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Message from the Dr. Brumley: August 2018

When your child returned on the first day of school, chances are they were welcomed by a high-quality, certified teacher. That’s because we cut teacher vacancies by more than half to start the school year.

We had 39 teacher vacancies on the first day of school, and that number is falling every day. Last school year opened with 102 unfilled teacher positions. The real result of this is felt in the classroom. Around 2,000 additional kids began the year with a certified teacher instead of a substitute.

We worked tirelessly to begin the school year with a certified teacher in front of every child, because it is so critically important to student learning. Our goal was to be 100% staffed on day one. While we didn’t meet that mark, we greatly improved on last year’s staffing numbers.

This improvement is part of a Quality from the Start initiative we presented to principals during my 100-day entry plan. I collaborated with the Human Resources Department and school
leaders to place a skilled teacher in every classroom. We put a high priority on early hiring and providing schools with a pool of quality candidates.

I had conversations with many new teachers during my community meetings, and far too many of them broke down in tears while sharing their concerns. We are going to support our new teachers with the resources they need to do best by kids. Our Human Resources Department welcomed 350 new educators with a two-day, instructionally-based induction program in early August. We’ve also started Embark, which will provide new teachers with the professional development opportunities and support they need to improve instructional capacity and increase their impact on students.

I’m thankful for the work of our Human Resources team and school principals to make this year’s success a reality. But it is only a start. Once we are able to do more for our teachers – like hopefully increasing our pay over the next year – that number should be zero as we start next school year. We have 50,000 reasons to be excited about where we are headed. The best is yet to come for Jefferson Parish Public Schools.