Return to Headlines

Superintendent's Message: May 17, 2021

JP Schools Family,

As the year draws to a close, I want to take a moment to thank you for your commitment to making this year a success. To our teachers, support staff, administrators and district staff, thank you for showing up every day to ensure the best outcomes for our students. Thank you to the community who supported us in making in-person learning a priority from day one. Thank you to our healthcare partners for their expert guidance and access to vaccinations when they became available. Thank you to our School Board for their continued commitment to putting students first. Most of all, thank you to our students and their families for their positive attitude and resilience. I’ve said many times that as long as we keep our students at the heart of every decision, we will continue to move in the right direction.

As outlined in our Progress to 2024 Update, we have made great gains this year as a district and continued to build on the priorities outlined in 2024: The Future Our Kids Deserve. We provided one-to-one technology access for all students and purchased 2,900 Promethean boards to support our teachers. We increased the number of IGNITE Jefferson Teacher Leaders by 5% and conducted multiple professional development sessions to help teachers become more proficient with new technology. We launched the Fast Forward program, partnering with business and postsecondary institutions to increase the number of associate degrees earned by our high school students. We created a Jump Start After Hours program and increased opportunities for our students to earn Industry Based Credentials, attaining more than 6,697 credentials to date this year. Additionally, we created an Early Literacy Leadership Collaborative that resulted in a research-backed Early Literacy Strategic Plan to ensure all students are reading on grade-level by third grade.

With LEAP testing and graduations underway, I am proud of everything our students and teachers have done to prepare up to this point. Based on benchmark data, I feel confident we will see strong results when school performance scores are released this fall. As we move forward with our plans for the 2021-22 school year, we are in a great position to take all of these gains and continue to build, just as we are currently doing with our new and innovative Jefferson Virtual High School and Jefferson Summer Bridge.

Throughout the pandemic, we have been living through history. We wrote the script for how to reopen schools with high-quality teaching and learning while safeguarding the health of everyone on campus. It’s been a tough year, but we have so much to celebrate. Thank you for being the champions our kids deserve.

Dr. James Gray