JCPS addressing staffing hurdles ahead of school year

On Friday, Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said the district has been doing everything it can to fill in the gaps, because they anticipated these problems.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:18 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools begins a new school year on Wednesday.

There are just over 300 open teaching jobs in the district and 70 uncovered bus routes.

“We know the challenge around staffing is enormous,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said.

On Friday, Pollio said the district has been doing everything it can to fill in the gaps, because they anticipated these problems.

“We’ve attacked it over the summer,” he said. “We’ve made some changes to our staffing models.”

Still, things may take time. JCPS is still waiting for the completed construction of the new Wilkerson Elementary, which delayed the building’s opening past the scheduled first day of school.

Also, despite over 70% of JCPS students qualifying for free and reduced lunches, the USDA has stopped the funding that guaranteed a free breakfast and lunch for all students.

Students at the 9 different non-community eligible JCPS schools will not automatically participate in that program. A list of the schools can be found at the bottom of this story.

“We’re working very closely with our staff, principals to make sure households complete that free and reduced meal application,” JCPS’ Interim Director of Nutrition Services Julia Bauscher said, “and we certify as many of those kids as we can.”

Despite a few setbacks, JCPS feels confident about the school year.

The district has made more than 100 job offers in the past week to potential teachers.

Dr. Marty Pollio said relative to other school districts, JCPS has a smaller percentage of open teaching positions.

One teacher told WAVE News she even came out of retirement for this year.

After decades as a teacher, counselor and principal Ira Ebbs still has the passion, forty years after she first started teaching.

“I love kids, I love teaching,” Ebbs said.

Ebbs returned to teaching to take part of a new science curriculum at Farnsley Middle School.

“This opportunity came up, and I thought, you know what, I could do it,” Ebbs said.

JCPS has also ramped up their security team. Nearly a dozen sworn officers have already been hired with a handful more to join at the start of the school year.

The nine non-community eligible schools in JCPS for the 2022-2023 school year are as followed:

  • Brown School
  • Dunn Elementary
  • DuPont Manual
  • Greathouse/Shyrock Elementary
  • Louisville Male
  • Lowe Elementary
  • Norton Elementary
  • Norton Commons Elementary
  • Stopher Elementary
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