JCPS could soon open school focusing on needs of girls of color

School focused on girls of color could soon open in JCPS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Girls seeing their brothers grow at a school designed just for them may not have to watch from the outside anymore.

“The momentum is gaining fast and furious,” Jefferson County Public Schools’ Chief Equity Officer, John Marshall, said.

John Marshall is the Chief Equity Officer for Jefferson County Public Schools. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
John Marshall is the Chief Equity Officer for Jefferson County Public Schools. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Marshall is proud of the work that’s been accomplished in the first year of the W.E.B DuBois Academy. Attendance, grades and behavior have all improved at the all boys’ school.

With three young daughters in mind, Marshall believes more needs to be done for the girls now.

“The data are clear that we have to do something for our girls of color,” Marshall said.

According to JCPS, suspension rates are three times higher for black girls than their white peers, and black girls have the lowest sense of belonging among student groups.

That statistic drops even lower after middle school.

“They’re very impressionable at that age and science proves that, so we just got to put them on fertile ground so they can grow and become who they are,” Marshall said.

W.E.B. DuBois has been a success in its first year, JCPS officials said. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
W.E.B. DuBois has been a success in its first year, JCPS officials said. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

The template for the all girls’ school is similar to DuBois. Students of all races would be welcome to attend the school that would have an afro-centric curriculum and teachers that represent the school population.

“The young ladies will be able to see themselves in every period...see women that look like them from sun up to sun down,” Marshall said. “This is going to be a place where they can bring their whole selves in, learn who they are and just innovate."

Marshall said they are in the process of looking for a strong principal who can lead the school and rally community support for the program.

If approved by the school board, the program would cost around $2 million in the first year and could be open by August 2020.

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