Superintendent's Message: October 2021
As we continue to navigate the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, it goes without saying that our district has made significant strides of progress. We have managed to safely reopen and resume learning within all of our schools only a month after encountering a category four hurricane. We also prioritized providing frequent updates to our JP families and stakeholders, as we recognized early on that this was critical to facilitating a smooth reopening.
I’ve enjoyed visiting schools and engaging with students, faculty, and staff as they navigate this return. Witnessing the return to schools has given me a deep sense of appreciation for the much needed sense of normalcy and hope that school reopenings have provided to our community.
I recognize that great challenges lie ahead in terms of permanent repairs to our school buildings and that there is still a long road to full restoration and recovery ahead. As learning continues throughout the remainder of the school year, I know that some of our JP family are having to make adjustments and be adaptable. However, the compassionate stories shared are a true testament to how well our JP Schools family has looked after one another. This allows me to remain optimistic of all that we will continue to accomplish as we move forward together.
It is no doubt that teachers have been at the forefront of ensuring our students' educational wellbeing during such adverse and uncertain times. From navigating fluctuating circumstances due to the pandemic, to having to again pivot and make additional adjustments due to Hurricane Ida, our teachers have not wavered in their commitment to ensuring our children's educational success.
On November 13, Jefferson Parish residents will be asked to vote on a millage renewal to fund current teacher salaries and benefits. This renewal is not a new tax. It is the renewal of a millage that is solely dedicated to teacher salaries and benefits, originally approved by voters in 2003. This renewal comes at no additional costs to taxpayers. The November 13 vote will provide for a 10-year renewal for the district to maintain its current workforce of teachers.
This millage renewal is solely dedicated to the hard-working teachers of Jefferson Parish. We want to ensure our workforce stays strong, as better teachers means a better Jefferson.
This is a critical vote for the future of Jefferson Parish. Everybody wins when we keep our teachers strong. To learn more about the millage renewal, visit jpschools.org/teacherpay.
Jefferson Parish Schools has a promising future, and with the joint efforts of our families, employees, and community, both our school district and parish are bound for success.
Dr. James Gray