Message from the Superintendent: December 2014      

holidaytree2014Earlier this month, the Jefferson Parish Public School System announced that its total enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year stands at more than 48,000 students – an increase of close to 1,500 compared to last year. This means that since the 2009-2010 school year, the district has increased its enrollment by more than 3,000 students.

This steady growth in enrollment demonstrates that JPPSS schools are becoming the schools of choice for more and more Jefferson Parish families. Indeed, we have more high quality schools in the district than ever before, with 39 ‘A’ and ‘B’ schools in 2014 – and our families are taking advantage of all of the options for a great education through JPPSS.

This past year was a banner year for the district, not just for enrollment, but also for many of our students. JPPSS students have earned recognition as National Merit & National Achievement finalists, Posse Scholars, and National History Day winners. Our students have excelled in athletics and extracurricular activities, with our teams placing in state and national championships in football, cross country, swimming, cheerleading, and more. They have given back to the community through food drives and service events, and showcased their talents in art, music, and drama through exceptional performances and exhibits.

Our students are led by equally amazing educators who have also earned accolades for their work in our schools. This year, one of our very own principals was named Louisiana Principal of the Year; we also had a semi-finalist for Louisiana Teacher of the Year. We’ve had numerous teachers win awards and recognition for exemplary teaching and learning in the classroom, from speech-pathologist Bridget Seals of Grace King, who was awarded the 2014 Rolland Van Hattum Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, to Ruppel math teacher Kristen Mason, the Louisiana finalist for the 2014 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

We are so proud of all of our students and teachers for all that they have accomplished in 2014!

The district’s continued success is made possible by our students, teachers, principals, and staff, along with parents, families, and community supporters. All of you are partners in this important work, and I want to extend my deepest thanks to you for helping JPPSS have such a wonderful year in 2014.

Finally, I want to extend a special thanks to the School Board, especially those members whose service will end this year. Thanks to the board’s leadership over the past four years, the Jefferson Parish Public School System has undergone a remarkable transformation. We returned the district to fiscal stability, closing a $25 million budget gap in fiscal year 2012-2013 and funneling more money into classrooms than ever before. We upgraded high school facilities and improved security on all of our campuses through the Safe Schools program. We expanded options for Jefferson Parish families by opening PreK-8 schools and new charter schools. We focused on improving the college and career readiness of our students through new programs like the AP Initiative and the dual-enrollment partnership with Delgado Community College. And above all, we’ve improved the academic achievement of our students, moving the school system from a “D” letter grade to a “B” grade.

This is a board that truly has put children first. On behalf of all students and families in Jefferson Parish, I thank you for your dedication, your commitment, and your service.

As we ring in 2015, the district will continue to focus on academic progress in Jefferson Parish, the largest and most diverse district in the state. Moving forward, we’ll continue our work to ensure that each and every one of our students is provided with the very best education here at JPPSS.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season!