Superintendent’s Message: March 2013

Dear JPPSS Colleagues and Community Members:

This year has been one of great evolution for our school system, as we continued to further the work we began almost two years ago to dramatically change the way that we serve our students in Jefferson Parish. We only have a few short months left in this year, but in many ways, it is the most important time.

As we approach the final stage of state testing, I am exceedingly proud of the efforts of our teachers, leaders, and staff, and their relentless focus on academic achievement. Our vision throughout the change process has remained consistent – if we empower, retain, and recruit excellent educators, our students will prosper. We saw initial results of that strategy in last year’s outstanding student achievement results, and I’m confident that our efforts will be validated once again over the next few weeks as our students complete this year’s state assessments. The importance of these next few weeks to our district’s success should not be underestimated.

I am happy to report that our school board has recently made several major decisions to advance excellence in our district. Notably, the Board took steps to procure $50 million to invest in our children and all our employees. Specifically, the funding will support security systems in all schools, enhanced technology to prepare for Common Core assessments, and importantly, a new pay scale with an across-the-board raise for employees.

After receiving feedback from teacher focus groups and through ongoing work with our principals, the district also plans to provide additional support to our educators on the Common Core. This summer, we will be working with principals and lead teachers on building capacity at each school to launch a common core curriculum for our district. By the start of the next school year, we hope to provide multiple levels of professional development on the Common Core at the school, network, and district levels.

As an administration, I promise to continue to prioritize the needs and our students and the development of our talent over all else.

My continued thanks to all of you for your support,

Dr. James Meza, Jr.