Message from the Superintendent: November 2014

supt-nov2014-bannerMore than three years ago, when I first became Superintendent of Jefferson Parish Public Schools, I spoke to our principals about challenging ourselves to raise the bar on academic performance, strongly believing that we could begin laying the foundation to realize the district’s goal of having all schools graded “A” or “B” within five years.

Last month, I shared with you the exciting news that in 2014, JPPSS increased the number of its “A” and “B” schools to 39 – more than 50 percent of our schools – including 15 “A” schools. These results demonstrate that we are on the right path.

For more than 25 years of my career, I have conducted research on educational reform and how to sustain progress in hundreds of school systems nationally and internationally. The findings clearly indicate that the only way school districts can sustain reform is when teachers are at heart of district’s achievement. Although sometimes there can be threats to reform through leadership succession, either at the principal, superintendent or board level, the key variable in sustaining success is effective classroom teaching and learning.

This is the case here in Jefferson Parish as well. JPPSS has much to celebrate – especially our incredible group of outstanding teachers who serve as the key catalyst to continuing our progress. Our dedicated teachers are on the front lines every single day, contributing directly to the academic achievement of our students.

As we head towards the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to say thank you to all of our teachers. Without you, we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today – and without you, we cannot sustain the academic achievements we’ve seen thus far. Thank you for your being the heart of the work here in the district, and thank you for continuing your work to sustain – and grow – our academic progress.