Message from the Superintendent: August 2019
Dear JP Schools Family,
We should help others every day. Sometimes, at night, I wonder if my day was "enough" in my efforts to serve others. Regardless, I'm always thankful each morning with the opportunity to try again and keep pushing forward on this mission. I hope each of you realize the differences you can make in the lives of our youth through your roles in their lives - whether that's being a parent, educator, or community member. As we embark on a new school year, I'm asking everyone to invest time like never before in our children and seek excellence in your service.
Helping people - and more specifically helping kids - is at the core of what we do every day here in Louisiana's largest, most dynamic, and most complex school system.
I’m excited to welcome our 50,000 students back this week for a great year in our diverse system of learners. I hope you had some time to rest and recharge over the summer months - it’s game time and our work is too important to not act with urgency.
As we look ahead to this year, it’s valuable to reflect on a portion of what we’ve accomplished together since the creation, launch, and adoption of our strategic plan 2024: The Future Our Kids Deserve. We are focusing on six priorities, and we’re making progress on every one. In fact, the progress is too much to list.
We’ve made it a priority to provide safe, healthy, and modern schools. Not only have we hired a Director of School Security for our district and school resource officers for all high schools, but we earned a nearly $3 million grant to better serve the mental health needs of students and families.
We’ve made it a priority to hire, grow, and keep the best teachers. Thanks to the citizens of Jefferson Parish overwhelmingly approving a millage increase, our teachers are receiving their first pay raise in a decade. Through our Quality from the Start initiative, we’ve also decreased the vacancies that were open on the first day of school from 109 two years ago to about a dozen as of this letter.
We’ve made it a priority to hire, grow, and keep the best leaders. The district established Operation: LEAD to give us a “bench” of leaders ready to step into the role of principal. Four members of our inaugural 2018-19 cohort are now JP Schools principals.
We’ve made it a priority to use a robust curriculum with aligned assignments. JP Schools adopted and established a Tier I curriculum that equips our educators with the top-rated and most closely aligned learning materials in the state. We also trained around 85 content leader fellows to provide district-wide professional development around our new curriculum.
We’ve made it a priority to prioritize access, equity, and opportunity. More families will have the choice to keep their children in their neighborhood elementary school through the 8th grade because of the nine new K-8 schools opening this school year. We secured nearly $2 million in additional funding for our schools in the Transformation Network, sending more resources towards our kids that need them the most. We’ve also developed a comprehensive plan to better serve our kids and families who speak a native language other than English.
We’ve made it a priority to partner with families, community members, school board members, agencies, and other stakeholders. Our Adopt-A-School program launched near the close of last school year and we’ve already paired almost a third of our schools with businesses and community organizations who want to play a role in the success of our kids. We’re also plugged into the needs of our students, parents, teachers, principals, and community members through our Superintendent’s Councils.
In addition to the items listed above, we also increased our graduation rate by 1.6% and our district-wide Mastery rate by 1%. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in a short amount of time, and look forward to where our journey will take us this school year. We exist to provide our students with the education they deserve to succeed in life and make our world a better place. That’s an ambitious goal. It’ll be achieved by many daily victories...by everyone making the commitment to help others every day.
The best is yet to come for Jefferson Parish Schools,
Dr. Cade Brumley