JCPS planning to change how students are assigned to schools

JCPS planning to change how students are assigned to schools

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Kentucky’s largest school district is zeroing in on a new plan for a hot button issue: assigning students to certain schools.

There’s not a firm start date for implementation of the new plan, but some of the elements could come sooner than others, including a centralized lottery plan and eliminating school-initiated exits from magnet schools.

The plan could take shape as soon as next year.

Cassie Blausey, the JCPS executive administrator of school choice, said the idea behind the new school assignment plan is fixing what needs to be fixed while keeping what works.

“We went to the community and we went to the committee with that question. ‘What needs to be fixed?’” Blausey said.

Through community feedback, JCPS found out that parents want their children in schools closer to their homes.

“The fear in that is that we go back to a system where there were segregated schools, that they had hand me down books, not having the supports that were needed,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said.

However, the new plan would allow families to choose between a school in their neighborhood and a school away from home. That would impact around 6,500 students in middle and high school satellite areas mostly in west Louisville.

Another major change that has received a lot of feedback in the plan is eliminating the ability of magnet schools to remove underperforming students.

“We use the word exiting, but it’s really kicking children out of their school,” JCPS Board of Education Member Dr. Chris Kolb said. “And it doesn’t seem right to me that some schools get to play by a different set of rules than others. So, I’m eager to vote to end that process.”

The board of education will vote on a finalized student assignment plan within the next few months.

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