JCPS parents urge board to pass ‘re-do’ school measure

Published: May. 19, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A year of Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) has led to learning loss and missed opportunities for some students, which is why some Jefferson County Public Schools parents have pushed for a chance to re-do the last school year.

Senate Bill 128, also known as the “do-over” bill, would allow students in Kentucky to repeat the school year if they choose.

Even though Governor Andy Beshear signed it into law in late March, school districts have the final say in whether to implement the measure. The Jefferson County Board of Education is set to vote on whether it will allow students to repeat next Tuesday during its board meeting.

Around 700 families have shown interest, according to a JCPS spokesperson, including parent Stacy Pavelka. She told WAVE 3 News her son missed out on a year’s worth of in-person school therapy for his autism, and he isn’t prepared to go to middle school next year.

“Just in the little bit of time he’s been back in person, his teacher says he’s improved a lot, so to give him another year of fifth grade it would really help him to where he’d be ready for middle school in a year,” Pavelka said.

Another JCPS parent, Steve Ullum, also supports the measure. Even though he told WAVE 3 News his 10-year-old daughter would not benefit from repeating the school year, he said she still needs to attend summer school or get a tutor to catch up on learning loss from NTI.

“Her grades plummeted. Her desire to want to go to school — it’s not there anymore,” Ullum said. “She despises it now, so it’s going to be some work getting her back to where she was.”

Ullum believes the re-do year lets parents to choose the best option for their children.

“If there are 700, close to 800 families, that need this, that’s a huge need,” Ullum said. “That’s 700 some-odd families that were negatively impacted [by NTI] to such a degree that they’re willing to hold their children back. That’s huge,” he added. “[The board] needs to listen to that demand, and they need to do what it takes to accommodate those kids.”

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