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Dr. Gray Shares First Week of School Message with JP Schools Family

Dr. Gray's Welcome Back Message from Jefferson Parish Schools on Vimeo.


This week we welcomed back our 50,000 students and families. Whether you’re a teacher, parent, support staff, administrator, Parish official or one of our valued community members, thank you for your patience and grace as we work together to provide safe, in-person instruction for our children.

I visited many schools this week. One thing they all had in common is they are filled with teachers and staff who care about students and are focused on providing a safe, enriching experience for kids.

When last school year started, there was no vaccine and school buildings were opening for the first time during the pandemic. One year ago, we came together to safely provide children with a quality in-person education.

This year we have a safe and effective vaccine that’s widely available to all adults and children ages 12 and up. We also have the experience and lessons learned from safely operating schools in-person last year.

It’s natural to be worried about safety, especially when it comes to your child. As your Superintendent, as a life-long educator, and as a father, I want you to know that nothing matters more than the safety of our children and employees.

We are experts in education. We are not experts on the virus. That’s why any decision we make around safety is done in collaboration with medical professionals. We are in constant communication with the medical community. They helped us create our Start Strong Jefferson plan and advise us when changes are necessary due to shifts in the virus.

Thank you for trusting us with your children, especially during this unprecedented time. We had a good first week of school. I look forward to seeing the great things we can accomplish together this school year.

Dr. James Gray
JP Schools Superintendent