Message from Dr. Brumley: June 2018

Jefferson Parish Public Schools Family,

Believe it or not, summer is one of the busiest times of the year for school systems. That is especially true this summer as our educators are back in the classrooms – but this time as students. Across the parish, our educators are modeling a growth mind-set and preparing to implement our new curriculum next school year.

A curriculum is the resource used by teachers to teach the standards students are expected to know and be able to perform at mastery. For the upcoming year, we have adopted what the State of Louisiana calls a “Tier 1” curriculum in English, Math, and Social Studies. A Tier 1 curriculum is one that has received the highest level of reviews from experts in the field. Research shows a tremendous benefit to students when they are exposed to a strong curriculum. As an instructional leader, it was vitally important for me to provide this to our students here in Jefferson Parish.

We want our students to have every academic advantage available and this includes access to the best curriculum. Further, because the rubber meets the road with our classroom teachers, we needed to provide our valuable educators opportunities to better understand the new curriculum they will be teaching. I’m hearing very positive comments from our educators about our move to the new curriculum and the training they’re receiving. When a strong curriculum is delivered by an effective teacher, student learning improves. With our new curriculum in content areas, we are making a profound statement that our students deserve the best.

A system-wide, standard curriculum will also benefit students who move within our district during the school year. One might expect learning to be different if moving from state to state or even parish to parish. But a child shouldn’t have to deal with those same challenges if simply changing schools in the same district. We are making this better. Further, teachers will have the ability to modify, extend, or shift lessons based on the individual learning needs of students. Some students learn at faster rates than others, and we want our kids to always reach their maximum potential as quickly as possible.

Adjustment to our new curriculum in the different subjects will not be easy. In fact, the new curriculum will be more rigorous than normal. However, we know it’s the best, and we will all need to work together to ensure a smooth implementation. I called it a historic moment when the school board approved this Tier 1 curriculum for all schools. All students should learn with high quality instructional materials, and all schools should be places of high expectations that result in greater academic achievement. This Tier 1 curriculum is one of the tools to help us get there.

I am so appreciative of teachers working hard this summer to prepare for next school year. Their effort should be an inspiration to the rest of us – it is for me. The best is yet to come for JPPSS.

Dr. Cade Brumley