Superintendent’s Message: January 2013

Dear JPPSS Colleagues and Community Members:

The new year is off to a great start for JPPSS.

Already, we have honored five students for being selected as Posse Scholars and hosted State Superintendent John White to recognize our 27 “Top Gains” schools. Many of our schools are in the midst of festivities to celebrate the Mardi Gras season and Superbowl week.

During the month of January, two separate teams (one from the district and one from the Broad Foundation) asked teachers and staff members from our schools to participate in focus groups to provide us with their thoughts on the state of the district. As part of the two rounds of focus groups, more than 400 staff members provided us with feedback.

I want to thank all of you who participated in these conversations for providing your perspective on what’s working well at the district, and what’s not working as well. Your honest feedback will help the Broad Foundation deliver a report in the next few weeks to pinpoint further actions we can take to accelerate student achievement in the district. We look forward to sharing with you what we have learned from the focus groups and interviews, and continuing to improve our work based on your feedback.

I also want to acknowledge and thank our Chief Academic Officer, Richard Carpenter, who is retiring from JPPSS at the end of this month after 40 years of dedicated service. As I expressed in a recent email to staff, Richard has not only been a critical member of the leadership team here at the district, but he has also been an invaluable colleague and friend. I extend my deepest congratulations to Richard on his retirement and hope that you will join me in wishing him well in this next stage of his life.

As the district moves forward, we have decided to create a new position of Chief Networks Officer to oversee our school networks. I am pleased to announce that Bill Murphy, a current Network Executive Director, has accepted my offer to take on this new role. We have come a long way with our transformation efforts in the past year and a half, but there is so much more to be done to ensure that our students succeed in school and in life. It’s only with your support that we will move closer to our vision of providing every child in Jefferson Parish a world-class education. Thank you for your continued efforts to partner with us in this endeavor.

Dr. James Meza, Jr.

• Click here to read the rest of the stories in the January eNewsletter.