WAVE 3 Editorial - August 21, 2012: Putting Students First
Students arriving at Okolona Elementary School for the first day of classes.
Okolona Elementary School on the first morning of the 2012-13 school year.
By Ken Selvaggi WAVE 3 Vice President and General Manager
We all have skin in the success of the 100,000 plus students who are back in school in Jefferson County Public Schools this week. It is by far the largest school district in the Commonwealth and is the 28th largest in the nation. The success of these students will go a long way in determining the growth of our region in years to come.
Two of every three of these students are on free or reduced lunch and one of every ten has no permanent address - so they are challenged with more than just studying.
The JCPS Strategic Plan focuses on four goals: increased learning; making sure every student graduates prepared for college or career, and life; engaging parents and the community to support student success; and making sure all schools are staffed, resourced and equipped to support student needs.
Strategies to achieve these goals include aligning a curriculum that allows teachers to be creative and increasing the quality of teacher training; creating a coordinated system of student support to increase attendance, reduce dropout and suspensions and increase time spent on learning; and strengthening the transitions between elementary, middle and high school and between grades.
Implementing a teacher and principal evaluation system; retaining and recruiting high-quality people who reflect the diversity of the student population; and ensuring that Central Office services exist to support and foster student achievement are other key strategies.
The Vision 2015 plan wisely includes success measures that hold the district accountable to the students - as well as all of us - the taxpayers funding it.
Spending every dollar on preparing these students for success in life will be the best investment our community can make.