2020 Infrastructure and Efficiency Plan

  • The Jefferson Parish School Board approved an amended version of the 2020 Infrastructure and Efficiency Plan. The 9-0 vote came at the conclusion of a public hearing. 

    District 5 School Board Member Simeon Dickerson’s amendments, which were supported by the Superintendent, were as followed:

    1. Adopt the intervention and honors pathway developed by the administration for K-8 schools.

    2. Accept the administration’s prioritized capital needs listing to provide for projects at the current Gretna #2 Academy, Livaudais Middle, Pitre Elementary, Riverdale Middle, and Matas School campuses.

    3. Do not immediately consolidate Washington Elementary and Bunche Elementary. Instead, consolidate Washington and Bunche beginning in the 2021-22 school year only if Washington Elementary’s February 1, 2021 student count is lower than 350 students. Also, do not declare the Washington Elementary campus as surplus for demolition and sale.

    4. Remove the one-time bond expenses at Bunche Elementary. Add a one-time bond expense of a new parking lot and bus delivery redirection at Harahan Elementary.

    5. Supporting the talented arts students, and without any attendance zone changes, move Ray St. Pierre Academy to the current site of Myrtle C. Thibodeaux Elementary where a stage and auditorium already exists. Also, declare the current Ray St. Pierre campus as surplus and authorize its sell.

    6. Consider a resolution at the April meeting of this Board requesting the City of Kenner and City of Westwego to actively contribute to the success of Washington Elementary in Kenner and Ray St. Pierre in Westwego through their city budget with further details forthcoming. 

    In addition to the above six amendments, JP Schools Superintendent asked Dickerson to include an amendment that the current Pitre Elementary campus be renamed Isaac G. Joseph Elementary starting with the 2020-21 school year. Joseph was the first African American Superintendent of JP Schools. 

    “We’ve made a strong plan even stronger through collaboration and feedback,” said JP Schools Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “I’m thankful for the board’s efforts to pass student-friendly policy.” 

    The approved 2020 Infrastructure and Efficiency Plan will: 

    • consolidate three schools

    • create five new K-8 schools

    • expand student mental health services

    • increase early childhood seats

    • increase Advanced Study Academy seats

    • enhance school choice options for families

    • sell surplus properties

    • renovate campuses 

    • build 13 playgrounds

    • upgrade technology for teachers and students

    The plan will go into effect for the 2020-21 school year. The consolidations and attendance zone changes impact around 4% of the district’s nearly 51,000 students. The district has sent communication home to all families impacted by the original attendance zone changes. JP Schools will send impacted families placement letters with their assigned school. Families can also view the changes at jpschools.org/2020plan or email questions to jpsfeedback@jpschools.org

    Certificated employees with a satisfactory evaluation working at a closing or consolidated school will maintain their employment, salary, and benefits. Just like last year’s school consolidations and K-8 expansion, the JP Schools Human Resources team will visit schools to meet face-to-face with employees impacted by these changes and get their input on where they would like to work next school year.

    The following schools will be impacted most significantly:

    • Douglass Elementary will be absorbed into Johnson Gretna Park Elementary and McDonogh 26 Elementary

    • Jefferson Elementary will be consolidated with Riverdale Middle at the Riverdale Middle campus, converted into a K-8 school, and named Jefferson Elementary

    • Thibodeaux Elementary will be moved to the Pitre Elementary campus, which will be named Isaac G. Joseph Elementary

    • Ray St. Pierre Academy will relocate to the building currently occupied by Thibodeaux Elementary

    • Westbank Community School will move to the Douglass facility and be renamed Frederick Douglass Community School

    This plan calls for the creation of five newly reconfigured K-8 schools:

    • Dolhonde Elementary (current K-5)

    • Harahan Elementary (current K-5)

    • Hazel Park Elementary (current K-5)

    • Jefferson Elementary (current K-5) at the Riverdale Middle (6-8) campus

    • Woodland West Elementary (current K-5)

    The addition of five new K-8 schools will give the district 24 schools that serve students in grades kindergarten through 8th. Last year, the board voted to add nine new K-8s for this current school year. The district is adding K-8s to improve academic performance, attendance, and retention. District data shows that K-8 students in grades 6-8 outperform their peers in traditional middle schools and have higher average attendance rates. The district also kept more of its students between their 5th and 6th grade years.

    “The plan approved tonight is the result of years of planning, dozens of community meetings, and research both by the district and independent education consultants,” said Dr. Brumley. “Like our efforts last year, this plan puts into action many of the recommendations made by the Hill Group after their extensive Jefferson Parish Schools Educational Facility Master Plan study that was conducted in 2017 and 2018. Our consolidations and K-8 expansions the past two years achieve some of the goals of that plan - and do so without asking the public for a tax increase.”

    Dr. Brumley first presented the 2020 Infrastructure and Efficiency Plan during the board’s February meeting. The board requested the plan during their October 2019 meeting to keep the district on a strong financial foundation, increase options for families, and improve academic outcomes for students. 

    JP Schools entered this school year with an approximate $16 million budget gap. This information was shared with the board during a budget hearing in June. The gap is not due to excessive or increased spending by the district. It is also unrelated and has no impact on the funds generated from the educator pay raise millage. The deficit was caused by the opening of new public charter and traditional schools in JP Schools over the past decade. Other factors in the budget gap are increased transportation and technology costs, as well as facilities upkeep on a system where the average school building is 55 years old. 

    In an effort to limit impact in the classroom, expenditures will also be reduced across the district, concentrated on central office. This includes:

    • reducing around 21 central office positions

    • reducing central office budgets

    • streamlining departments and programs

    This will be the third consecutive year that Dr. Brumley has reduced central office positions to provide additional funds for schools. 

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September 2019 First Reading

  • Move that the Administration provide this Board with the following information and recommendations on the timeline established: By the December Regular Board Meeting, the Administration will report to the Board on the following:: The student capacity of each school The current student membership of each school Occupancy as a percentage of capacity for each school A listing of land owned by the Board that does not occupy a school A listing of elementary and k-8 school sites without playgrounds for recess A recommendation on whether the District should expand opportunities for Career and Technical Education (CTE) at current sites or provide a stand-alone CTE high school as called for in the Facilities Master Plan. By the March 2020 Regular Board Meeting, the Administration will report to the Board on a “2020 Infrastructure and Efficiency Plan”, informed by the following considerations: School consolidations to optimize occupancy and reduce operational costs Expansion of the PK-8 model Increase Early Childhood Education (ECE) seats where demand exceeds space Expanded opportunities for the aforementioned Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings Accommodation of school choice for parents and encouragement of healthy competition for students Greater efficiency in transportation costs, eliminating light loads and dead mileage as much as possible addresses the increasing demand for seats in our Academies Any pervasive, urgent issues at any of our campuses. (Approved on Second Reading during October 2019 meeting)

Attendance Zone Shifts

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