JCPS confident that changes will not compromise safety

JCPS confident that changes will not compromise safety
The 2019-2020 school year begins Wednesdya, August 14. (Source: James Dobson, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools students will head back to school in two short days! There are some safety changes within the district this year that parents need to know about, including crossing guards and school resource officers.

JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio
JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio (Source: Jeff Knight, WAVE 3 News)

For the first time since the early 2000s, JCPS will not have armed school resource officers in their buildings. JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio says he's confident in the district's security plan.

"The vast majority of our schools have never had an SRO,” said Pollio. “Only 28 of our schools have had an SRO in recent years. We have approximately 128 who have never had an SRO. Those procedures on reporting incidents and support for schools, crisis support, all remain the same."

School crossing guards will remain in place at a dozen schools outside of the Louisville Metro Police Department patrol areas until November.
School crossing guards will remain in place at a dozen schools outside of the Louisville Metro Police Department patrol areas until November. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Evening security officers will be reassigned to the day shift. Their focus will be on patrolling the outside of the buildings.

“We’re moving as quickly as possible now to implement our internal security force and we’re well on the way to doing that,” said Pollio.

Family safety expert Stephen Balkam said parents need to take the reins when it comes to their children's digital safety.
Family safety expert Stephen Balkam said parents need to take the reins when it comes to their children's digital safety. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Crossing guards will be in place at a dozen local schools just as they were last year, but only until the beginning of November.

“We are working with our local agencies, police agencies like Shively, Jeffersontown, and Middletown, and St. Matthews to address how we will move forward after November,” Pollio said.

Another major change this year, students at every JCPS school will have access to a mental health counselor.

When it comes to digital safety, family safety expert Stephen Balkam said parents need to take the reins.

“Parents should be part of their child’s education broadly, and technology is becoming a central part of that,” said Balkam. “Go to your PTA meetings, ask what the policy is around technology, ask what kind of content controls the district uses.”

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