Friday May 25, 2018
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Board Approves Major Initiatives Focused On Students And Schools

On March 27, the Jefferson County Board of Education approved two major initiatives led by Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio that will strengthen support to students and schools: create a centralized location for the Newcomer Academy and implement the phase-one reorganization of the district’s central office.

“Both of these initiatives build on the day-one priorities I announced as acting superintendent: strengthening culture and climate, boosting student learning and improving organizational coherence,” Dr. Pollio said. “These are innovative, needed changes in our district that will continue to move JCPS forward and allow us to support students and schools more efficiently and effectively.”

Newcomer students are currently served at four different locations (Academy @ Shawnee, Phoenix School of Discovery, Iroquois High School and Gheens Academy). For the 2018-19 school year, a consolidated Newcomer Academy will open at the current Phoenix School of Discovery building on Pulliam Drive. Phoenix will move to the Jaeger Education Center on Wood Road.

When I was named acting superintendent, I made it clear that a centralized school for Newcomer students and teachers would be a priority for the 2018-19 school year,” Dr. Pollio said. “For far too long, our district has served our growing population of Newcomer students at four separate locations. Tonight’s vote will improve services for students and is a continued investment in and commitment to our English language learners.”

The facilities changes approved tonight are in addition to those approved at the Feb. 27 board meeting, which combined the district’s two Teenage Parent Programs (TAPPs) and created an early childhood education center and a temporary home for the new W.E.B. DuBois Academy.

“This facilities plan is the result of months of planning as well as parent, teacher and community input—providing us with the opportunity to present our board with the best possible plan for students,” Dr. Pollio said.

Central office reorganization provides strengthened support to schools

In January 2018, Dr. Pollio sought recommendations from the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) on how the district’s central office structure could better support schools and reflect those of “best-practice” urban districts. The full report completed by the CGCS is available on the district’s website here.

The CGCS report provides a framework that led to the first phase of central office reorganization recommendations, which were approved tonight by the school board. The changes provide a better balance to the district’s central office and deliver resources to students and schools in a more effective and efficient way.

“I believe these initial changes in the cost-neutral reorganization will help bring about organizational coherence, better support our schools and increase student achievement,” Dr. Pollio said.

Recommendations include:

  • Adding a general counsel, chief of staff, chief human resources officer and chief of schools position.
  • Eliminating achievement area superintendent positions. Assistant superintendents will report to the chief of schools and be reorganized by each grade level.
    • Three elementary assistant superintendents serving schools divided into zones (one through three)
    • One assistant superintendent for middle schools
    • One assistant superintendent for high schools
  • Assistant superintendents will report to the chief of schools.
  • There will be an assistant superintendent of climate and culture.
  • Eliminating evaluation transition coordinator (ETC) positions and providing assistant superintendents with executive administrator positions.
  • Athletics will report to the chief of schools.
  • All chief positions will be the same grade.

The plan is cost neutral by eliminating the chief business officer position and other vacant positions throughout central office. Additional recommendations will be brought to the board at future meetings.

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