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Jefferson Parish School Board Appoints James Gray As New Superintendent and Approves Changes to Academic Calendar

JP Schools Family,

The Jefferson Parish School Board appointed Dr. James Gray as the next superintendent of Jefferson Parish Schools and approved changes to the academic calendar. The Board voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Gray from two candidates who presented at Wednesday’s special session meeting.
“We made two big decisions tonight that will help our children get the education they deserve,” said School Board President Tiffany Kuhn. “We are excited about Dr. Gray’s appointment and believe he can provide strong and stable leadership to our district. The new academic calendar will provide our educators with additional days before students report to implement additional safety guidelines and prepare for the start of the year.”
“I am grateful and honored that our Board trusts me to serve our 51,000 students in this role,” said Dr. Gray. “We will be champions for our students, families, educators, and communities. I know that together with our stakeholders, we can continue our momentum and provide the education our students deserve.”
Dr. Gray has served in public education for 25 years. Dr. Gray is a former administrator in Vermilion Parish and former principal in Iberia Parish. Dr. Gray joined JP Schools under Dr. Cade Brumley's administration in March 2018 as the Chief of Schools. Dr. Gray earned his bachelor's degree from Grambling, his master's degree from Nicholls State University, and a doctorate in education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
On June 3, the superintendent selection process began, and Chief Operations Officer Lale L. Geer was named interim superintendent. Applications were available from June 8-24. An online superintendent stakeholder survey was conducted, and results from the survey were released on June 29. More information on the superintendent search can be found at
An online survey was conducted for stakeholders to vote on amendments to the academic calendar. Based on 10,305 responses, 68% of stakeholders voted to push the first day of school for 1-12th students back from August 6 to August 12. 
Some additional highlights of the calendar changes include: 
  • Push the first day for PK-K students from August 13-14 to August 17-18
  • Add four additional teacher prep days to the beginning of the year
  • Recover instructional minutes by altering professional development days and making parent/teacher conferences virtual 
The updated academic calendar and the full results of the survey are available at JP Schools will publicly share the full Start Strong Jefferson reopening plan with families, staff, and community on July 20. More information can be found at

Jefferson Parish Schools