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Jefferson Parish Schools Launches New In-House Teacher Certification Program

Jefferson Parish Schools (JP Schools) received state approval to implement an in-house teaching certification program to help combat the nation-wide teacher shortage and grow more Jefferson Parish teachers. The EMBARK Jefferson program is designed to recruit, develop, certify, support, and retain effective educators committed to the instruction, growth, and achievement of students in Jefferson Parish Schools. EMBARK Jefferson is one of five school districts in the state of Louisiana that offer their own approved teacher certification program.

“The EMBARK program is a new innovative program that will allow our district to not only combat the teacher shortage, but allow us to cultivate JP Schools teachers,” said Superintendent Dr. James Gray. “The EMBARK program will aid the district in meeting the demands of our district and the changing demographics. This is a practical way to implement training that will create strong teachers in classrooms. This program is not only a benefit to potential teachers, but our kids.”

In alignment with the Jefferson Parish School’s strategic plan, 2024: The Future Our Kids Deserve, the district’s belief is that every child, regardless of zip code, gender race, or creed deserves a highly effective educator. This program supports that initiative by providing a practitioner-based program designed to help candidates learn through implementation rather than watching, and by providing consistent feedback to improve practice that promotes a culture of growing and learning together.

This program is tailored to meet the needs of individuals and is designed with the novice in mind. The EMBARK program offers direct access to advanced support systems at the district and school level, Praxis support for Praxis II (Praxis I in unique circumstances) exams, and is available as a low cost option. The district will accept 25 aspiring educators in year 1 with the goal of expanding in future years.