Message from the Superintendent: August 2014

supt-newsletterWelcome to a new school year in Jefferson Parish. With nearly 47,000 students, Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) is the largest school system in Louisiana and is recognized as one of the most improved school systems. Our entire system including the Board, teachers, principals and staff are dedicated to the needs of our students and families. Our focus this year is to sustain our momentum toward academic excellence, provide safe and secure schools and to advance the integration of technology in our classrooms.

Sustaining Academic Excellence

During the past three years, we have transformed our district from D grade to a B grade with now more than 30,000 students attending higher performing schools. Our focus in the 2014-2015 school year will continue to reach student success and meet higher standards.

In our high schools, we will continue to prioritize college and career readiness. Several initiatives, including the expansion of Advanced Placement (AP) course offerings, designed to prepare students for college readiness, have been implemented. Last school year, the district’s AP initiative offered 74 advanced placement courses and resulted in a 60 percent increase in the number of AP exams administered. AP, coupled with an emphasis on improvement on ACT scores, will enhance our college readiness. Also we will launch our career curriculum called Jump Start. This path of instruction will allow our students to graduate with certifications for high demand jobs. The objective of Jump Start is to place our graduates in high demand high wage earning jobs. We are also focusing on improving our graduation rates and will launch new programs to support our students who are “at-risk” of not completing high school with their class.

At our elementary and middle schools, JPPSS will continue to emphasize the core academic skills students will need in order to be successful throughout their academic careers. Our focus remains on providing students with rigorous learning opportunities that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. JPPSS will continue to raise the bar as we prepare all of our children for college and career readiness, providing them with a strong foundation to compete in a global economy.

Safe and Secure Schools

We have invested more than $8 million to assure that all of our schools are safe and secure. Not only have we upgraded all of our buildings with a “single entry access” but we also have high-resolution cameras supporting our principals and the law enforcement agencies that support our schools. All teachers, principals and staff will partake in specialized training to be knowledgeable of all safety measures including trespassers.

Advance Technology in our Classrooms

We have refinanced bonds to upgrade our technology infrastructure. These upgrades will assure that our students and their teachers have access to technology that will enhance their instructional experiences. Our schools have increased bandwidth and ultimately will have unbounded Wi-Fi access throughout our campuses to support our priority of digital learning environments. This summer, many of our teachers participated in training to support their day-to-day instruction.

As the new school year begins, I wish to thank our families, the community and stakeholders for your support and confidence. JPPSS cannot continue our progress alone. We need and value partnerships that foster collaboration and successful schools that have a direct impact on the quality of life in Jefferson Parish.

I wish you all the most enjoyable and successful school year, guided by the district’s vision that all children in Jefferson Parish deserve a world-class education, and that we will have the best educated generation this parish has ever seen.