this school year, our learning materials were lower quality and not as highly rated. A Tier 1 curriculum is most closely aligned to the Louisiana standards and assessments. It’s been evaluated and judged as superior by teams of top educators across our state. It’s what our kids need. It’s what our kids deserve.

But it’s a change. Change is hard, especially when upgrading curriculum for the largest school system in Louisiana. We knew this before last school year ended. That’s why we held training for our teachers and principals this summer, and why we have continued to do so during the school year. Throughout the summer, an educator sat down to train on our new curriculum over 6,000 times.

As a parent, there are some next steps you can take to help your child adjust to this challenging curriculum. Most important is to make sure your child is in school every day. You should meet your child’s teacher and reach out to him or her with any questions. Many of our schools offer parent nights and other opportunities for you to engage with these new materials with your child. You can visit the Louisiana Department of Education’s website for support resources. I also invite you to share your questions and concerns with me directly at one of my morning coffee chats or evening town hall meetings. I’m hosting one each month in a different community. Check our website for the full schedule. I also ask that you are patient with your teachers and principals. This new curriculum is more demanding of everyone, including our educators.

This upgrade is a heavy lift, but nothing could be more worth the challenge. As a resource, our new curriculum holds the greatest potential for student achievement. What we had before was simply not good enough. The work of educating our children is too important. We have 50,000 reasons to make sure the tools we use to teach your child are the best available.