|Title||Submitted by:||Board Member||School(s) Affected||Topic||Letter Content|
|Fear in play at Manual||BSU President||Diane Porter||duPont Manual||Other||
To whom it may concern:
The student who recorded the conversation with the principal at Manual was a former member of the Black Student Union. He decided to leave the BSU as soon as our principal found out that he had recorded him. He left to protect his relationship with the principal since he’s the senior class president. I know this because this is what he read in his resignation letter to members of BSU.
His lies are hurting people. I strive to expose the truth.
|Manual Graduate: A Historical Viewpoint||Manual Football Alum '99||Chris Brady (Chair)||duPont Manual||Other||
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a Manual alum, graduating almost 20 years ago and have long since moved away from the Louisville area. Just the other day my mother called me to tell me about what was occurring at Manual and the situation facing Coach Mayes. While many years have passed since I was a young football player at Manual and coached by Coach Mayes, I felt compelled to write some words from my perspective. In this day and age we all get a viewpoint, regardless of who we are, and it’s our choice to be heard. I think too often the negative overshadows the positive, so I, respectful to any with other viewpoints, offer my own.
Coach Mayes was the head football coach the four years I attended Manual and played football. It was likely the most formative time of my life and while I did not come into the program as a football stud, I graduated a better man and co-captain of the football team. While I could have easily been written off, Coach Mayes kept on me to improve and work harder. I owe a debt of gratitude to his support of me during this time and his continual focus on improving the lives of young people.
Throughout my time playing football, Coach Mayes ensured that we were respectful, honest, disciplined, and acted as a family. The team followed the rules, even if it cost us winning a game or the season. I always think that behavior demonstrated in adversity is a true sign of character. One gloomy fall day, we were struck with the news that our friend and teammate, Quintin Hammond, was killed on his way to school that day. It was horrific, and still shakes me to my core even today. Coach Mayes was there for us and his family, through a very dark period. He handled the situation with absolute class and ensured the team rallied around Quintin’s memory and his family throughout the season and to this day. Number 4 became our mantra and our cause for the season, and Coach Mayes was the driving force behind ensuring Quintin’s memory wouldn’t be forgotten. We truly acted as a family, with no lines of division on race or any other factor.
At the end of the day, Coach Mayes is a man, imperfect as we all are. I am sure he would attest to that. We all have regrets and strive for improvement every day. However, Coach Mayes is different in the devotion he’s made his entire life to improving the lives of the young people around him. I’m sure I could come up with something from some point in time as a negative, but I honestly don’t remember those as the positives outweigh the negatives. Now that I am raising two children of my own, I know the energy and challenge of keeping children moving in the right direction. It takes extraordinary people to help raise our children and we should embrace and support those people, despite that they may be different from us or have diverse viewpoints. Coach Mayes’ commitment has been unwavering and I’m grateful for my experience.
|Mrs||Vicki Ziegler||Diane Porter||Manual High School||Other||
Dear Ms. Porter,
|The Other African American Student in the Recording||Kevon Baker||Lisa Willner||duPont Manual High School||Other||
|The Other African American Student in the Recording||Kevon Baker||Lisa Willner||duPont Manual High School||Other||
Dear Mr. Brad Weston,
|Justice for Mayes Messages||Justice for The Students of DMHS||Diane Porter||DuPont Manual / The Youth Performing Arts School||Other||
Dear JCPS Board,
Various posts have been made, regarding DuPont Manual Highschool Principal Jerry Mayes. Considering the current climate in our country, as acts of abuse (both psychological and physical, as well as abuse of power), oppression and corruption are unveiled left and right, from the political arena to the entertainment industry, people are realizing that, in order to move forward into a world of justice and equality, it is necessary to speak up. We MUST speak up. Those who have been oppressed and silenced refuse to do so any longer. Individuals who have stood to the side and silently witnessed injustice are now speaking out against those who manipulate an archaic system that caters only to a very specific demographic, ignoring the rest of the population who, according to that minority "elite", matter less than they do.
It is imperative we do this within our schools, as well. I am a former student of Jerry Mayes', and though my experience with him was not to the degree of abuse and bullying that it was for Casey Hoke and Jahne Brown (both brave individuals I am proud to say are fellow alums), my experience was still, in its own right, an experience of bullying and abuse of power. Jerry Mayes' treatment of those students who, borrowing words from a fellow alum, he felt were useful to him (and these students were mostly somehow involved in athletics), versus those who were not involved, or particularly enthusiastic about Manual sports was absolutely blatant. Many on his football team can be quoted as saying something along the lines of "He was great to me, but awful to so many others." Anyone who fell outside of the boundaries of what would have been considered "traditional" was targeted. He was a bully. He loved enforcing and showcasing his power, the way one would casually play with a laser pen and a cat. Sometimes, these shows of power came out of nowhere, unprovoked, and it disturbed me greatly when I heard that he had actually been chosen as the principal of what is supposed to be one of the top schools in the country. When I heard about the case which is currently being reviewed by JCPS, and when I read the stories of Casey and Jahne on this message board, I was outraged. But I was not surprised.
It has come to my attention that a text message has been circulating within the JCPS community, entreating those who support Jerry Mayes to submit character references. I have no doubt that he was great to those who will come to his defense. My issue with most of these individuals is that they completely dismiss the testimonies of those who have negative things to say about Mayes. They call the experiences of Hoke and Brown "illegitimate" in the text, which is proof that, unfortunately, the outdated, good-old-boys-club mentality is still a part of the JCPS community infrastructure, where those at the top look out only for themselves, and not for the well-being of the students. This combination of discriminating thought and toxic masculinity is a rancid, festering block on the road to progress, and it is not only students who have been effected, but also hard-working JCPS staff, many of whom fear retaliation, should they speak out. I have been told by those who have worked with Mayes as educators and administrators that he also abuses his power among his staff, using intimidation, manipulation and bullying as a weapon. Am I surprised? Not in the least.
I, myself, personally have nothing to win or lose by speaking or staying silent on this matter. I do not work for JCPS. I do not have children. I do not even live in Kentucky any longer. However, the thought that, after all these years, and after all the progress that we've achieved in the way we think and relate to one another, these children, some of the best and brightest in the city of Louisville are experiencing this level of unapologetic ignorance, and are still feeling unsafe and powerless under the reign of this man makes me incredibly sad. We can do better than this. Mayes has those in his corner, calling for justice for him. I'm calling for justice for the students of DuPont Manual. They deserve better than this. Below is the circulating email in question. I don't know if Dear JCPS will allow it to be published here, but I will attempt. Please, please, please, JCPS Board. Look into this. Really look into this.
You have been identified as an acquaintance of Jerry Mayes – current Principal at duPont Manual High School. We are writing in an effort to rally support on behalf of our dear friend. We are hoping you would take a brief moment to write a letter on Jerry’s behalf.
Simply put, we are looking for character references based on your personal experiences with Jerry. These would be greatly appreciated as we look to overcome some awful (illegitimate) allegations. Additionally, if you were to know of anyone else that has or had a relationship (whether personal or professional) with Jerry, please pass this message along. We need all the support we can get.
Please send all letters to email@example.com
Thank you so much for your time and support.
|Blue Ribbon Principal||Jennifer Hawthorne, please don't post my name||Steph Horne||Norton Elementary School||Other||
|Dr.||Dr. Randolph Wieck||Chris Brady (Chair)||duPont Manual||Other||
|Overlooking the obvious||Concerned||Chris Brady (Chair)||Other||
Regarding the J-Town High fight: I get that there are many ways to de-escalate a situation where violence otherwise would be imminent. However, what happens if all i's are dotted, t's are crossed and there are still fights and violence in the school? Who will protect the kids on the sidelines who are taught to do what they are told? The kids who know if they get in trouble at school, they'll get in trouble at home?
If I had a student at J-Town High, I would want someone there, whether it be an SRO or a police officer, to protect my child from students who hit and punch adults. Why wouldn't I? Why wouldn't I want someone at the school properly equipped to keep my child safe from violence other students are choosing to inflict on the staff?
What am I missing? No one is even talking about the fact that two children hit officers first, tried to tackle one, that some students were edging on the fight, and the parent is pissed off?
Maybe we are blaming the wrong people. Hurting people, hurt...people. How about helping the family with the kids who are tackling officers with counseling, parenting skills and the like.
|Jerry Mayes Complaint||Oberon Waters-Coverdale||Chris Brady (Chair)||duPont Manual Highschool||Other||
I'm one of the many students coming forward about the issues being caused by Jerry Mayes, principal of the magnet school duPont Manual High School.
I tried to file a complaint with the HRC in May of 2016, with many allegations against Jerry Mayes. You see, I was president of the school's Gay Straight Transgender Alliance and it was very clear that he had issues with us. I'll list the following things I feel he did wrong in order:
-Repeatedly pushed Christian ideology in a public school environment
Seeing as most of these things happened within my senior year at duPont, I would not be surprised if they continued to happen. I think it's of the utmost importance that Jerry Mayes be reviewed in his position at duPont Manual High School before more accounts like this happen. If more dates and specifics to events are needed, I'll be more than happy to provide those along with any eyewitness accounts of what I witnessed during my time at duPont.
Thank you so much for your time,
|Police Support in Response to Jtown Incident||Anonymous||Chris Brady (Chair)||Jtown and Louisville Community||Other||
Dear Louisville and the whole United States,
|Please Advertise the Library Media Director Position||Concerned Librarians||Steph Horne||All||Other||
We are so grateful that the proposed changes to the Director of Library Media Services job description have been tabled. Our sincere thanks to the Superintendent and School Board members for this wise reconsideration. We hope that also means that the weeks of not posting the position to the job list are over, and that the district will begin accepting applications for this vital office. The sooner the position is posted, the more seamless the transition once the current director retires. School librarians support ALL areas of core content, and teach using an inquiry framework that embeds information literacy into core content instruction. We collaborate with teachers to lead students to deeper learning experiences using the rich print and online resources available in our libraries. We are anxious to begin this important work without the worry and distraction of not having our new director hired and available to support our efforts. We trust that the position will be advertised soon and look forward to great things in the 2017-18 school year.
|"I am 100% Integrity"||Very Concerned||Chris Brady (Chair)||All||Other||
Mr. Brady, just curious where this JCPS HR issue stands to date ("I am 100% integrity"). It was brought to light at an earlier board meeting yet, there has been no update. Can you offer, at this time, any updates for the public on this matter. Is there truth to the matter, has it been swept under the rug, or is it of false nature? Mr. Brady, we are counting on you to keep transparent. I noticed HR director Tiffeney Armour is presenting HR annual report at tomorrow's (July 25, 2017) Board of Ed meeting. Will this topic/issue be addressed as well? Please address and update.
|JCPS= Allergic to Real Change||Obi Negus||Diane Porter||ALL||Other||
Everyone should know by now that you all can only do "so much" due to a possible state takeover but at this point it doesn't matter and let me explain to you why.
Charter schools are a radical change. Trying to legally segregate us again was an almost radical change. Approving the Dubious Academy was a radical decision (kudos) although seemingly very rushed and unorganized with some very stupid contingencies...but still very good nonetheless.
What are you all actually doing to help the other 30 thousand students of color? From what i see, NOTHING compared to simple things you can do. It is easier to approve a school and start one for a specific demographic than it is to teach culturally and historically accurate information to your teachers and students??? No no no no no. I do not for one second believe that mess. One bit!! I've visited a school or 2 with high concentrations of students of color and white teachers. I've been at other schools as well where its like walking in a mini university. I'm no professional in the field but correct me if I'm wrong in thinking that its easier to teach students who look like the people who write and sell the curriculum. African descendants built this country. My parents parents parents' environment was manipulated in a way to create a perpetual cycle of poverty, maladaptive behavior, and a slower pace of growth than every other demographic. And we are seeing the manifestations of the social experiment of the "ghetto" (which was adopted from Adolf Hitler and given steroids) in today's children and adolescents of color.
For starters, a simple way to begin to break the school to prison pipeline is teaching a real education with real facts. Not some europeanized lie that's been perpetuated for HUNDREDS OF YEARS. You know, like the roman emperor names Septimius Severus who was from Africa. Who was born with heavily melenated skin. Or the man who created the machine to attach soles to shoes. Or the woman who created the ironing board. Or the fact that every major religion on the planet in our existence was started by melenated people. Or something as simple as making sure every map in every classroom that has and needs one shows the relative size of every continent. You know, the fact that America, China, India, and Europe, and Japan fit into the continent of Africa...All together. Or that Plato, Aristotle and their gang of philosophers gained the vast majority of their base knowledge and much more advanced knowlege from Africa. That Alexander the great was intimidated by Queen Candace of Ethiopia and instead of an invasion, he retreated before even going to war with her and her army. That the wealthiest human in history was Mansa Musa of Mali. Or that people from Africa sailed to the americas long before Columbus.
In no way am I saying anyone is better than anyone else, but why lie? Stop contradicting yourselves by saying, "We're committed to equity" when you pay for books that teach lies. You want real change in the classrooms? Stop closing down schools that actually work. Teach your teachers diversity and empathy, as well as how its difficult to learn when you're too hungry, tired, and/or wound up to learn from trauma. Fix the biased busing. Teach the truth. Equitably market the schools downtown. Create youth counselor positions for people who will be trained to teach emotional regulation and social skills for our students who live in poverty and affluent neighborhoods.
Of course teaching curriculum based not entirely off of white male fairy-tales will cause a ton of white flight. SO WHAT!!!
So I leave you with this...Are you all really, truly within your soul committed to radical change? To level the playing field for the most miseducated and neglected? Because your actions say, "Of course not!"
|Ms||Teacher||Chris Brady (Chair)||Other||
I am in shock at the use of the word "toxic" to describe the relationship between adults & students at Jefferson County Public Schools. As a JCPS teacher, I have been called many things but I find the word "toxic" offensive. THANKS!
|Busing NEEDS To Continue, Here is why.||Claudia||Chris Brady (Chair)||All JCPS schools||Other||
I am Claudia Fernandez, a freshman at Doss High School. In this letter, I am going to tell you my views on busing, and why I believe it has an important role in keeping our community desegregated and diverse. If busing ends, and the bill stating we have to attend our neighborhood schools passes, they would be segregating public schools, not only by social economic class but also by race, given that some neighborhoods consist mostly of white or black people.
I was looking at the reasons to end busing and one I find very comical is " Busing causes white flight- where white families move their children from public schools to private and suburban institutions"- Why is that even one of the reasons? (Also the term 'white flight' is hilarious ) Are white people afraid of diversity? Some parents move their children to private schools because well, they can afford it and they want their child to get a better education. I don't think that the diversity in their schools is the main reason why they do it. Busing gives students opportunities to be with students who are unlike them and it eliminates racism and discrimination.
Doss High School is diverse like every other JCPS public school. I believe that students are better thanks to that. I have personally never seen bullying around here because of race or sexual orientation. They don't judge you because you're different, they just don't care. Here, no matter how weird you are, you will always find more people that are like you, that's the beauty of diversity, you don't feel alone and left out. Sure there are still trouble makers and misbehaviors in classrooms but that happens everywhere; it mostly depends on the teacher you have. While with one teacher we are little devils and frustrating, with another one we are angels and a good class.
Busing gives all students opportunities to go to schools in areas with more money and get the education they want. My neighborhood school is Iroquois but I applied to Doss because of their Stem program. It teaches what I want to learn and the teachers are great. They want you to succeed and they give you chances to remediate and prove you know the material you once failed. All students have the chance to get A's and B's, some don't because they're too lazy to try.
Now the cons about busing that I found valid and I feel there's a solution to them: 1. Hard for students to be involved in after school activities; 2. Parents cannot be involved in school if it's far away; 3. Students are on the bus for hours. First of all, students and parents choose to go through this. Jcps automatically assigns you to your neighborhood school, sometimes it might be another one that might be far away, but then if you wish to attend another school of your liking you can apply to go there. If the school you want to go to is far away but you still choose to go there, it's your decision, you knew that it would be a long bus ride and that it will be hard for you to be involved in after school activities. Also, parents can be involved in their child's education in many ways, they don't necessarily have to go to the school to do that.
Now, the really long bus rides, but in the government's perspective. It does cost a lot of money in gas and maintenance; my proposition is to put a limit on how long the bus rides can be. Like 'your bus shouldn't be taking longer than 40 min to drop you off' and 40 min isn't as long as it seems since they have to take different routes and stops for different students. If the student wishes to attend a school further than that anyway, then it is the parent's responsibility to drive them to school and pick them up every day.
Remember it's the student's choice they're taking away if you stop busing because some kids don't have parents with cars or they don't have anyone available to take them. Thank you for taking your time to read this letter.
|A students thoughts on Busing||Heather Gilby||Chris Brady (Chair)||Other||
Dear JCPS, 03/23/17
|Busing is integration||Franchesca Kayret Alvarez Favela||Chris Brady (Chair)||Doss High School||Other||
I am a JCPS student at Doss High School and I am here to share you my opinion about the busing trouble you are facing this time. As everybody know JCPS is in charge to transporting of children to a school outside their residential area as a means of achieving racial balance in that school to prevent segregation. This is an issue really important in our community.
|Busing in Louisville||Alexus Adkins||Chris Brady (Chair)||JCPS Schools||Other||
|JCPS Busing||Kenny||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
My name is Kenny Nguyen I am a student that goes to Doss High School and that I'm for busing for students because it good way to let students to go to a school that they feel it a good education for them and a program that they like plus getting to go to a school with there friends but if stopping busing students can't get what they want to learn and limit there chance at a school that have a education that they want.
Other reason Busing help give student experience what other school is like, that it give them a opportunitie at better education or a good school that in a good neighborhood with more money and students that coming from different area and that they are coming from a completely different background so we should keep busing because I believe as a student that we can pick what we want learn.
A good reason about busing that it bring different people from different neighborhood and having a diverse classroom so it bring us all together and giving us opportunities to be with students unlike them so it eliminate racism but if ending busing we can't have a diverse class with different race and that it can bring back what happen in past about racism and that the population of black and white would be dominant than others race if we did go to are home school.
Busing could also help students that stay after school and work on there missing work or there standard and that it help student lot that are failing in class but don't got transportation so they got a bus to take them home and that busing is helpful thing to student because they can get more good grades in the classes of those extra help they got from staying after school plus there text score could increase.
I am one of those students that didn't want go to his home school which is Iroquois high school because it wasn't a school that I was interested in and seeing lot negative at that school had so I decided to go Doss high school because it was thing that I want learn there like the business program and that Iroquois doesn't have program that im interested in so busing is a good thing for students that want to get into.
Sincerely, Kenny Nguyen
|dear jcps||ellis||David Jones (Chair)||District Boundaries||
March 23, 2017
|Busing||blake lorimor||David Jones (Chair)||jcps schools||Other||
|Busing In jcps||3/23/17||Chuck Haddaway||all jcps schools||Other||
Dear JCPS, 3/24/17
I am writing you to talk about the local controversy about busing in jcps, and as a former victim of busing I say that it needs to come to an end. Although I see why busing is a touchy topic, and it’s hard to say that I feel this way in the first place I believe that there are many more cons to busing versus pros. In the 6th grade i was bused from my home downtown market street to Crosby middle school, and I hated it. Every minute of it.
|Busing in JCPS||3/23/2017||Steph Horne||Busing||Other||
Dear JCPS, Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 3/23/2017
Hello, my name is Jacqueline Schuler. I am a Doss High School student. I am on the freshman side. I would like to discuss something with you today. I would like to have a Conversation about the busing of Louisville, Kentucky. I don’t ride the bus but I have friends that do. Also, I don’t like that they are think to change it or just stop the busing. It really makes me sad. I would miss my friends so much.
|Dear JCPS letter||Andrew Rockey||David Jones (Chair)||Doss||Other||
First here are a couple of reasons why you should keep busing. First of all if we keep busing then it will give us student’s opportunities to go to schools with more money. Another reason to keep busing is that it eliminates racism in schools. Racial integration is a worthy goal, and busing is an easy means to achieving that goal. Racism is a big problem in the United States and it needs to be eliminated so that everybody can be in peace.
Now one thing you can do to improve busing is maybe changing the routes to where they are faster and you can be there on time to school. Nobody wants to be late to school and miss work then you would have to do it for homework. We want busing in Louisville so if there’s any chance you should change the routes to make them faster. That will improve busing and make it better so we don’t have to worry about kids being late.
The reason I’m writing this letter is to continue busing. In my civics class we learned a lot about segregation. I wish that you will consider reading this and hopefully it influences you. Thank you for reading my letter it makes me happy to know that JCPS listens to it’s students and don’t just make decisions on their own
|Busing in JCPS||3/23/17||Diane Porter||all JCPS schools||Other||
Dear JCPS, 3/23/17
|Dear JCPS||Kelsie Medley||Diane Porter||Other||
Dear JCPS, 03/23/2017
|Busing in Lousiville||CJ Cooper||David Jones (Chair)||Public||Other||
|louisville busing||moe moe||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
March 22, 2017
|Dear JCPS||JariahSingleton||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
My name is Jariah Singleton, I am I student attending Doss High School. I am writing to explain my reasoning why busing in JCPS should continue. JCPS busing program is perfectly fine the way it is. Busing is a way many kids are having fun with their friends, at compound children at seeing and meeting people they like and socialize with. Even the wait on compound busing is fun for others, for example gives some of them a chance to finish work if they didn’t feel like doing work as soon as they got home.
Sincerely, Jariah Singleton
|DEAR JCPS LETTER||Simon Powell||Linda Duncan||Other||
|busing in louisville||Donnavious Lucas||Chris Brady||Other||
C:\Users\DLUCA01\Documents\My name is Donnavious Lucas I attend Harry Doss High Schools.docx
|Dear jcps||Jaylynn Moore||Linda Duncan||Other||
|Busing in LOuisville||Akaijriya||Lisa Willner||schools in jefferson county||Other||
Dear JCPS, 3-22-17
Doss High Student,
|Busing in JCPS||ii.michael.ii||Linda Duncan||All that are being bussed||Other||
March 8th, 2016
I’m a student at Doss High and I think that busing is a good idea for JCPS students. This is because it gives some students a chance to see what they haven’t seen or experienced before. I think that there are some things about it that kind of makes people rethink because of the long bus ride from home to school, but other than that, there are great advantages.
|Dear JCPS||Kashante Mcneal||Linda Duncan||Other||
|Busing in Louisville||Larrenezia Brown||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
Dear JCPS, 3/22/17
I’m Lar’ Renezia Brown and I attend Doss High School. My opinion on busing is that it should continue. I bring this up because my Civics class gave me a task to write a letter to JCPS arguing for or against busing using the evidence I found from my research. I think busing should continue because it helps racial integration, it gives students opportunities to go to schools in areas with a better environment, and it eliminates racism. I will come up with a better student plan to help busing continue.
|I Want an Apology from Dr. Hargens||Frustrated||Diane Porter||Other||
I don't want an apology from MAG. I want an apology from Dr. Hargens.
But, Dr. Hargens' statement that this $40 million mistake is the cause of teachers feeling undervalued and unappreciated is what I find absolutely unforgivable. It's not just a feeling. It's a fact that teachers are undervalued and unappreciated, specifically and precisely, due to this districts' policies that create over-worked, exhausted, paper-pushing teachers; a fear-based, top-down administrative approach, and policies that strip teachers and students of time, creativity, and a voice.
Clearly the atmosphere in our communities and in our schools has changed dramatically - violence, drug use, poverty. high-stakes testing, budget cuts. Teachers' roles have changed and responsibilities have spiked. JCPS' policies have failed to acknowledge, much less support these changing roles and THIS is the cause of teachers' reality of being undervalued and unappreciated.
|Disappointed mom||Lenora moore||Diane Porter||All||District Boundaries||
|Teacher||Helpless and Hopeless||Diane Porter||Other||
I briefly reviewed the results of the recent audit. It seems that the documents I read about the audit, and nearly every other document about or by JCPS, rarely address real-life problems faced by students and teachers...issues that the general public are rarely aware of. Here are a few:
*Teachers can't teach. Kids can't learn. The district has created an atmosphere that inundates teachers and other school staff with an unimaginable amount of paperwork, meetings, number crunching and data, data, data. In moderation, these are all great and necessary. But it's primarily bullshit. These mandates keep teachers so stressed out with deadline after deadline. Paperwork has truly become a part-time job.
*West End schools are failing. JCPS IS a disaster. Kids need more help. Teachers need more help. Students in these schools experience trauma on a daily basis, yet programs, policies and promises never live up to the hype - they never produce results because the people making the decisions are those who have worked hard to climb the ladder and 'get out of the classroom'. Teachers are under such scrutiny. More and more demands are placed on teachers' very limited time. We are expected to teach cookie-cutter, scripted lessons to students who act out, due to trauma, in the way of fighting, throwing objects, kicking chairs, destroying property - crying out for help. Clearly, they need MORE help. Clearly, they are living a trauma-based life. THEY NEED MORE. COOKIE-CUTTER, DISTRICT approaches DON'T WORK. We know what's waiting for our students of poverty. Why not offer real interventions that could change the trajectory of their lives? Why not ask teachers what help THEY need to better serve their students? Does the district even care?
*Many principals push all the district mandates without thinking about the specific population of students they are serving; without thinking about all the demands that are placed on teachers and how hard they work day in and day out. Everyone in education it seems touts "students come first." This is such crap. Nothing is further from the truth in my opinion. It should be, "covering our butts" comes first. The people who know their students best, are rarely asked what they need to help their kids. And even if you were asked, you couldn't tell the truth for fear of retribution. It's one way - the district's - or the highway.
*Here at JCPS, there's one way to teach. If kids can't recite the standard they are learning, then you're an ineffective teacher. If the wording of the learning objective is misstated, uh-oh. If you're not using the script of the "research-based" brand-new program we're shoving down your throat, whoops. I'm not a teacher. I'm a robot. My poor kids.
*PLC's are exhausting. Nobody likes them. Just another avenue for administration to regurgitate what the district erroneously considers "best practices." PLCs are the epitome of number-crunching, uber-focus on data, more tracking, more paperwork, more of "you're shit teachers and you're not doing it the way we believe it's right."
*BULLYING IS AN ISSUE! Some administrators either don't know how to handle it, don't believe they can change it, or they completely disregard it on a systemic level. If only parents knew! It's ridiculous.
*PGES is another way JCPS covers their butt. It's more paperwork. It's more deadlines. It's a joke.
*Teachers work hard and put in very long hours, often to the detriment of their family-life, health, etc. They love their students. They truly don't stop when the bell rings. I would ask that the district and admin cut us some slack, for crying out loud. Give us a voice. Let us teach!
How in the world did we get to where we are in education today? Prior to the last 4 or 5 years, I felt I was truly able to teach and meet the needs of my kids. Not sure if it was the initiation of Common Core or the beginning of Hargens rule. Regardless, I am so frustrated and I feel helpless and hopeless. It's time to REALLY start putting our kids AND teachers first.
|Men are better than Women||Sad Man||Chuck Haddaway||Valley Prep Academy||Other||
Why is it that the females in our schools are punished more severely than the boys? I have been in the JCPS system for years, and every year when girls act up, their punishments are almost 3 times as harsh as when boys do the same crime. I used to coach for a boys athletic team here, and even though I finished the season with them, they were horrible. Lack of discipline and respect for the teachers and other coaches. It was a norm for a young man to call a female teacher a bitch, and nothing happened. Not one kid ever missed a game. At most, they'd have to apologize to the teacher, and then go on about their day. The boys know this, and used that power to their fullest extent. With their lack of discipline, they could get away with murder.
It bothers me so much because when girls act up, its like VPA throws them away. The athletic director and the principals and assistant principals are all sexist, in my eyes. And this is coming from a man. They dont offer much support to the female teachers and leave them out to dry. When you have young men disrespecting females, that is when an older man comes in to correct him. That maybe happens 6% of the time at Valley Prep...and that is a strong maybe.
This may be a rant, but I am only speaking from what I've seen and numerous teacher testimonies. Summed up, I just want ALL of the female teachers to be RESPECTED by the administration, and for both boys and girls athletic teams AND students in general to receive equal punishments across the board.
A Sad Man
|Student fighting||Concerned Teacher||Chuck Haddaway||Other||
I work in one of the elementary schools in the Southwest part of the city. Our school is one of the Compassionate Schools. Three times each week, our students learn how to calm themselves down, and to use words instead of fists. Despite this training, there are students who get caught up in bickering and fights on a daily basis. When asked to use other strategies, we are told by the kids that their parents told them to fight back. Here is a letter I received from a student who engaged in fighting even though I strongly discouraged her from doing so.
"I am so sorry that I hit Q back and I shouldn't but my mama said whoever hits me I should hit them back and she said if I don't I'm going to be in real trouble at home and I'm guessing you know what that means so I don't have to write it down on the paper but Q is the one that started it and I had to finish it because my mom and dad said so but my mama raised me to fight back and I know I shouldn't have but I'm sorry and I hope you forgive me. I am sorry."
No matter what we teach our students about compassion, and use your words, and restorative justice, etc., how can our teaching compete with what parents demand of their own kids? It seems to me that parents need to be taught a different way. When will we address that issue?
A concerned teacher
|Teachers being pulled from classrooms to fill district level support||Concerned School Employee||Steph Horne||All||Other||
Is there a solution for the number of classrooms without teachers? Recently, several teachers have been pulled from classrooms to fulfill district level positions, which allows them to "support" schools from Gheens Academy. This has left thousands of students without a teacher in a core classroom due to the shortage of available teachers for hire. This is not the first year that this has occurred. I understand that there is movement within schools as positions become available, however I do not agree with taking an experienced certified teacher out of the classroom mid-year and replacing them with a non-certified substitute or inexperienced teacher from an alternative certification program. Placing a new teacher in a classroom mid-year not only sets the teacher up to fail, but the students as well no matter how much district "support" is given. I propose that if teachers are interested in higher level positions that they can apply, be offered, but cannot officially begin the position until the next school year. We have many retired administrators that can be used as substitutes for the remainder of the school year so that vacancies are not created in the classroom and student achievement is not affected.
|Reading, Reading, Reading||Citizen of the City||Diane Porter||All Elementary Schools||Other||
Dear Leaders of our Children:
We MUST consider it a local emergency. I am experiencing elementary students that have been in the JCPS school system for 6 hours a day for 182 days a year for 6 years and are graduating from the 5th grade and can't read at 5th grade level. How did this happen? READING should be a required skill to graduate from elementary school. The NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND is hurting our children and our community. Teachers are being TOLD to introduce the next required skill when the previous skill set has not be mastered. We are doing are children a disservice and IT MUST STOP TODAY. The MONEY and RESOURCES should be specifically targeted to READING AT ALL COST. READING ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, AT SCHOOL, until you can read at grade level should be the REQUIRED agenda for ALL OUR ELEMENTARY schools. This should be DICTATED BY THE BOARD and SUPERINTENDENT. Principals should be able to prove that ALL the students in their schools can READ at grade level. Once a child masters reading they feel capable. They no longer have that feeling of being 'less than', there classmates.
We need to employ Reading Specialist to discover if there are legitimate learning challenges that make the skill of reading more difficult for some of our children. THIS IS VITAL TO THE SELF ESTEEM AND ZEAL FOR LEARNING that our children must possess. I am in tears as I read with children who are in the 5th grade and are reading at 1st grade level. That is totally the responsibility of the LEARNING SYSTEM that is PAID TO EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN,"JCPS". If the BOARD can't make this happen then I want to know where the buck stops. Please help!!
Much Love & Blessings, Citizen of the City
Seems like we have strayed so far from what original goals should be regarding making all of our schools better. We are more worried about busing, creating a segregated school for african americans, making sure we have enough hispanics or african americans to fit the right number in each school, or creating a gender neutral bathroom, all this instead of concentrating on improving our schools with better textbooks, more teachers, enough substitute teachers and enough safe bus routes for our bus drivers. Something is wrong when you have to pay extra money as a bonus to make sure they show up. We are missing the point of school. Please please concentrate on providing necessary materials for our students to succeed and enough books so they can actually take them home to study for a test. I believe that just going back to the basics will help. Get the metal detectors. Pay your teachers more. Eliminate the extremely long bus routes to save some money. Eliminate some unnecessary positions on the board (I know there are many). Use the money to put it where it's needed. I have never been so disgusted at the direction our schools are taking. Even Audubon which used to be a good school is going downhill. I know my opinion doesn't matter. Someone will just delete or throw this away but it seems so simple how to fix things. At least I tried.
|Mrs.||League of Women Voters Louisville||David Jones (Chair)||All||Other||
The public is invited to join the League of Women Voters for a Dinner and Democracy Panel Discussion on "What's Happening with Charter Schools."
The discussion includes:
Overview of Prichard Committee’s Report “Exploring Charter Schools in Kentucky”
Susan Perkins Weston, author of the report and Prichard Committee member
Charters and School Funding in Kentucky
Stephanie Winkler, President of the Kentucky Education Association
Case Study—The Iowa Charter School Experience
Alan Young, a former Iowa teacher and present Project Manager of the Jefferson County Public Schools Educator Growth System
Monday, November 21, 2016
Dinner 5:30 p.m. - No reservation required, donations accepted
Location Lang House 115 S. Ewing Avenue, Louisville, KY 40206
|Work or waste?||concerned||David Jones (Chair)||all||Budget||
I am employed at a Jefferson County school. I see teachers and other staff members paying for supplies, food,clothing and other items out of their own pockets daily. Today I was told an e-mail was sent out by the Chief Financial officer regarding a costume party from 9 until 10:30 followed by trick or treating until 1 p.m. a survey was also sent out to determine what was most needed, grounds beautification, kitchen upgrades, or an exercise facility. If this is true, I am appalled! Spend the money on our children! Spend it on mental health issues and discipline solutions. Some one please say this is a rumor and our leaders are not spending their time and my money on this.
|JCPS high schools need increased security||Blayr Sheehan||David Jones (Chair)||Ballard High School||Other||
Jefferson County Public Schools needs to increase security personnel and surveillance capabilities in their schools.
|"Unity the Better Way"||James Brown||David Jones (Chair)||JCPS||Other||
While my dream as well as all the Leaderships dream at JCPS should be "equality" in education for everyone.
Seperating Children based on their Skin Color is not acceptable. We as a community meaning ALL of can make JCPS a better school. We need to improve Race Relations and be the example to the Rest of America. The absolute Idiocy of seperate schools and dorms is regressive at best. We need to always work on improving our capability of being more racially understanding and yes I mean Blacks understanding Whites and Whites Understanding Blacks. Unity is what we need. Yes its going to take hardwork we need sit down and find out how we can help the students of every race and ethnic background. We need to make the "poorest" schools on par with our best schools. JCPS Leadership has to be just that leaders. Parents need to also speak up. Stakeholders need to also. Kids that act up get out of class. Parents held accountable by having to pick up thier kids who act up. Parents, Teachers, Administration, and Stakeholders working together to help these children with ideas and community services.
Our Students of All RACES should NEVER be segragated. Completely a regressive move. All of us can make Louisville the best Unified School System in America. We have the heart and we have the love.
|Dress Codes promote sexism||Amanda O'Bryan||Linda Duncan||All JCPS Schools||Other||
She was sent to the office for a "dress code violation" where she was made to zip up her sweatshirt in front of the administrators.
The reasoning behind this sort of thing, which happens to young women each and every day, all over the country, is because their bodies are a "distraction to the boys".
It is NOT an exaggeration to say that these types of rules are perpetuating rape culture. They are explicitly promoting the idea that women are the "gatekeepers" to sexual interaction and thus responsible for their own victimization. It is a well known fact that young women who have more "womanly figures" are policed and found in violation of dress code much more often.
The message it sends to the boys is quite clearly that their education is more important. It also sends the message that they are incapable of controlling themselves.
Needless to say, I am upset that my daughter's work was interrupted. I am upset that teachers have to waste their time policing female bodies. And I am upset that young women are being punished for having female bodes.
|Suspensions for Loaded Guns||A Scared Teacher||David Jones (Chair)||all||Other||
A student brings TWO LOADED GUNS to school and receives 3 days suspensions? Seriously? And the public is letting you get away with this. Incredible.
|Ms||Darlene Bibb||Lisa Willner||All||Other||
Good day to all,
|Banning Cell Phones Will Result in Increased Test Scores and Decreased Disciplinary Issues||Concerned Teacher||David Jones (Chair)||ALL JCPS Schools||Other||
It is evident that our school system, like every school system, has its flaws. Some of these issues, such as employee’s salaries and the code of conduct, have rightfully been brought to the public’s attention over the past 6 months. There are no “easy fixes” for issues like these, as we have all witnessed via board meetings that deservingly last for hours. That said, as a teacher with JCPS, there is one “easy fix” that will solve a multitude of problems.
Ban cell phones. It’s simple. As a teacher at a school that encourages the use of cell phones for research in the classroom, it is evident that they cause more harm than good. It is flat-out impossible for one teacher to monitor 25+ students’ actions on a cell phone. I understand that one cannot simply make a “blanket statement” like the one above, but that arguments must surely be justified with solid evidence.
I have experienced the pros and cons of a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) school first-hand, but my argument is not simply for our local community. Rather, it is an international issue. On June 15, 2015, The Boston Globe’s Linda Matchan wrote "a study released in May by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics looked at 91 schools in four cities in England, where more than 90 percent of teenagers own a mobile phone. The study found that test scores were 6.41 percent higher at schools where cellphone use is prohibited.” In a district that unfortunately places so much emphasis on standardized testing, this should be a no-brainer. Get rid of the cell phones and see an increase in test scores. Furthermore, “the researchers concluded that mobile phones ‘can have a negative impact on productivity through distraction,’ particularly among low-achieving students, who benefitted most from the ban, with achievement gains of 14.23 percent.” If we, as JCPS, are truly trying to raise students’ test scores who are novice and apprentice to the proficient and distinguished level, then we are making it more difficult on ourselves. Ban cell phones and see a decrease in the novice and apprentice range and an increase in the proficient and distinguished categories. The numbers are there, and numbers don’t lie.
Personally, I must admit that there are pros to students having cell phones in the classroom. These include instant access to research, an easier ability for parent/student contact, the ability for students to listen to music as they work, and the ever-so-misguiding label of being a “technology friendly” school.
That said, the cons far outweigh the pros. As stated above, the main issue is monitoring. I may be able to ensure a student is researching a topic by using proximity control as I pass by their desk, but after I pass, I cannot control if that student then logs onto SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform.
My second concern is maintaining students’ attention while teaching. I adopted a new policy in my classroom this past year that was somewhat successful. Upon entering the classroom, students put their phones in a box on my desk. Yes, I put my phone in as well. Then, when it came time for students to work on their assignment, I would allow them to retrieve their phones for research and music. However, the majority of students would continuously use them for the wrong purpose. Sure, I could write a referral, but we’re supposed to be cutting down on those, right? We’re fighting a losing battle, and it’s frustrating.
My third issue revolves around cell phones being used to plan fights. This has been an increasingly dangerous problem that has continued to escalate in JCPS schools over the past few years. Students will trash talk one another via texting or social media, then plan to fight during lunch, in a stairwell, or in another teacher’s class. Then, when they do fight, it is more difficult for administration or security to get to the altercation because, you guessed it, dozens of other students are recording the fight on their phone.
And whatever you do, do not try to take a student’s phone. That is simply dangerous. Here are a few examples if you need further evidence:
My last concern involves not all students being able to afford cell phones. If you have an activity that requires a cell phone and a student cannot afford it, the student almost feels as though they are being called out. I’ve seen the look in their eyes. It’s the “please don’t call me out for not having a phone” look. It’s a stigma that is out of their control, and that is not their fault.
We are the people on the front lines, the people who face these obstacles every day, and the people raising our future. The teaching world is already full of infinite obstacles. I have to teach a student who slept on broken glass last night. I have to teach Algebra 2 to a student who is on a second grade reading level. I have to teach a student who lost their brother to gang violence over the weekend. Many of these obstacles are unfortunately out of our control.
That said, our teaching world is also full of obstacles that we can control. Obstacles such as proposals for pay freezes and a relaxed code of conduct. Obstacles like JCPS putting off the vote on the code of conduct until the summer, when teachers are more likely to be vacationing with their families than protesting for their livelihood. Obstacles like JCPS’ own Chief Business Officer Tom Hudson (who makes $176,000 a year) publicly stating "what I don't understand is why the community hasn't been outraged that we've paid these people (teachers) this much money over the years." Obstacles like cell phones.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. What I will do is encourage other JCPS teachers, administrators, and parents to share their stories about the pros and cons of cell phones in school. That said, the evidence is clear. If JCPS wants increased test scores and decreased disciplinary issues, it’s time to ban cell phones.
|Life as a JCPS Bus Driver||Getting harder every year||Chris Brady||All||Other||
There was a time when we felt our jobs were important and we were appreciated but the changes and/or lack of discipline and support have really taken it's toll on us over the last few years, this year being the worse by far. The shortage of drivers district wide is a reflection on how tough our jobs have become. An occasional disruptive, defiant or disrespectful student use to be expected and our student management skills along with a referral or a phone call to the parents would take care of the situation, but not anymore. The increase in these type of behaviors have reached a magnitude that is hard to comprehend and sadly accepted as the "norm". Safety of the students has always been #1, as it should be but our jobs are becoming harder every day. We all know that the district has some rough routes but in reality, these type of behaviors are occurring more and more on a lot of routes. Even some of the traditional schools have become relaxed in dealing with disruptive bus behavior. We are yelled at, cussed out, threatned, have items thrown at us and our only leverage is to write referral after referral and hope that we drive out of a school that will support us and if the school doesn't, then we are forced to deal with it. How can any human being be expected to drive a big yellow bus safely in all the traffic these days with students who are disruptive, defiant, disrespectful and have no consequences for their behavior?
There are 12 rules for riding the bus that are posted on every single bus in the district. Some of them are a little out dated and need to be replaced with rules that coincide with this day and age, but nonetheless they are rules. Why do we have these posted if breaking the rules has no consquences?
For the sake of those that educate our youth, transport our youth and society as a whole, changing the Code of Conduct to anything but greater and enforced consquences will be irresponsible!
|Racists JCPS||Angry Black Man||David Jones (Chair)||All||Other||
JCPS is reflective of the racism instituted by our society. Employees and students alike are continually discriminated against on every scale. Black students make up over 50%of all discipline issues but make up way less than 50% of the population. Teachers routinely punish black students for offenses that white students get away with far more often. I have taught for over 15 years and I'm sick of it. I see it daily and at every school I've been it's the same. Cultural competency is not a priority at JCPS where most often teachers are white. This is the same problem Judge Olu faces because our kids are being judged and punished by those who are not their peers and don't understand.
Employees are also routinely disrespected. Every Black male hired is seen as muscle instead of a competing intellectual. Black men with good reputations and solid teaching and/or academic coaching experience are often overlooked for promotions. The district has less than 2% African American administrators. Blacks usually have to wait twice as long as white applicants to be moved into a promoted position.
I'm tired of not being considered for promotion but someone who has half of my experience is continually being promoted. I was told directly by my supervisor that I did not get promoted to an assistant principal position because the other administrators felt there were too many black administrators at my school. I've heard this before. No one ever complains about too many white administrators but they get uncomfortable with black admin.
I have stellar records for raising test scores for students and teachers who serve them. I've been in education for over 15 years and like so many other Blacks in the district I get by passed by less qualified individuals who are in tune with the"good Ole boy" network.
STOP THE RACISM JCPS. YOU'RE FAILING THE ENTIRE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY
|Thomson J. Hudson,JCPS Chief Business Officer||Paul Garcia||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
Good day Mr. Hudson:
I am a very concerned taxpayer. As an owner of a number of properties in Jefferson County. And yes, pay a fairly large amount of school taxes to the Jefferson County Public School system.
You make $176,000 per year and are the second-highest paid employee in the Jefferson County Public School system. According to a Wall Street Journal income percentile calculator you now earn more than 97% of all Americans. Your salariy is greater than that of a US Senator.
At your hiring you stated,” I don't work for money, I work to serve.”
Again at your hiring you stated, "I am not a finance person and I am counting on Cordelia to help me stay out of the mud.” It would appear that the curriculum requirements at Harvard Business School do not include Finance. As an undergraduate business major at Indiana University, I was required to take several courses in Finance.
Can you reconcile these your statements? If you do not work for money, why do you need so much? If you are not a finance person what are you?
Superintendent Donna Hargens named Thomson J. Hudson, 68, president of Nth Works -- a stamping, welding, assembly and coating company, to the new position of chief business officer. His first day was Nov. 30.
Hudson is a graduate of both Stanford University and Harvard Business School. As president of Nth Works, he oversees 400 employees. Mr. Hudson to put Precision Tool, Die & Machine, into bankruptcy in 2003. Precision Tool, Die & Machine is the predecessor of Nth Works.
|Where is the teacher's voice in the district?||Saundra Bussell||Lisa Willner||All||Other||
|Reality of Classified Wages||Kim Thornsberry||Linda Duncan||Budget||
Dear JCPS, I am an Instructional Assistant in a JCPS Pre-K classroom and I am writing this letter in opposition of a proposed wage freeze for employees making over $14/hour. I guess I am considered one of those "overpaid" employees as I make a whopping $15.46/hour. After taxes, escrow, CERS, and JCAESP (Union Dues), are all taken out, I get to bring home the exorbitant amount of $464 every two weeks. That's right folks, $234 a week. That is very close to the poverty line and not at all a "sustainable" wage. I am fortunate that my husband is also employed and carries the health insurance as I would not be able to purchase a family plan on my income. I wouldn't even be able to support myself on such a low wage much less make a house or rent payment, pay utilities, medical, food, gas, etc. on $928/month. I work very hard at my job with very little monetary compensation. To even suggest freezing our wages is ludicrous. I implore you to do the right thing and vote "NO" to a wage freeze. Thank you.
|Mr.||Monte R. Lucas||David Jones (Chair)||What to do about Moore High School...||Other||
JCPS, as a former student of Moore (when it was still a great school), I ask that you make an example of this school. Take it back 40 years to a"Classic" high school of Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Punishment should also be fought back. You see- when kids fear that someone will step in and paddle them- then it provides just enough fear of repercussion that keeps them from acting out in the first place. If the parents won't provide home discipline (and we know they won't) then hire a hard ass (ex military) Principal and two similar Vice Principals. You've obviously lost control of this school, and all of the "Johnny just needs to be understood" liberalism in the world won't fix this situation, so please do yourself- and the COMMUNITY that supports Moore a favor and make your stand now- before someone gets killed.
|Mrs.||Trisha Hamilton-Cooper (please don't use my name)||Steph Horne||All schools||Other||
I have been blessed to teach the most amazing people and get to watch them develop into people that I can be proud of. They inspire me daily and are the reason that I feel it is important to write this from the heart. Education is what teachers do daily…it is nurturing, caring, and getting to know the individuals in front of us.
JCPS administration if you want to change things in the district, it starts with the most important thing in the classroom…respect. You have to respect teachers to know the right tools to enhance student growth, we have to be able to respect the people making policies, and everyone needs to respect all students’ rights. All students deserve to be respected in school and not be turned into a number on a spread sheet. This means teachers need to have the power to keep all students safe and give consequences that teach students how to act and be a valuable member of society. Tests shouldn’t be used to tell students that they are inferior, but grades and teacher recommendations should be used to place students in programs.
We need to get back to what we do best and that is to collaborate as a district and turn education into something that should be celebrated and enjoyed. After all as educators we should lead by example, so I need to speak up on behalf of my students. This district needs to be a functioning family again that put the needs of students first. If not, we will end up like the Detroit public school system in broken chaos.
|Deplorable Truths of JCPS||Mistreated||Chuck Haddaway||most all schools in JCPS||Budget||
I have been praying that somehow, someway, the public could see the corruption within this district. It is only now, through this website, and only because we can remain anonymous that we are crying out for help and sharing our deplorable, abusive, and medically alarming work conditions. Everyone within this district is scared to death to speak up because there positively will be repercussions, we’ve witnessed it and experienced it repeatedly. I am so glad that my voice can finally be heard! Thank you so much for this website, and for reading my letter. Please help us!
My own children and I are hungry. If I buy a lunch at school, I have to pay $4.25, which I can’t afford, so most days I don’t get to eat. Luckily, my income level is so low that my children qualify for free lunches. Family members generously take us to the grocery store to buy food when there is no money left to buy necessities. I feel like a failure as a parent because I can’t give my children things they need or want. We have to sit in a freezing cold house in the winter and a miserably hot house in the summer because I can’t afford high electric bills. I work every day to make the lives of my students better, but I can do nothing to make the lives of my children better. I have to work all summer, and search for extra work after teaching all day just to get by.
I have worked for JCPS as a teacher for 5 years. We are underpaid and overworked. We don’t get the planning period we are supposed to get because we are required to attend PLC meetings 3 times a week. We are required to attend a staff meeting after school for 1 hour each week. In order to meet deadlines and job responsibilities, we have to haul our work home, which takes away from our own children and their academic needs. Good teachers that care about their students work from home for no pay every night and all weekend to plan lessons that meet the needs of our students. We have to grade papers and provide feedback to students on their work to help them grow academically. We have to enter grades into the online grade book, Infinite Campus. We have to complete exhausting report cards that provide parents and families adequate feedback to help their child succeed.
It disgusts me how unappreciated and disrespected JCPS administration has made me, and most other teachers feel. We are treated like dirt and emotionally abused daily from our administrators all the way from the top down. Several people at my school have developed serious medical issues due to our treatment. Most of our staff has been put on anxiety medications just to function and deal with our working conditions, which is unacceptable. JCPS administrations does not want us to voice our opinions or concerns, they just want us to keep our mouths shut and deal with it.
I hope these things give the public a small glimpse into the lives and mistreatment of many JCPS teachers and employees.
|Make the Student Code of Conduct stronger, not weaker!||George Brownfield||David Jones (Chair)||All||Other||
Dear JCPS, I'd just like to say that it would be unfortunate, regrettable, and counter-productive to "water down' an already unenforced, and ignored Student Code of Conduct in JCPS. The complete lack of discipline, and serious safety issues that the lack of discipline fosters in JCPS is everywhere in the news and social media. We should bring back a much more realistic, and reasonable Student Code of Conduct that will improve discipline, safety, and learning in JCPS for all students. This school district needs Buechel Metropolitans, Breckinridges, and Kennedy Metros, along with STOP, ISAP, suspensions, and yes, even expulsions out of JCPS. In my opinion many of our JCPS schools, and its bus transportation is unsafe. Only a quick return to the tried and true successful traditional practices of firm but fair school discipline will allow our schools to once again educate the students of JCPS. So please support our school teachers and school staffs concerning the draconian plans recently proposed by the JCPS leadership. Maybe we should consider a new JCPS Superintendent too? Thank you very much for your sincere time and consideration.
|The Math is Wrong||Newly hired||Diane Porter||Budget||
I want to address the suggested salary freezes. I'm a bit confused as to why the salaries of JCPS teachers are being threatened. The suggestion is to freeze the salaries of those who make above $14.00 an hour. I've reviewed the grid submitted by the school board. The standing grid and the proposed grid and no one in my JCPS circle makes the money that is classified or described for their job description; not even me. Since the targeted range is $14 per hour, let's use that number.
JCPS employees operate on a salary schedule just as the students do. However, we are termed by the number of days we work per year. 187, 230, 260. 260 is considered year round. 260 are not subject to escrow. If you are a 187staff, you are subject to escrow that takes about 20% give or take of your income to pay you during the summer months; snow days, Christmas and Fall Breaks.
If a staff works 187 days a year at $14 per hour; their yearly gross salary is a grand total of $20,944 per year. Let's say this staff works 260 per year: That is a grand total of $29,120 per year.
For the 187 staff, every 2 week paycheck takes 20% of their salary to supplement the days off. This is a mandated escrow after a snow storm kept schools closed for nearly one month and teachers had no pay. So if a 187 staff makes $14 per hour, their 2 week gross pay check is $1120. Before their check is even taxed with the regular taxes, 20% of their income is used for escrow; leaving them with $896. Total taxes, health insurance, life insurance, long term disability and retirement payouts may leave them with a little over $500 per pay check; give or take.
So a full time 187 staff making $14 per hour will possibly bring home $1000.00 per month as their take home pay.
And the board wants to freeze salaries. I challenge them to live off this amount for one year.
I support and agree with the letter submitted by Mr. Gay. When this initial study/investigation/audit began, I CLEARLY remember the outcome as stating that the administrators making $100k per year were excessive and too many. Clearly I remember this statement because my colleagues and I discussed this at length. How this turned around to target teachers in the classroom is beyond anyone's realm of reasoning. At a time that classroom teachers, students and parents are in higher need of support; the board drops the ball again.
The board also hits the district with a double whammy; let's put in a new code of conduct. If they want this level of the new code of conduct to work; their needs to be support systems in place. There are no proposed support systems in place to administer this level of decreased discipline. Without this support in place; I am concerned this will lead our schools into war zones. There needs to be knew levels of training in order for this to work.
There has been a revolving door and continuous circle of funds being depleted, programs, assistances being removed from schools and classrooms that have helped to increase the growing concerns in our schools. You have parents that have to work 2 and 3 jobs in TWO parent homes; let's not image the struggles a single parent is having. You want parents to be involved that live 20 miles from the school with no transportation. You have elementary school students who ride a school bus for 2 hours to and from school and then wonder why they struggle to sit still and learn in the classroom.
One thing that may come from this is teachers and parents will unite to have their voices heard at the board. Parents and teachers want the same thing for their children and students and that is to be successful in the classroom.
A new task force needs to be created with the appropriate persons represented; new and consistent pressures need to be made on our elected officials who represent US to do something!
It saddens me that we can't give our children the kind of education they deserve or the support to our teachers, staff and admins that they deserve.
|Bloat is epidemic||Rachel DeSensi||David Jones (Chair)||District Wide||Budget||
I am writing this letter on the heals of the news the Code of Conduct is being reviewed for lessened discipline and the false narrative that JCPS teachers are overpaid.
Oh where or where shall I begin? First of all the "comparable" districts how comparable are they really? Lets look at Cobb County, where only 63% of the teachers have "Advanced Degrees". In JCPS 84% of teachers hold Master's Degrees or higher. We have a 20% higher rate of free and reduced lunch students, Higher number of ECE students, more bus routes, more bus drivers and plenty of top heavy bloat! This was not exactly apples to apples.
JCPS for years has also been the primary source of survival for area businesses with some questionable practices.
Shively Sporting Goods wins bids by list there prices as XX% under "catalog price" or "MSRP" when an individual can walk into Dick's Sporting Goods and buy an item cheaper than its on the bid list from Shively something smells rotten. If a coach can find the same item cheaper they cannot buy it anywhere else.
Yatz Produce another monopoly created by JCPS. JCPS is probably their ONLY customer., Its a JCPS dependent company and if JCPS made those purchases in accordance with prevailing law, Yatz would be out of business.
Cardinal Office Supply another company on "bid list" when anyone can find online the same products drastically cheaper. Explain how these bids/non-bids/pseudo bids save money? Please I am listening?
I would also like to see how comparable transportation spending was in these other districts. Our transportation budget is ridiculous and the assignment plans used for the last 30 years that made it so have not increased student performance ONE BIT!
In this current situation I may have to back JCTA, though in many instances they are a hindrance to the improved quality of education in JCPS, in this incident they are not.
A great way to save money and put more dollars towards teachers and student learning would be to go back to community schools. Study after study shows students perform better academically in their local communities. Community pride, team spirit all play a role. Imagine the transportation savings! In areas were the schools struggle, south and west areas of the county, give GOOD Teachers willing to take on the tougher job incentives to motivate and educate the students the current assignment seeks to place the biggest burdens on. Burdens that come from school being 20 miles from home and busing not getting them home til 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Dispersing students in a fan shaped spray across the county has improved NOTHING, teach them were they live!
|A Letter to Dr. Hargens||J||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
I attended Jefferson County Public Schools for 12 of my 13 years of education and have been working for the school system from the time that I was 18 until now. All together, I have spent 16 years in JCPS and so I feel highly qualified to say that I have watched the system fall apart more and more every day under your leadership.
I will be graduating from the University of Louisville in December of this year with a Bachelors degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in English. I am writing not only to speak for myself but to be the voice of many other wonderful teacher candidates who I have had the opportunity to share classes with. You have successfully made almost all of us wish to teach outside of Jefferson County. People are moving out of the county to teach elsewhere (I already have). We are refusing to put our children in your school system. We are afraid to teach under your leadership. We know that our children will not get the educational experience in JCPS that they could receive elsewhere.
Though, I must say, I am not so sure that you even care about the quantity or quality of your teachers considering the blatant disrespect and disregard that you have for them and their jobs. Teachers go to work every day and bring their work home with them every night because they care about their students. They get disrespected and so much of their work goes unnoticed every day because you have allowed such a climate to exist. No other profession would be if it weren’t for teachers—not even yours.
You have continuously implemented rules and ridiculous jobs to cater to the misbehaving children who ruin the educational experience for well-behaved children. Free education was never meant to be a right, but a privilege. Because you have made these children feel that it is their God-given right to be in the schools, they no longer see the value or how blessed they are to receive a free education in our country. They simply do not care and you have played a pivotal role in devaluing education in their eyes. So many of these children are leaving high school feeling as if the world owes them something and they do not have to work hard or treat anyone with respect to get it.
Students who behave and wish to be in the classroom are the ones who are suffering. Their parents are suffering. TEACHERS ARE SUFFERING. Students are being bullied and the blood is on your hands. You have made it OK for students to disrespect their teachers, their principals, their peers. These students are not being disciplined, they are being babied and sent out into the real world feeling as if they will receive that same type of treatment. They are being sent out into the real world believing that they can be disrespectful, violent and unruly and will get a slap on the wrist and get away with it. You are doing every last student a disservice.
I refuse to put my child(ren) in your school system because they should not have to deal with the unsafe environment that JCPS has become. They should not have to deal with disrespectful and violent students coming in and out of her classroom disrupting and/or bullying, being taken out for a short period of time and sent right back in to do it all over again.
Are you aware that when these students are threatened to be sent to the principals office, they either: A. Want to go to get out of class, and/or B. Respond with something along the lines of, “Go ahead bitch, they aren’t going to do anything to me”. This is the harsh reality. If you don’t believe me, go be a teacher for a little while. These students are fully aware that there are little to no repercussions for their actions and, believe me, they take full advantage of that.
I refuse to teach for your school system because, like Dewey Hensley said with precision in his letter, the focus is no longer on the students. The focus is on you and your image. The focus is on central office. I will not represent a school system that caters to the most disrespectful children in it. I refuse to be in a situation where a student can curse me, threaten my life and endanger the physical and mental well being of everyone around them—and absolutely nothing truly gets done about it. You are preventing people from doing their jobs, Dr. Hargens, and we are all sick of it.
We are not blind to the fact that you are trying to phase out suspension, ISAP, alternative placement, etc. with these nonsense jobs that you have created to cater to these unruly students. I do not see you as progressive, I see you as detrimental. You are running teachers and parents away from your school system and damaging the experiences of those who are stuck.
Students who break the rules are not going to stop breaking the rules because someone pulls them out of class and tells them to stop it. And I guarantee you this, watering down the rules is far from the solution. It absolutely disgusts me and so many others that you feel as if this is the answer. Numbers and statistics are all that matter to you. Students are not numbers and statistics, they are people.
How would you feel if you were in a 6 and a half-hour long board meeting and people kept getting out of their seats, throwing things, physically harming others, threatening to kill the speaker or threatening to kill YOU, cursing people out, etc. And someone comes in to pull them out for a while then sends them right back in. Period after period, day after day. Tell me, Dr. Hargens, is that the environment that you want to be in? Is that the environment that children should have to be in during the most malleable time of their lives? Is this an environment that nurtures growth and learning?
NO. The answer is NO. Because this type of behavior is not condoned in the real world. And this is what you have let the classroom come to. These are the behaviors that children now believe can be carried into adulthood—where they get a rude awakening.
You seem very worried about your image. You should be. Teachers, parents and students are unhappy with you. Your emails and speeches with articulate language which attempt to justify your wrongful actions and policies do not fool me or anyone else who sees that you are the root of the issues. You are a tyrant.
I feel confident in speaking for myself and so many of my classmates who are all so eager and excited to teach the future generations of America when I say that we care for all students. Those who behave and those who misbehave. The problem, however, is the lack of discipline for those who misbehave as it hinders our abilities to teach, our students abilities to learn and our peace of mind when it comes to our own safety as well as the safety of our students. You are facing shortages and missing out on fresh, enthusiastic incoming teachers who are graduating from college because you have created this environment and culture that caters to those with ill intentions.
I do not think I even need to discuss this “salary freeze” thing. I have faith that the union will destroy you, as they should. Teachers are already underpaid and underappreciated as it is. Here’s an idea! Let’s do something about YOUR $300,000+/year salary.
It is time for everyone to stand together against the real problems in JCPS that stem with you.
|A Possible Solution||A teacher that unfortunately must remain anonymous||Chris Brady||All||Other||
Listening to the top administrators at JCPS has made one thing perfectly clear to me...they are completely out of touch with what is actually going on in Jefferson County Public Schools.
Anyone who spends time in our schools would know that we need improved methods in dealing with student behavior. The answer to this problem is not less consequences. Anyone who spends time in the schools would know that the staff who work with students on a daily basis deserves a raise, not a salary freeze.
Then I saw the news about JCPS cutting central office jobs and it hit me...close down all of the offices at Van Hoose and Gheens. Any employees or administrators who are still needed could set up an office at a school. There was a time, before current technology, when administrators needed to physically be in the same building, but that time has passed. I’m sure most communication is now handled through email, Google docs or Skype. All of that can be done from offices at the schools. This would allow administrators to make decisions that are best for the students, teachers and schools by allowing them to see first-hand what is actually going on in the schools.
I have a small room connected to my classroom. I would be more than happy for Tom Hudson, Chief Business Officer, to set up his office there. This way he can show me what he does all day to justify his $176,000 salary and I can show him why I deserve to not have my salary frozen. He would also get to experience challenging student behavior first-hand, and be more informed when making decisions about the code of conduct for JCPS students.
I hope JCPS listens to my suggestions. Not only will it help decision-makers be more in touch with what is happening at our schools, it could also save JCPS and taxpayers a lot of money.
A teacher that unfortunately must remain anonymous
|A Central Office POV||Anonymous||David Jones (Chair)||Multiple||Other||
I am a JCPS staff member who is considered a central office administrator. I have been reading letters and articles bashing central office and administrators for their salary, but I felt the need to speak up because some of us are being blamed for things that are not our doing. Even though I am considered a central office administrator, my office is in a school. I provide mental health services and assessment services to ECE (special education) students. If I understand the study correctly, my role group is underpaid compared to the market. I am not complaining about my salary, although I would like to point out that my step has been frozen multiple times, so I do not appreciate the implication that I have been getting 3-4% raise every year, Mr. Tom Hudson. Shame on you for trying to shift the outrage the community feels towards your close to $200k salary onto the teachers and staff.
I do want to bring attention that in most counties in Kentucky, our role group serves 2 or 3 schools. I serve five. We are woefully under the recommended ratio for our role group by almost 100 staff members. And due to continued elimination of positions, more and more is added to our plate each year. Louisville is my home and the only place I ever wanted to work was JCPS. However, under Dr. Hargens’ “leadership”, I have begun to question whether or not this is where I want to continue working. It is disheartening to see how little she respects and cares for the teachers and staff that are truly the heart of the school system.
I just wanted to let the public know that some of the administrators that they are blaming for the issues at hand support the students, staff, and community. We provide much needed mental health services to some of our most vulnerable children. I love my job. I love working with the students and I wish I had more time to do more therapeutic services with them, but there is just not enough hours in the day. Please do not lump all of us into one pile as being an issue. We are as frustrated and unappreciated as you are.
|Chomping at the Bit||Ophelia Payne||David Jones (Chair)||All||Other||
I was 17 when I started teaching summer school. It was minimum wage so my paycheck was tiny. We were expected to wear dresses (with stockings) every day and we were called by our last names. Students respected me and I walked taller just knowing that I was changing lives.
I loved it. Loved the kids, loved the lessons, loved planning the lessons, loved learning how to keep kids on task and how to help them be their best selves. . . I had found my home.
I was hooked.
Degrees followed, along with experience navigating the horrors of No Child Left Behind (I paid for so many tests), a master's, a Rank I, more training and a few more endorsements onto my awesome teaching certificate (had it framed in my classroom I was so proud). I am good and I love what I do.
After 11 years, I was ready to move to a district that would afford me opportunities for advancement in my specific area. As mentioned above, I am qualified above and beyond the average. I'm also a fireball teacher.
As I looked around the state, I considered a few different districts. JCPS offered me a competitive salary in an area with relatively low housing costs while providing the opportunities for advancement that I wanted. I made the move and began teaching in my new home.
I've been bit, hit, kicked, slapped, called a motherfucking bitch (and lots more things out my name), tripped, been used for target practice (white boards leave bruises, FYI), spat upon, had death threats (credible ones), and generally been abused to the point that I'm wondering if the bullying policy might apply to teachers being bullied. I've had shots for hepatitis B and tetanus and I've had to pee in a cup to ensure that my kidneys weren't bleeding after I was punched so hard that I went down. I've compared bruises with other teachers that have been obtained from the same student. I've speculated with other teachers about whether or not a particular child likes to bite certain people based on skin color (maybe we can get a grant to do a study). I've been screamed at by parents and I've had administrators blame me for not "holding him" when I was being beat up.
I've been called to the carpet for being at fault for being bitten (not the most recent bite for those who know me) and I've pretty much decided that I need to be more vigilant when it comes to kids' ability to inflict pain upon me.
My friends in private school say we get "hazard pay" and that they'd never go over to the "dark side" and teach in the public school system. I can tell you this, I'm really good at what I do and I can work anywhere in the world. Without that hazard pay, I'd be hard pressed to stay here. I mean, the allergies alone. . .
Furthermore, in response to the teacher candidate who has expressed her desire to never work for JCPS, we're bad, but if you can handle it, if you can stick with it for a bit (or a bite), you can work yourself into a 100K job in the board office and tell everyone to duck faster.
I'm checking the jobs board now.
|Stay at 17 inches||NM||Steph Horne||JCPS School District||Other||
I did not write this letter but felt compelled to share it through this venue. This article is very appropriate and timely with what is going on with JCPS.
I recently came across a fantastic story that a couple of friends of mine sent to me via Face Book. I thought that it was something that should certainly be shared with everyone and worth the read.
In Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA convention.
While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name, in particular, kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh man, worth every penny of my airfare.”
Who the heck is John Scolinos, I wondered. Well, in 1996 Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. No matter, I was just happy to be there.
He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate. Pointed side down.
Seriously, I wondered, who in the hell is this guy?
After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage.
Then, finally …
“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck. Or maybe you think I escaped from Camarillo State Hospital,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility.
“No,” he continued, “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”
Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?” After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches,” more question than answer.
“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?”
Another long pause.
“Seventeen inches?”came a guess from another reluctant coach.
“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”
“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.
“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”
“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.
“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”
“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?”
“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls.
“And what do they do with a a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over these seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello!” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter.
“What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Bobby. You can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches, or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of throwing the ball over it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”
” … what do we do when our best player shows up late to practice? What do we do if he violates curfew? What if he uses drugs? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate?
The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold.
Then he turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline. We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We widen the plate!”
Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag.
“This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful….to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”
“And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate!”
I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curveballs and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable. From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.
“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: if we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools and churches and our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”
With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside.
“… dark days ahead.”
Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach.
His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players — no matter how good they are — your own children, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.
|A Concerned Parent||Mary MCLaurine||David Jones (Chair)||All Schools||Other||
A very good friend of mine, Dr Renee Lacey, is head of the Alternative School Department ( not sure of the exact title) at Prince William County Schools in Virginia. My good friend Is a dynamic administrator and has written chapters for text books via her mentors at George Washington University in. DC. I have listened to her talk about the many programs they have in place to deal with the behavior issues in her district. I suggest you all take a trip or at least have a phone conference with RENEE. You might find ideas or strategies to implement vs making the behavior programs at JCPS less punitive. Different might be what is necessary to deal with the ongoing behavioral issues in JCPS. I admire RENEE greatly. You should contact her, it will be a worthwhile encounter.
|Getting Out Saved Who I Am||PublicToPrivate||David Jones (Chair)||Louisville Male||Other||
My life was saved on January 11, 2008 when my mother suggested leaving the public school system. This was days after two girls stole my purse, my money, and my ipod and the Louisville Male staff looked at me and said "oh well, you shouldn't have that at school." This was not my first time in the office, I'd been there on several accounts. Why you may ask. Well once it was for the boy that made sexual threats to me and another time it was for the girl that used to pull my hair on the bus. And there were times when I should've gone to the office and didn't, maybe the time my soccer coach told me I looked like a slut because I rolled my soccer shorts like the other girls did. I'd been in the office at my previous schools as well, for the girl who slapped me at JCTMS and for the for the boy who told the teacher I was cursing in sixth grade, in which she called my mother. But for all the times I'd been in the office I'd never once seen anything done about it. No consequence. No punishment. They told me to suck it up or to just stay away from those kids. I was obviously a tattle tale and was doing it all for attention. I'm 23 now and all I hear is that it's worse, everyone I know with children are wanting to switch their children to private schools. They need to.
Take the students into consideration.
|Classroom Behaviors and Salary Schedules||Newly hired||Linda Duncan||Other||
The second issue is about classroom behaviors and the proposed new Code of Conduct. As a parent with children attending JCPS and as an employee of JCPS I do admit that I have mixed feelings about how to handle this. I've witnessed both sides of when a child is being sent to the office for being disruptive and he is given candy and a coloring page if he can return to class and behave. The child will then return to class with the said candy and coloring page and tease his friends that he has something they don't. I've also witnessed when a teacher has used excessive tactics to discipline a child. There needs to be a balance to discipline children appropriately. Decisions regarding the Code of Conduct will need teacher input.
|Ballard High School and I am sure many others||Sara Pires||David Jones (Chair)||All||Other||
Dear Mr. Jones,
I worked for your father for many years and well I know he is an honest man and I am sure he instill so many great values in you as well. My letter is to inform you and the school board that discipline is not something you take away so you can get more funding from the state but needs to be harsher. An example of the lack of discipline is as follows: Friends from Brasil came to live here and work. They brought their two young children and sent them to school. One went to Ballard and was very active in school and one day as she was talking to a friend a girl didn't like what she was saying came up on her and beat her till she was black and blue. The school policy was suspension for both if they both fought. She didn't touch the girl as she was beaten and being video taped by the classmates. The teacher did nothing and the Principal suspended the girl who beat her up. That young girl has since dropped out of school and moved back to Brasil with her brother and mother. Her father is still here working until he can go back. I believe charges should have been brought against the teenage girl so this is not allowed to happen again. Children are taught there are no strict consequences for their actions, so who cares if I do anything wrong they need me to be in school so the Board can get funding. Is this the message we send out to our children. I believe if we disciplined more then the hate crimes would decrease, shootings and killing would decrease and maybe the children that are in our schools to get an education could do so.
|Discrimination at Crosby||Please refer to me as S.S.||Steph Horne||Crosby Middle||Other||
In a largely white, east end school, a female African-American has been removed from her position as cheer coach because a small group of disgruntled parents claimed that she was intimidating. This is the same complaint that all coaches get. However, Coach was relieved of her duties as coach. In fact, this is the same school where a white male gets arrested for DUI and continues to lead extra-curricular activities. I wondered why and started looking at Crosby's data. This is a school where African-American children account for 29% of the school population. However, they account for an astonishing 84% of the suspensions. This is a school where four out of five of the staff members who are overstaffed (made to work in a different school) are African-American. That's 80% of the overstaffing being African-American in a school where only 18% of the teaching staff are African-American! It seems absurd that one would remove a great black female mentor in a school where the non-white children perform proficiently at only half the level of the white children. It almost seems that Crosby is trying to "whiten up" the school. It is also ridiculous that the disgruntled parent is getting constant attention from the principal and assistant superintendent, but the 50 parents who support Coach can't get a meeting or even a return email. There are many times where people cry discrimination at inappropriate times. However, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...
|High expectations or not?||Sharon Rosenberger||Chuck Haddaway||All JCPS||Other||
I find it very interesting that teachers are constantly reminded that we should have high expectations of all of our students.
Students will rise to your expectations.
So DOES all of JCPS have high expectations of students? It appears that our school board does not. Is it reasonable to expect high achievement and gains in the classroom even while we lower our expectations for behavior? Can children learn in a chaotic environment? Will our all-important accountability scores go up after we lower our expectations of students? Am I the only one confused by this double standard?
It is time for reasonable citizens of this community to speak out. Parents, taxpayers, teachers, voters. Let your voices be heard!
|A Warning to JCPS||BR||David Jones (Chair)||ALL||Other||
I am not a teacher. I am not a parent. I’m a former student and a teacher candidate at Eastern Kentucky University. My classmates and I have closely followed the news recently regarding the rubbish that Dr. Donna Hargans and her crew of non-school working advisors have been saying. I am writing this letter on behalf of all teacher candidates at every college in Kentucky, much less America. We WILL NOT be looking for a job in your district once we graduate.
The most disturbing thing about your district is the disconnect that your teachers feel to their support staff. Upon reading on Dear JCPS, talking to teachers in your district and reading the comments from educators and parents on your Facebook I have noticed a trend. You do not support your teachers. You are quick to blame them if at all possible, you are quick to write off a teacher being ASSAULTED in your schools, and you are quick to lie to parents about what is really going on your schools. I’m not sure if you’re scared of Dr. Hargans, scared of parents or scared because you don’t want teachers telling people how horribly they are treated in your district. The problem isn’t the teachers; they are doing their job. The problem is YOU, the central office- the people who think that students can do whatever they want and not get a real punishment for it. It’s time to own up to the madness you have created in your schools. It’s time to reform your district, and time to listen to your teachers.
I was reminded of a story before I wrote this letter, a teacher that is dear to me was struck by a student. Not on accident, this student flat out assaulted this teacher, punched her in the face. To the existent of if it were to happen on the street, the student would have been arrested and charged with assault. This teacher had to explain to her administrators why she didn’t want the student back in class. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! You have a discipline problem, STOP DENYING IT. As a student I was bullied, when I finally said something to my administrators they couldn’t even suspend the kid for harassing and bullying me because he was on some sort of plan that apparently bars the school from disciplining students the way he should. IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO QUIT BEING SCARED. Stop being scared of parents and backlash. YOU are the school board, you are supposed to have the back of your students and teachers. Instead you are scared to do your duties because you don’t want to piss anyone off.
Recently, it has come to light that Dr. Hargans and her crew believe it is for the better if we revise the student code of conduct to make it even more lenient. The backlash is astonishing. Ever single post about it has 200+ comments about how infuriating it is to not be able to discipline kids in schools anymore. Have we forgotten about the students who go school and do everything they are expected, and never cause a problem? Are we going to interrupt their learning because we have a belligerent student in the class that the school can’t do anything with because it goes against the code of conduct? Not to mention, it already puts teachers that are fighting to maintain order in their classroom even more against the wall. When did we as a district become so concerned with the money we get by having a student in school every day that we don’t teach discipline? When I was a student was I only worth $118 a day to you? That’s what it’s starting to look like. You aren’t doing the city any favors by teaching kids that there is no repercussion for their actions. Stand up for your teachers, LET THEM TEACH.
All I have to say is, it’s time for reform in your district. You already face a teacher shortage. Why do you think that is? No really, answer that. It’s not because there aren’t teachers looking for a job. It’s because you don’t support your teachers and a teacher would have to be crazy to deal with the things this district makes them go through on a daily basis. FIX YOUR DISTRICT. Your teachers are running out of ways to tell you. Listen to them, they know what is going on in the schools- unlike you. You visit schools and the teachers tell students to be on their best behavior. You don’t see what really goes on in your schools. Go sub a day at any high school, you will see the real JCPS. The JCPS you deny is truly there. FIX YOUR SYSTEM, and maybe you can attract some teachers. If you don’t, good luck because your teachers are looking for the first opportunity to exit stage left. Future educators don’t want to work for a district that doesn’t support their teachers, neither do your teachers. FIX IT.
|Bye Bye!||TJ||Diane Porter||ALL||Other||
I am already hearing whispers about a teacher strike. I guess the last one was in the 1970's. Perhaps Dr Hargens needs to see that we can only be pushed so far. #Deweyhensleywasright
|Widening the gap between school and reality||Fed up teacher||Lisa Willner||Other||
I normally tell my students that numbers don’t lie but in this case they do. According to the numbers, JCPS suspensions are down this year, however, that data has been purposefully reduced. School administrators are facing pressure at the district level to decrease discipline numbers; in turn, school administrators are not responding to the behavior issues that are present in their schools. Students who curse at staff and other students receive one period of ISAP and are right back in the classroom the next day. Students who refuse to step out of the classroom for a hallway conference (a piece of the restorative practices that JCPS claims are working so very well) are right back in the classroom the next day. Students who threaten to kill staff members are placed in a different classroom instead of being referred to an alternative school setting.
How am I supposed to protect my students’ right to learn when misbehavior is continuously met with no consequences? How am I supposed to create a safe learning environment when students can be met with sexual misconduct, profanity, and constant disruptions from students who fail to follow the rules…and receive no consequences? There is a quote from an earlier article on WDRB from Mike Raisor which states “…I wouldn't want something I did as a prank when I was 15-years-old to determine the rest of my life." This statement indicates youthful innocence and lack of foresight is behind the behaviors, however, a large number of students who misbehave consistently do so out of the clear understanding that there are few consequences for them. To quote one such young person, “Go ahead and send me to the AP office—they’re not going to do anything to me.”
While it is my responsibility to educate my students in my subject matter, it is the overall school experience’s responsibility to educate students in the ways of the world. We need to stop thinking of students as these “other entities” who need coddling and remind ourselves of what will occur once students turn 18 and enter into the “real world”—very real consequences for things that would have resulted in a conference and a “don’t do it again” at school. A police officer, a supervisor, a college professor, etc. is not going to care that an adult “has anger issues” or “was just playing around.” By easing discipline policies, we are widening the gap between school and reality, to the detriment of those people that Dr. Hargens claims to have the best intentions for—the students.
|Concerned JCPS Teacher||Anonymous||Chuck Haddaway||Other||
I got hired in a PLA school during the 2015/2016 school. My school has kids with many behavior problems. We spend significant amount of our time managing behavior problems in the classroom. We teach kids how to form a single line, obey the classroom, and school wide rules every day. The rules are not working and students are immune to consequences such as ISAP, after school detention, lunch detention, removal to the opportunity room, and even suspension. I have written over 100 referrals and made many phone calls to parents since I got employed. Parents have hung up the phone on me, asked me not to call them again, or simply refused to pick my calls. My crime “soliciting their support so that their kids can succeed in my classroom.” Some of these phone calls and referrals were at the expense of my own time. I had the choice to resign but decided to stay because I wanted to make a difference and help kids learn and perform at higher level. I have watched kids transform before my eyes, I have watched kids improve their performance in my class, and I believe that I have made a difference in the lives of some of these kids.
However, I am one of the teachers that have been recommended for non renewal of limited contract. News like this definitely makes it impossible for a teacher to focus on teaching and the students for the reminder of the school year. I was a teacher making progress until I questioned the culture in the school (high behavior problems, lack of respect for teachers, and disciplines that were not working). Teachers in PLA schools are not incompetent, they just work with kids whom some of them come from difficult circumstances. A teacher is effective when behavior is under control in the classroom. I was found ineffective in everything that I did, regardless of how hard I worked.
I may be completely leaving the teaching profession, but before I do so, I want to say that new teachers need supportive mentors so that they can be retained in the district, this is particularly important for minority teachers, and to reduce teacher turn over. When new teachers are brought into the district, you support them, help them grow professionally, and not treat them like they are clothes that can be changed any time. Instead of saying you are fired; you did not do x, y, and z. Why don’t you say, “how is it going or how may I help you remain in the district”?
JCPS plans to increase minority teachers to 25% by 2020 and increase the diversity in the teaching staff. Will JCPS meet this goal by 2020 if some new teachers are let go without intervention?
As of November 2015, JCPS had over 100 teacher vacancies and some students have not had a core content teacher for most of the school year. In my school, 2 core content teachers have been gone for most of the school year and these students have had different subs for the 2015/16 school year. Instability in the classroom can lead to poor academic performance.
It is public knowledge that people are leaving the teaching profession, young people do not want to go into teaching, the enrollment in teacher preparatory colleges is declining, and some states are experiencing teacher shortages. Something has to be done to encourage people to enter the teaching profession. It has become a demoralizing profession for some.
|Why is it so hot in school?||anonymous||Steph Horne||Norton Elementary and others||Other||
Why is it 88 degrees in my school? When asked when the AC will be turned on, the answer is "we don't know". How are students suppose to concentrate and prepare for testing in two weeks when they are hot and sweaty?
I would like to know is the AC on at VanHoose?
|Teacher (anonymous please !)||Concerned Teacher||Diane Porter||Anonymous||Other||
Gay, I saw your most recent visit to the Board meeting and I wanted to say thank you for being my voice. To those who say DearJCPS highlights only negative opinions, I would submit that this website is the ONLY way my voice can truly be heard. My first line of defense several years ago was to ask questions. That didn’t work. Then, I pumped it up and “raised concerns.” That led to a power-hungry administrator who “looked” for ways to show I was ineffective, when previously, I was the best thing since sliced bread.
|Bus driver leaves students all alone||Angry Parent||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
I found out this morning that my son's bus has been dropping him and his schoolmates off early and then driving off without waiting for them to get into the school. It is a well known policy that students don't come in until 8:40am. There is no adult supervision until then. This driver has repeatedly left students in a dangerous situation. The school is angry, the parents are angry, the children are scared and JCPS is simply "looking in to it." Leaving students unattended is just unconscionable.
|Diversity and Behavior and Magnet Programs (aka, my daughter was assaulted today)||Tiffany Baker||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
I sent this via email to Dr. Hargens after an incident involving my child today at school:
I am a parent of a 6th grader at Highland Middle School. First and foremost, I’d like to commend the teachers and administrators I have had the pleasure to talk to so far. Mr. Mena, the science teacher, Ms. Kimbley, the math teacher, Ms. Kemp, the social studies teacher, Ms. Coleman the assistant principal and Ms. Campbell the counselor have been wonderful and have demonstrated true concern for the success and well-being of my child. Frankly, if it wasn’t for their dedication and compassion, I would have withdrawn my child from Highland during winter break. My note to you is not an indictment of the teachers and staff at Highland. My frustration comes from the effects JCPS’s diversity policies have had on my child and her quality of education.
We reside in Jeffersontown and our resides school is Carrithers. My oldest stepson attended Carrithers all 3 years, and his experience was not very good. He was not sufficiently challenged in his academics, and he is struggling a little now in high school at Eastern (he applied and was accepted to Eastern despite our resides school being Jeffersontown High). I attended the Showcase of Schools, and brought back information on the schools I thought would be a good fit for my daughter. I was very interested in the IB program at Highland, as was my daughter. She also was interested in the fine arts program. What really captivated both of us, though, was the looping program. We had recently moved to Kentucky in 2013, and had transferred to JCPS in 2014. We were hoping the looping program would help my daughter establish strong friendships and relationships with her peers. Once we decided on Highland, we set out to complete the requirements for acceptance: test scores, grades, teacher recommendations, and my daughter penned her own essay explaining why she wanted to attend Highland. We were thrilled when she was accepted! On the IB website (www.ibo.org), they outline the benefits of the Middle Year Programme, based on IB studies:
build confidence in managing their own learning
I highlighted the area most concerning to me and my child today. We are now a little over 6 months into the school year. My daughter has been the target of ongoing harassment by a number of African-American males attending Highland. Today, she was assaulted by one of these boys at the end of the day, resulting in abrasions to her neck. I am, in a word, livid. These are students who do not have to undergo a rigorous application and acceptance process to have access to the magnet program and IB curriculum. These students attend Highland Middle School not because they reside in the area, but because they reside in a socioeconomically depressed area of town. These students are supposed to benefit from the JCPS Diversity Policy, but, I ask you, Dr. Hargens, at what price to the other students who are not from the depressed areas? This is not creating “a positive school culture where they are engaged and motivated to excel”. If anything, quite the opposite has occurred.
Dr. Hargens, I attended the Vestavia Hills public school system in Alabama for K-12. The Vestavia Hills School System is somewhat famous for having a federal mandate requiring the city of Vestavia Hills to bus in African-American students in order to maintain a minimum 25% African-American enrollment (Stout v. Jefferson County Board of Education 1971 http://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/SD-AL-0001-0007.pdf). This mandate was only reversed in 2007. Additionally, one of my classmates, Tanner Colby, wrote a well-received book about the impact of integration and diversity in schools, based somewhat on his experiences in Vestavia: Some of My Best Friends are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America (it’s available here http://amzn.com/067002371X and an excerpt from his book is available here http://www.salon.com/2012/07/04/my_one_black_friend/). His description of our interactions as white kids with the African-American kids in our school is spot on. We knew they were forced to attend our school. The African-American students segregated themselves for the most part. On paper, we were integrated; in practice, we were as separate as ever.
I wanted my daughter to grow up free from the prejudices of color, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and gender. I have chosen to raise her away from the whitewashed community of my youth so she can have positive experiences with all types of individuals. Unfortunately, her experiences at Highland are shaping her worldview to one not of tolerance, but of prejudice. She is the victim of racism, as a white child in a so-called diverse environment.
Dr. Hargens, there have been numerous reports in local media regarding the problems with cross-county bussing and diversity. Teachers are quitting because of the behavior issues in the classroom. Admission of the problem is the first step towards finding a solution. So I ask you, Dr. Hargens, as a taxpayer and a parent, can you admit there is an endemic behavior problem across the district? And, Dr. Hargens, can we start working on a real solution-- teaching all kids respect for all, and doing away with racism in all its forms?
|Selling Our Home to Avoid JCPS||Not Taking Chances||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
It is with a heavy heart that our family has decided to sell our home in order to escape the JCPS district for our child. Our daughter turns 4 soon, and we are selling our home now in order to be in a different district when she starts Kindergarten. We love Louisville and have spent the last 9 years renovating our home. As much as those things are important to us, our child's education and well being are our primary concern. We know there are great schools in JCPS, and a great school a short drive from our house. However, for every great school in a cluster there are 2 or 3 that I would not send my child to. We, like many others that leave Louisville because of the schools, are not willing to roll the dice for a 25 percent chance of getting into the one good school in my area. This should be concerning to you that parents who are active and concerned with their children's education are leaving the district.
|teacher||Concerned Teacher||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
I'd like to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. I wanted to applaud the speaker, Sharon at tonight's board meeting. She speaks for so many. I have personally talked with teachers and subs of other West End schools and the same message has been repeated over and over. Behavior is a barrier. Students are the ones who ultimately suffer, not to mention the hopeless teachers. Help is needed. It seems as if the actions of those who have the power and resources to affect change, have a mindset that operates on the presumption of, "hey, their poor and they come from broken homes, so let's not set that behavior standard too high." Bullshit. Kids need structure and routines. They need to know what is expected of them, praised when they meet the expectation, held accountable when they don't - and cherished throughout. Send the qualified, warm bodies to help with behavior, structure, and mental health instead of discounting our kids and looking the other way. Then, behold, the "little things," like structure, will soon turn into the big things, like reading on grade level, solving complex math problems, and probably the most important result...feelings of self-worth, accomplishment, and perseverance.
|In response to Wheatley Letter||Concerned Lifelong Educator||David Jones (Chair)||Wheatley||Other||
This letter is not really meant for publication, but I wanted to comment on the Wheatley letter without being identified as I need my job. I also cannot list a board member as I live outside Jefferson County. I have taught in several school systems for a total of 30+ years, recently retired, and am now substituting. I n my own classroom, I have run a tight ship, that is, expecting that children spend their school hours on task and learning while treating all with kindness and respect. In my current position of substitute, I have the same expectations. I have subbed for one day at Wheatley in a special area class, which means I taught 6 home room classes that day. I can tell you that everything the writer of the Wheatley letter says is true. Children came into the classroom and immediately began shouting out disrespectful comments to me and other students, refused to move seats if I asked them to, and a few refused to even sit down and walked or ran around the classroom at will, two jumping upon and running across table tops. Two even left the classroom and began running up and down the hall. When I attempted to stop these behaviors, students, even young children, ignored or shouted at me, refusing to comply. Remember, I have been around the block and have a bag of tricks. They were useless. I was and am appalled at behavior that seems to be acceptable because students get by with it. Teachers have no alternatives but to live with it. Then other students see them get by with it, and begin modeling that behavior. The students in my classes that day who sat ready to learn didn't have a chance. Board members and administration need not only to come into the building, but to come in as guest teachers to truly understand how severe this situation is. Students who are this severely disruptive need to be placed in situations where there is an 8:1 or less student:adult ratio, both to get them the help they deserve and to allow the other students to learn. Yes, that is expensive, but the children are why we are here. Wheatley needs and deserves funding to work with these children.
|JCPS a regressing district||a teacher||Diane Porter||Wheatley||Other||
I am an educator with more than 13 years experience in public schools. Prior to moving back to my hometown, Louisville, KY, I worked in the metro DC area, specifically in the Alexandria City public schools and then for Fairfax County public schools.
Before you think that the problem lies in sub par teaching, I want to tell you that I have great admiration for my colleagues. They are excellent teachers who fight the good fight daily with little or no support from an administration who does not know what to do to improve the situation. Our students come from severely disadvantaged homes. Many are refugees from war-torn Somalia who suffer from PTSD. Others are children who are crack babies, fetal alcohol syndrome babies, abused, neglected, and malnourished. Many of my students have parents in jail, drug addicted parents, or parents whom they don't even know. The emotional trauma that these students have already encountered has taken a heavy toll on their ability to focus and learn. They are so consumed with survival that they cannot take on reading, writing and arithmetic.
|Need Breaktime for Kids||Glenda Reeves||Lisa Willner||Bates/Ramsey/Fern Creek area||Other||
I'm very concerned with the amount of stress and work put on our children without giving them decent down time. I thought it was bad in elementary school but now that my daughter is in middle school it's apparent these kids are overworked.
I am hearing that the kids barely get 20 minutes downtime to eat lunch and if anyone acts up the teacher has the ability to hold the whole class back until everyone is acting 'appropriately.' My daughter has come home twice now with half eaten lunches. And there is no 'recess' or fresh air time anymore. Once again all dependent on the teacher. this occurred in elementary school quite a few times. It's not 'scheduled' so the teacher can say "don't feel like it" and stay in.
And why does lunch start at 10:20 a.m - 10:40 a.m? Lunch 2 hours after school starts and then they have 4 hours to go after that. Someone has got to revisit the scheduling for lunches and downtime!
In NY when we went to school we had 25-30 minutes, that gave us plenty of time to eat and step outside to get some fresh air and re-energize for the second half of the day. Even as adults we are provided with 30 minutes to an hour for a lunch break. Why aren't our kids given at least 30 minutes?
We have a large number of students with "behavioral" reports. Has anyone bothered to think that it's because we are forcing them to sit still almost all day? And only 2 to 3 bathroom breaks a day? That is ludicrous, especially for our adolescent girls that need to take care of 'feminine' issues? The fear of embarrassment for a young girl to go to her teacher to explain why she needs that extra break is anxiety provoking .We truly are caging them like prisoners.
These kids have increased anxiety based on all the testing already then to not give them a chance to unwind at some point in the day is hurting them. I know 10 minutes extra doesn't seem like a lot, but think about how many times people hit 'snooze' to get that extra rest. It makes all the difference in the world.
|Teacher||Concerned Teacher||David Jones (Chair)||Wheatley||Other||
Dr. Hargans has said previously that "the data" doesn't support the claims that student behavior is a real problem in JCPS. If the data she is referring to has to do with behavior referrals, let me tell you that I enter many referrals. However, if I wrote a referral on every referral-warranted act, then that's all I would be doing. Honestly, I don't have the time. After the behavior has been addressed (the situation deescalated, one-on-one conference with the student(s) involved, parent call, writing in the agenda, assigning consequences, etc) it's often a choice between writing a referral, or getting back to the lesson/teaching at hand. This cycle with behavior is a daily occurrence in my classroom and in my school.
Anytime I have ever written a referral, it's on my own time. Shoot, I'm even expected to administer consequences and type referrals for students who aren't even in my class because administration has their heads buried in the sand and are not held accountable for the behavior at their schools.
I already spend a lot of time calling parents on my own time - sometimes dozens of times, for the same behavior. I already have to keep up with behavior "plans" and point sheets for many students on a daily basis. At most, I have only 3 "planning periods" per week due to PLC's and district mandated, administration-led "common planning" meetings, which are not planning at all. The 3 planning times that I DO have are used to make copies, handle other student issues that range from sadness and sickness to anger and defiance, set-up and preparation for the next lesson, and, of course, if I'm lucky, use the restroom. So ask yourself, is the "data" really not there or are you too burying your heads in the sand.
It takes me about 25 minutes to enter each referral. As of this year, I couldn't even enter referrals on Infinite Campus until I watched a video about entering referrals. I couldn't watch the video until I called Tech Support and got a code. You can't just hand-write who the referral is for and what they did. Teachers consistently struggle with all the demands on their time.
Time will always be an issue - no matter what. I'm insulted that the superintendent, board members and district personnel are so far removed from reality that they would assume behavior is not an issue, and that they don't even acknowledge the professional judgement and acumen of their own teachers who are telling them that behavior is a major issue. Furthermore, I have to wonder why they wouldn't take into account the direct relationship between the behavior data and the lack of time teachers have to input that data.
My time is finite and already I do so much on my own time, after work hours.
I wish JCPS would realize that all their mandates, basic operating procedures, and inability to deal with reality simply sets up teachers and students to fail. And now, teachers are supposed to monitor behavior on buses? When does it end? Every single expectation the district has of its teachers is always unrealistic. I'll give you three words to describe JCPS - broken, broken, broken.
|Less Money More Education||James Brown||David Jones (Chair)||JCPS||Budget||
My son goes to Shawnee High School, Academy @ Shawnee. He complains about discipline issues the teachers have to put up with daily. Not necessarily the teachers fault, teachers have to go to their leadership to handle. Fix this you have more educating, kick the kids out. Consequences and Accountability. Also quit buying the projectors and fancy black boards for the school, when you can not give a decent education to the students. How much are these blackboards being used? According to my son not much at all. Its not how much money you have its the Parents, Teachers, Leadership, and the Children that make the difference. Accountability for getting the children out of school who will disrupt the others is on the Leadership at the School. We can reduce technology in a school and get educated schools. Besides what passes for MS Office training is laughable anyway. Let teachers teach not teach to a test. My Son said his Principle has never addressed the school since she came on, its of course his 3rd Principle in the last 4 years. You can beg for money, but unless you solve the real issues and address them it won't do you any good. Lets work together, not just throw more money at the issues.
|Magent School or Child Labeling Institution?||Tonii Kardosi||David Jones (Chair)||J Graham Brown||Magnet Review Process||
As a parent in 2016 I am often concerned with the fact that my child may be labeled by the way that he looks, more specifically the color of his skin. With all that has happened in the most recent months the concerns are definitely heightened, however the one place that I believed my child should feel comfortable to be who he is is at his school-the school that is said to be known for its high test scores and openly accepted and encouraged diversity. On paper this sounds fantastic and even believable... what parent wouldn't want their child at such a school where their total character and educational journey can be embraced and nurtured? Yes That is until your child comes home with a note from his school stating reasoning of why he may not be good enough for the school and the stature/reputation that they uphold. That is until an incident occurs and the staff member who was in the wrong refuses to admit to being wrong, and decides to bring into question the manner in which your child is being raised. That is until a staff member is so dishonest about a situation in which they were clearly in the wrong that the essence of the issue itself is lost in translation and the issue becomes less about what is best for the child and more about who can appear to be more ethical in a lie. Children do not have the ability to defend themselves against adults, this is why it is up to the adults to uphold strong moral characters, however when it seems to put their jobs or choice of judgment into question...the truth and moral characters are out the window and the game has changed. Seemingly as long as a staff member's decision (whether right or wrong) is not challenged, the child is not negatively impacted...so are we asking parents to cease in parenting simply to ensure fair treatment and prudent schooling for their children? Where have the morals gone? When did it become frowned upon for parents to be involved in the decisions that are being made concerning their children? The schools are asking for more parent participation and involvement, however when a parent questions (not disagrees with or disputes.. but questions) a decision that is made concerning their child, the parent is viewed and labeled in a negative light...so what is it that the administrators really want? participation or dictatorship wrapped in blind acceptance? so are we teaching our children that passivity is the key to success?
|◾Challenger Learning Center||Jemilla Barakaat||Diane Porter||Academy @ Shawnee Middle||Challenger Learning Center||
My son attends The Academy @ Shawnee Middle School. They should be visiting that Challenger Learning Center. He is in the 7th grade and said they have not been there once this year. Please make the Challenger Learning Center apart of their STEM curriculum.
|◾Challenger Learning Center||Jemilla Barakaat||Diane Porter||Academy @ Shawnee Middle||Challenger Learning Center||
My son attends The Academy @ Shawnee Middle School. They should be visiting that Challenger Learning Center. He is in the 7th grade and said they have not been there once this year. Please make the Challenger Learning Center apart of their STEM curriculum.
I have worked at 3 different schools in the past 5 years. Not one teacher that I have ever talked with about PLC's has anything positive to say about them. Rarely do teachers ever really "get" the time to discuss teaching strategies, share concerns, ask questions to strengthen their instructional practices, etc. They are ALWAYS led by someone in administration who is consigned to shove yet another district mandate down our throats - like planning lessons with the end in mind. Ridiculous. To save money, cut the Goal Clarity Coaches. Trust me when I say they are not worth it. Use the money saved to fund full-day planning sessions that will allow teachers - the front line professionals - to dig deep into the curriculum and standards. Also, all the money you are spending on PGES, is a waste. Teachers need time to truly reflect, self-assess. PGES is simply more paperwork that we try our best to complete in a way that appeases administration, so that we can get back to what really matters - OUR KIDS!
|Safe place for kids with autism||kimberly Montgomery||David Jones (Chair)||Minors Lane||Other||
My grandson has been going to Minors Lane for 3 years now. he has low functioning autism. It would be a HUGE set back for them to close the school. It has taken him this long to form loving safe relationships with the teachers and staff. Now they want to take that away from him. The on sight therapys have been crucial for his development. He lights up when he pulls into the school. looks forward to getting to spend the day with the kids and teachers that he has grown so fond of. He would be devastated if next year everything he knows about school and the friendships that he has formed were gone/changed. I fear for the coming year if they take this school away from him. Please dont close this school. This decision is more then location, this decision affects the development of so many children so many familys. Please dont take this comfort away from my grandson.
|Test scores overshadow the real growth happening in early childhood||An Early Childhood Teacher||Chuck Haddaway||Other||
This has been happening in education for a long time. The myth that all a student knows can be demonstrated on a test. It can be display neatly with a number. My students are more than a number on a standardized test. They are more than a score for you to compare. My classroom is more than that. It is a safe place where my students can be safe, and make mistakes, and celebrate when they do something well. It is a learning environment and learning is happening even if the suit and ties can’t see it. You send out reports based on one test given on one day for a child who changes every day. I know that my students are more.
Some of the students that leave my classroom may not be experts in identifying letters or counting to 50. But they can be excited about the classroom and learning. They can engage in authentic dialogue about books, concepts and their life. They can collaborate with adults and peers. When they become upset their first response is no longer hitting the teacher or throwing a tantrum but it is using words to say “I don’t like this!.” So as I have taught my student’s, I will finally use my words and say to you…
I don’t like this! Shame on you for cancelling out the success stories of my student’s growth and change. The progress that takes experiences and time to achieve. All the growth that my fellow early childhood teachers in your district see every day but aren’t on a “test”. But sadly you don’t acknowledge that growth because it’s not a number for you to show off to the news outlets and media. But I am fortunate to see it every day in my student’s eyes when they light up after doing something they used to struggle with. I see their minds and heart grow. I’m lucky because I get to see the kindergarten readiness that is significant and valuable.
|Mrs.||Jcps teacher||Lisa Willner||All elementary||Other||
As a 3rd grade elementary teacher, I find it extremely frustrating that the curriculum maps' order are continually being changed. In the area of Science and social studies the map cycles were switched for no apparent reason. It is extremely frustrating to have these maps printed and then find they have switched the cycles for the following year.
|An Unbalanced Budget||A frustrated teacher||David Jones (Chair)||Budget||
As a dedicated teacher in a PLA school, reading the email from the Male Principal frustrated me. It seems to be that teachers and parents who are complaining, are those who are unwilling to admit that the budget and allocation of resources is completely lopsided in one direction. It is unfortunate that the majority of Louisville's population, students who attend schools with PLA status, free and reduced lunches, and other socioeconomic issues, are NOT those that get the resources and support that they need. It is unfortunate that I have to read an email from a principal who clearly doesn't care about my school in the West End, or my students who are fighting unbelievable battles, but only cares about keeping all of the money and experience in his building.
Here is what makes sense: Experience drives everything in teaching. Why not send teachers with a lot of experience, great classroom management, and excellent knowledge of content, to school that need to motivate students to learn? Why do we confine those teachers to schools with all of the money and all of the resources? I am tired of seeing 10 "fresh out of college, I have no idea what I'm getting myself into" teachers come and go every year. PLA schools need experienced teachers!!
So, my message to the Male principal is this: Please be aware of the majority of teachers and students in JCPS. Please be aware that while you have Smart Boards, clean desks, and experienced teachers, we have holes in the ceiling, 100% free lunches, not enough desks for students, and 2 computers per room. I hope you will understand that a new budget proposal is a step in the right direction to making JCPS an equal playing field. There is a difference between what's fair, and what's not.
|Hiring Friends and Family||Thomas Johnson||Linda Duncan||JCPS||Other||
I find it to be a bit odd that you expect different results with the same game plan every year. Albert Einstein clearly stated "expecting different results by doing the same thing is the definition of insanity." It is clear to the majority of people in Jefferson County with the exception of those who reside at the "table of power" that JCPS is struggling and fearful of much.
Every year JCPS roles out a new game plan, thinking the public won't notice the same story with a new title. Be honest JCPS, you keep the same administrators in your system who fail to deliver results. You either move them to a nice desk job and continue to pay the same rate or better yet, if they are a minority, you simply shuffle them to a new building because you are afraid of a law suit. Don't believe me, go back over the past 5-10 years and find how many principals of minority have been moved around and continue to fail to achieve the scores needed. Yet at the same time how many of these principals have been fired or removed of his/her duty. The best example of this currently, is the principal removed from Knight Middle School and move to Frost Academy. It was clear the scores were not improving at Knight but afraid of a law suit, you moved that principal to another school with only one grade and continue to pay that principal the same amount as other principals. Really! I am confused as to how this is fair and just. One person overseeing one grade with a max of 250 students, making the same amount and drawing more resources than those with nearly 1000 students and less resources. Where is the logic?
It is time for someone to open their eyes. Hiring the same people over and over again, does not mean a change will happen. Oh, and try hiring outside of your inner circle. How many schools in this district are hiring principals and assistant principals from within the school already. How is this going to promote the change needed, instead of continuing the same process that was in place to begin with, again continuing the process of failure. Really, get out of the box, hire individuals outside of your own school and perhaps, just perhaps, those outsiders may have insight for problems within the school from past experience. Crazy right?
Please don't get me started on the amount of "family" hires within JCPS. It is amazing how many family members of "high up" people get hired.
|Public School Employee/ Private School kids||South End Dad||Linda Duncan||The South End/ The West End||Magnet Review Process||
I am a taxpaying citizen in the South End and a central office administrator in a different district. My professional life is dedicated to public education. I believe in it. I am passionate about it. However, my kids go to Catholic school in JCPS.
We have two school age children and one that will be school age in a few years. The fact that my kids go to private school and I make my living serving the public school system bothers me, but I feel as if I am powerless to change the monstrosity that JCPS has become. I have been a teacher, an assistant principal, a principal and have dedicated my professional career to public education. I am ashamed that I cannot send my kids to public school in my area. We have toured all of them. We have watched their scores. We have talked to folks who have their kids there, and folks who have pulled them out. We have talked to principals, one who closed a door to a classroom where a student was standing on a table cursing the teacher and said “Don’t worry, that’s a special Ed student, not like your child.” The schools in the South End are appalling. The absolute lack of support for meaningful change from the Board of Education for the South End is particularly appalling.
The policies of JCPS have set up a completely unfair distribution of programs and students. It should not be a shock that Valley, Doss, Fairdale, Southern all are consistently at the bottom of every measurable metric in education and have been for years. The system is set up in JCPS for Manual, Male, Eastern, and Brown to succeed, while the rest of the district suffers. How is it that JCPS has 3 of the top High Schools in the state, and 5 of the worst in the same district? How is it OK to have a system that is set up for those of means to go to Manual/ Male/ Brown will be provided a quality education, while those unfortunately slotted to Valley, Western, Fairdale, Southern, Fern Creek, Shawnee, PRP, Doss, and Waggener will be provided an education that is vastly inferior?
Why is it OK for us as a city to say that there is an equal educational opportunity for a student at Manual and Shawnee? There is not.
The JCPS Board of Education’s profiles clearly delineate where their own children have attended. It is not shocking that Manual is mentioned more than half a dozen times. I am not shocked to see Shawnee, Doss, PRP, Valley, or Western mentioned. The Board clearly knows where to send their own children for the best education. At this point, as many years as this blantantly inequitable system has been set up, it is malpractice that the Board continues to allow it’s student assignment/ magnet program policies to remain in effect.
I would like to send my kids to public school in JCPS. I would like to send them to one in our end of town. I would like to not have to jump through red tape to get them into a ‘Public Private’ school such as Manual, Brown, or Male. I would like to send them down the street to a community high school that will provide them the same education they would receive in the East End, or across from U of L. Unfortunately the board’s policies do not allow this to happen.
I do not blame Dr. Hargens, the administrators, or the teachers. I blame the Board of Education of JCPS. They have created this inequitable have/ have not system. It is up to them to fix it.
|Questionable Math Skills||JCPS Graduate||David Jones (Chair)||All||Other||
Dear JCPS administration,
Most students from JCPS don't have basic math skills because "it's the parent(s)/guardian(s) responsibility." Parent(s)/guardian(s) don't have time or the finances to spend time teaching their kids when they're worried about paying the bills or having enough to eat. In some cases, the adults in the household may not have math skills either. School is where basic math skills should begin.
Not once have I ever touched or used an abacus in elementary school as a JCPS student. The abacus is used all over the world as a tool for basic math. It is inexpensive and helps with visualization. One of the reasons why China's students are good in math is because their brains can see the abacus in their minds after years of usage. The abacus used to be in the JCPS curriculum but has somehow disappeared. Almost all of my peers have no idea what an abacus is while the older generations have some distant memory.
JCPS, out of all of the problems that has surfaced, please re-implement proven skills that can help students in their math. Basic math is in all walks of life. It's an embarrassment to our country that our educational system will not educate properly except to the select few (private school/elite.) We need to end the stigma of public education.
|Teacher||Ready to Retire||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
I challenge ANY board member or Donna Hargens to simply play an Undercover Boss role for a WEEK at one of our schools. Not just one day. Come in as a intern and listen and learn. I dare you. I actually Double Dog Dare You.
|Transporting Safely||School Bus Driver||David Jones (Chair)||Zachary Taylor Elementary||Other||
I have students that range from K-5th Grades I transport daily to and from school. At best, these students are on the bus approximately 45 minutes in the morning and approximately 1 hour in the evening, depending on traffic. It is my responsibility to safely transport all my students to and from school. I have students that refuse to sit down safely in their assigned seats, inappropriately touches other students, use foul language, eat and drink, breaks pencils and crayons and throws them at other students, throws food (most recently threw bags of carrots at other students), fight, speaks ill of other students family members to include making fun of other students less fortunate and cursing out the bus driver and being extremely disrespectful. One more thing on this note, they will fabricate lies against the bus driver and for that I am glad we have cameras. I have written approximately 150 disciplinary referrals so far this year. I have had a couple of suspensions for 1-3 days, however, I also have repeat offenders. I had one student this past week get suspended for 5 days, but, after 2 days, their suspension was lifted and allowed to return to my bus. Unfortunately, most of my students that get suspended from riding the bus, does not go to school. With all this said, my concern is for all students safety. The few that cause these problems are jeopardizing the safety of everyone on the school bus. It is just a matter of time when one of my students get hurt, then who will the blame fall on? Usually, it's the bus driver. I have to keep one eye on my student mirror and the other eye on the road, which can become unsafe. We can only stop the bus for 5 minutes to address any discipline issues. In the winter months, it starts getting dark by 530PM. Needless to say, I have been extremely late dropping off my students because of discipline issues ( 630PM the latest time so far this year). I am making it very inconvenient for the majority of my students and their parents because of the actions of a few, which is not fair either. If the repeat offenders were held accountable, and go through the suspension process, and continue to be disruptive, then the parents or guardians need to be responsible for getting their child to and from school, no matter their personal difficulties doing so. If the student misses school in excess of the attendance policies, the parents are ultimately responsible and should be dealt with in accordance with the applicable laws concerning truancy. If expulsion from the school bus is not an option, then move that student to a closer school nearest to their home,as a hardship transfer. By far, my bus has less problems than most, but, the safety issue remains the same. How many referrals are too many? I had a member of my management team tell me, as we were speaking on the discipline problems of one of my students, " That student only has had 3 referrals." I honestly think more than one referral, you have an obvious problem. Let's force the parents and guardians to get involved more. Children will only do what they are allowed to do and a piece of paper is not going to stop their disruptive behavior if they realize they are not being held accountable. There has been problems in the past in which the school can't reach the parents, whether a disconnected phone number or the parent refusing to respond. 9 out of 10 times, I find copies of referrals that were sent home for a parents signature and to be returned to school, ripped up into pieces and thrown on the bus floor. Bottom line, the students are required by law to attend school. Having transportation should be considered a privilege, not a right. We need to get a hold of our students at the elementary level and not just pass the problem on to middle and then high school. As students get older, their behavior becomes more violent. Let us not continue to allow unsafe behavior to go unpunished. I don't want to see any of my students get hurt or worse. We are JCPS and We have an established standard on school bus safety. Let's start enforcing it and stop pointing fingers at everyone else. It's our problem, let's fix it!! Thank You for your time.
|Referrals vs. JCPS Data||MPT||David Jones (Chair)||Jefferson County Schools||Other||
Dear Board of JCPS,
Listening to the Board meeting on Mon. Dec. 14, I have only 1 topic I wish to discuss. The 'data' mentioned is not an example of what goes on in the schools. I have worked at 3 schools over the past 20+ yrs. and have written many referrals. They all concern behaviors that were included in the Student Code of Behavior. But, only half were actually completed by the Assistant Principal. Sometimes, the student said I and the students that observed the behavior were 'lying' on him and since he did not admit to the offense, the referral was torn up. Another frequently used reason to not complete the referral process was that I was told "next time the student repeats this behavior, write a referral and we'll do something". It may have been a fight, smoking a cigarette in the classroom, stealing another student's belongings,
|School Bus||Pauletta Yeoman||David Jones (Chair)||Jefferson County Public Schools||Other||
On 12/11/2015 on Newcut Rd. A school bus ran a stop sign turning onto newcut rd. at 4:55 pm the bus #0934. I had to slam on my brakes to keep from hitting it. I have a go camera on my van would gladly send the video to you. The person driving this bus is going to get someone killed.
|Effective Discipline||Kern I. Richardson||Diane Porter||All||Other||
Due to the low morale among teachers and bus drivers, students and schools making the local news almost every night in a negative light, please consider the following. Make a contract with all parents and their children which has a zero tolerance for teacher assaults, sexual attacks, terroristic threats to schools, and having a weapon on school grounds. Punishment is automatic expulsion. JCPS is now teaching its students that if you physically or sexually attack someone you only have to miss 10 days of school. Upon graduation they will learn that if they attack their boss or fellow employee the will be automatically fired.
|Hazardous Bus Drivers-Speeding, Running Red Lights||DJD||Steph Horne||All||Other||
I have been deeply concerned re the reckless manner with which some JCPS buses are driven on the Watterson Xway and on Shelbyville Rd. During the past 5+ years, many times I have witnessed JCPS buses -- with young children aboard -- speeding in excess of 65 mph during rush hour traffic on the Watterson. Other times I've witnessed JCPS buses speeding through red lights on Shelbyville Rd -- heading east at various times -- and with children aboard. There seems to be little or no accountability. To catch up with the bus and get the bus # would require breaking the law (speeding or running red lights). And there is not specific phone number to call to report such incidences. Our most precious loved ones have been entrusted to these bus drivers. PLEASE take action by putting a plan in place to assure that all buses follow the law and the traffic conditions -- and provide a means for holding these drivers accountable.
As a long time tax payer, I am holding the JCPS Board accountable for this matter. If you wish to discuss this further with me, feel free to contact me.
|Classroom Behavior improved by SPAVA program||Brenda Morris-Huntoon||Chris Brady||All Jefferson County Schools||Other||
Dear JCPS and Board Members:
I am a board member of SPAVA, founded by Dr. Timir Banerjee. SPAVA is an organization that teaches non-violent conflict resolution, character building skills (respect, honor, integrity), relationship/communication skills and mindfulness techniques to children from grades 2-12. Prior to the administration of Dr. Donna Hargens, we were very active in JCPS classrooms, presenting a once/week program for 10 weeks. At that time, JCPS was providing the salary for an individual who coordinated SPAVA mentors and matched them with specific teachers. My understanding is that due to budget cuts and priority changes, SPAVA was discontinued in JCPS classrooms. However, SPAVA has remained active in community centers and the Louisville Metro Youth Detention Center.
SPAVA now employees our own director who is working to coordinate efforts to return to the JCPS system. We have stepped up our efforts in response to the recent media reports of teacher frustrations regarding classroom behaviors. We are beginning to receive requests from teachers who have had previous experience with SPAVA and who realize its benefits. Currently we have SPAVA mentors presenting programs in Goldsmith Elementary and Kenwood Elementary. In order to request a SPAVA mentor, a teacher needs to get approval of the school principal. The program is 10 weeks but can be customized to meet the teacher’s needs. SPAVA IS FREE. Previous feedback from teachers is that having the SPAVA program presented early in the year has a very positive effect on classroom behaviors and the effect lasts throughout the school year.
Attached is a copy of a letter submitted to Courier Journal for publication. This letter, in praise of the SPAVA program, was written by a JCPS teacher at Louisville Metro Youth Detention Center. SPAVA wants to get the word out so teachers know about us and can request a program for their classroom. SPAVA mentors are comprised of individuals from various professions .…..retired teachers, doctors, psychologists, dentists, businessmen/women who give their time to improve the lives of our youth. Introducing the students to individuals from various walks of life is valuable does not place additional responsibilities on the classroom teacher who may already be stressed.
We present the following letter to Dear JCPS and the Board for review, in the hopes that SPAVA may be of service to our educators.
Following is the letter to Courier Journal from Mr. Wachter, JCPS teacher................
With all of the violence that is in Jefferson County Public Schools isn’t it time for them to seek outside help? The Society for the Prevention of Aggressiveness and Violence among Adolescents, or SPAVA, is a program created voluntarily by Dr. Timir Banerjee. Dr. Tim, as he is known as, developed the program to teach adolescents to redirect anger by looking into the inner self and bringing about change from reactive to proactive. It teaches adolescents to become more empathetic towards peers and realize we all need to help one another. Hurting someone, be it with words or fists, hurts one’s self as well. His program takes a lot of personal experiences such as being raised by a loving caring father and grandfather after the early death of his mother and puts them into perspective for adolescents in order for them to learn to live together peacefully. His walk across the United States at the age of 61 from Louisville Kentucky to Ft. Vancouver Washington sure gets one’s attention that you can do anything if you have the desire. But that desire only comes with discipline and that requires self-control and respect for others.
|PINK SLIPS for EARLY CHILDHOOD||N/A||David Jones (Chair)||all Early Childhood||Other||
Early Childhood seems to be of little concern to board members. We would like to know why a "blanket punishment" is about to be given to all Early Childhood Classified Staff. Dr. James Francis will be giving all early childhood staff pink slips in March, He says this is just because he doesn't know if HS will receive the grant back. The truth is Jefferson county would not have paid huge amount of money to the company called SHINE if they did not believe they will receive the grant. This is a way to eliminate most classified positions, all employee's will have to re-apply for their positions, but what they are not telling everyone is, the titles and qualifications will be changed making it impossible to be re-instated to your previous position.
|Teacher Shortage: Rethink JCPS Hiring Policy of Ex-Felons Who Have Paid Their Debt to Society and Proven Themselves Professionally||Gay Adelmann||Steph Horne||The Academy @ Shawnee, All||Other||
Dear JCPS Board Members,
As a parent at the Academy @ Shawnee, I was SHOCKED to see the article in the paper about JCPS hiring and subsequently firing an ex-felon. But not for the reasons you would expect. I was:
SHOCKED that a priority school already riddled with the highest number of substitute teachers, teacher vacancies and district turnover, would have yet another permanent employee terminated by JCPS, just so they could bring in - wait for it - ANOTHER SUB!
SHOCKED that a valued employee, who was honest on her application, who had not violated any policies under her employment with JCPS, would be so suddenly dismissed when JCPS discovered their own error.
SHOCKED that JCPS board policy is more stringent than that of the state, and that it contains no room for error or second chances, ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that the conviction was non-violent, had nothing to do with children, was 23 years ago, and that she completed all of the necessary requirements of the state standards board to have her license issued in the first place.
SHOCKED that in this current teacher shortage we are not revisiting EVERY POSSIBLE OPTION for finding and keeping quality teachers, including this one.
SHOCKED that a person who is well liked and respected by her peers and students, who paid her debt to society, could experience such cruel treatment from her employer.
SHOCKED that the impact the loss of this valued teacher would have on these special needs students would not take priority over correcting a clerical error.
SHOCKED that a teacher who proved that she had mended her ways, by having successfully taught without issue elsewhere, would be summarily dismissed for no wrongdoing or fault of her own.
This letter (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2015/11/18/letter-jcps-needs-new-policy-ex-felons/76018712/) from Wendy Hames reiterates many of the concerns I have heard from the community, as well.
Decisions continue to be made at the district level with little or no regard for the true bottom-line impact to the stakeholders, especially the STUDENTS, and THIS MUST STOP! Please consider revising your board policy IMMEDIATELY to conform to the state guidelines and reinstate this teacher's employment ASAP. Our students need her, and others like her.
|Challenger Learning Center||Linda Scherer||Diane Porter||Academy at Shawnee and every middle school in JCPS||Challenger Learning Center||
It has now been 3 weeks since the Science Center took over control of the Challenger Learning Center. There has been no communication from them to any of the volunteers who have assisted with the missions flown there for 4 and 1/2 years. Has there been any information exchanged with JCPS re: use of volunteers? If they have other plans, it would be helpful to us, the trained volunteers, to know that in order to make other plans for our time. If they do plan on asking present volunteers to continue working with them, we would appreciate having the name and access information of the person with whom we would be working. Thank you.
|Myers Cohort Request||Gay Adelmann||David Jones (Chair)||Waggener, Myers Middle, The Academy @ Shawnee, Carrithers, Highland, Meyzeek, Newburg, Noe, Ramsey, Thomas Jefferson, Western, and Westport||District Boundaries||
Greetings Chair Jones,
At the May 12, 2014 JCPS Work Session regarding the Repurposing of Myers Middle School, you asked a very important question (around the 59:50 mark of this recording), and a subsequent commitment was made:
Jones: "Can you commit that we will track [the Myers students] as a cohort?"
Based on Mr. Rodosky's commitment, and other representations and assurances made during the presentation, the board unanimously approved the following recommendations, among others:
1. The incoming sixth-grade students assigned to Myers Middle School will be placed in one of ten middle schools (The Academy @ Shawnee, Carrithers, Highland, Meyzeek, Newburg, Noe, Ramsey, Thomas Jefferson, Western, and Westport). There are approximately 210 incoming sixth graders projected to attend Myers, so each of the 10 receiving schools would serve 40 or fewer students during the 2014-15 school year. Each of these students will be paired with a central office mentor who will provide support during this transition. (See the attached map for proposed boundary changes and the attached table that shows the number of students placed in each school. Sixth-grade students residing in The Academy @ Shawnee and Western Middle School areas of the map will be offered a choice between the two schools.)
A year has passed, and I would like to know if Mr. Rodosky's office is providing you with the data you requested? More specifically,
• What has happened to this "cohort" of 6th (and 7th and 8th) graders after they were assigned to these schools?
Please let me know what information you are able to provide. Thank you for all that you do.
|Continuing Concerns for the Challenger Learning Center||Linda Scherer||David Jones (Chair)||All Middle Schools in the Jefferson County School System||Challenger Learning Center||
The superintendent opened an REP for 11 days, 11 days, to get bids on other businesses interested in assisting the CLC to continue to be one of the leading sources of STEM education in the district. Not quite enough time for most interested entities to acquire the information needed to make financially-based decisions. Again, it would appear that Dr. Hargans is not interested in maintaining the quality of educational opportunity presented over the last 4 plus years to students. Hopefully, she is more forthcoming with members of the Board than she is with the stakeholders of the CLC and the Academy of Shawnee. Her lack of transparency on this important issue, while giving lip-service to such transparency, is quite concerning to me and hopefully, to you and all the other members of the Board.
|Continuing Concerns for the Challenger Learning Center||Linda Scherer||David Jones (Chair)||All Middle Schools in the Jefferson County School System||Challenger Learning Center||
The superintendent opened an REP for 11 days, 11 days, to get bids on other businesses interested in assisting the CLC to continue to be one of the leading sources of STEM education in the district. Not quite enough time for most interested entities to acquire the information needed to make financially-based decisions. Again, it would appear that Dr. Hargans is not interested in maintaining the quality of educational opportunity presented over the last 4 plus years to students. Hopefully, she is more forthcoming with members of the Board than she is with the stakeholders of the CLC and the Academy of Shawnee. Her lack of transparency on this important issue, while giving lip-service to such transparency, is quite concerning to me and hopefully, to you and all the other members of the Board.
|A New Approach to Discipline||Erin Korbylo||Chris Brady||District Level||Other||
I was sitting in an orientation for the OBAP ACE summer camp yesterday and there was a pilot from UPS telling the kids that they would be teaching them some conflict resolution skills throughout the week. He went on to share that being able to resolve conflict in the work place is a very valuable skill. And it got me thinking about our school district and the discipline problems we hear about in the schools.
He is exactly right. Conflict resolution is an incredibly valuable skill. It is a skill that could benefit our kids now. This could be one solution to the discipline problems
So I propose that JCPS add conflict resolution classes at every grade level for all students. Start with kindergartners all the way through 12th grade. I know it's not a "content" area, but have it mandatory for once per week for 30 minutes. Make sure it is age appropriate conflict resolution tactics. And continue the classes every year, so that by the time an incoming 2015-16 kindergartner graduates, he/she will have had 13 years of conflict resolution training. It wouldn't be a short term fix, but conflict resolution training at all grades now has the potential to impact student learning immediately by teaching the kids ways of handling the situations so they do not have to leave the classroom and miss instructional time. Not only will this give our students a better tool kit when going into the work place, it gives our students a better tool kit for being in school. This way they can learn to handle school conflicts in a way that won't lead to ISAP and suspensions. Rather than disciplining kids over the same issues, empower them to work through the conflicts so that they can stay in the classroom and learn the educational content. Empower the staff to help the kids through the conflicts in a constructive manner so the kids can grow from the experience.
We are dealing with a new generation of kids with discipline policies from a different era. It's time to think outside the box and try new things. This would take some money for training the teachers, I'm sure, but what a worthwhile investment; especially as a program like this would continue, the positive outcomes would just increase.
The National Crime Prevention Council even has lesson plans available on line for grades K-5.
|Challenger Learning Center - Give this a viable chance for the sutdents||Michael Dant||David Jones (Chair)||JCPS||Challenger Learning Center||
I am a parent new to the JCPS school system. My children are 12 and 9 respectively. Up until now, they have been in the private school system. When I learned about the Challenger Program, I was amazed that there was such an offering here in Kentucky, let alone Jefferson County. The closest educational outreach program I was ever aware related to STEM is in Huntsville, Alabama at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. What the Challenger Center is offering, as far as STEM education goes, is unprecedented in this area. Jefferson County is a Thought Leader for this effort, and we should proudly be promoting this effort instead of abandoning it. It makes no sense to let it go and for those individuals and leaders that have the ability to keep it going, should be making the right and obvious choice. There is much more at stake here than a budget. It's our children's future.
|Let us not take a short term approach||Siva||David Jones (Chair)||All||Challenger Learning Center||
I am an immigrant to this wonderful country and sincerely appreciate the freedom and the opportunities that I have been given in US. Every survey in the last few years indicate how US is falling behind on STEM education to other countries. Challenger Learning Center is a significant asset to JCPS and we are lucky to have it. I am also an engineer and understand the importance of STEM resources. Let us not take a short term approach and miss out on keeping the center alive in Louisville. Continuity of its operation is critical to keeping it alive.
|Challenger is a Wonderful STEM Addition to JCPS||Terry Keeling||Steph Horne||All||Challenger Learning Center||
I am a retired DOD employee and a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with degree in Professional Aeronautics. I am a volunteer at Challenger Learning Center and a board member.
I think the loss of this valuable asset to the STEM program in JCPS would be a true waste. I have witnessed young students who come in bored with another field trip but leave the center with a new sense of what science and technology can do for us all. I have seen a young man who seemed bored with the field trip and was adamant that he was not going to “play along” with the simulations but when he saw the excitement of his classmates in accomplishing the mission, he got on board and left with a huge smile and high five to the volunteers. I have also seen young students who doubted their ability to do the math, but when they completed the exercise to calculate the navigation parameters to make it to the moon safely, their smile told the whole story. I have seen a little one who was in awe of Commander Will and myself in blue flight suits and asked if I was an astronaut, he was enthralled by the possibility. The stories are countless and must continue to ignite in young minds the wonders of space, science, technology , engineering and math. To let this wonderful addition to JCPS languish due to lack of funding makes no sense to myself and countless others. Please consider the continuation of this excellent program. Thank you.
|pay||whilma||David Jones (Chair)||Budget||
Why is Dr Hargens making with all the perks over 400,000 but she is cutting 2 days from people that make 35,000 or less. How can you possibly agree with this?
Note from moderator:
More can be found here:
|The Challenger Learning Center Louisville||Hope Proctor||David Jones (Chair)||Other||
Donna Hargens Ed D
May 11, 2015
Dear Dr Hargens:
I am writing to you today to express my deepest disappointment over the termination of the incredible teachers and staff of the Challenger Learning Center at Shawnee. Also, I am deeply concerned over the future of the Challenger Learning Center This has been my fourth spring as a volunteer there so I have seen the good it does for students who experience this tremendous and unique way of learning math, science and teamwork!
I don’t believe you and maybe even Dr. Barber have given the Challenger Learning Center a chance to succeed. It’s only been there since 2011. Do you not realize the significance and the greatness of having one of those centers located here in Louisville? It’s indeed a great honor and privilege to have one in our school system! There are only about 48 in the United States. You and Dr Barber should be fighting tooth and nail to keep it open and run by Will VanderMeer and Melissa Brown as the teachers. I am so amazed of how well they work with these students; there is so much enthusiasm for this program. I have had some students look right at me and say, “This is the best field trip ever!” It’s not every day you hear students say that about learning!
Just so you will know, I was diagnosed with Stage 3C breast cancer in 2010 and I now have chronic lymphedema in my left arm. I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease and hyperthyroidism in 2013 and it has come back again in 2015. This disease is not fun living with and makes me very uncomfortable but I love working with Will, Melissa and Edlisa (and Tim Harrod when he’s in town). They are so appreciative of the volunteers and I feel so very blessed to watch them in action with this program. Their enthusiasm is contagious too bad others are like them. Even on days when I don’t feel like getting up really early in the morning I do. I don’t feel like sitting in traffic for an hour to make my way down to the Challenger Center to be there around 8 a.m. or 8:20 a.m. but I do and believe me, hyperthyroidism causes one to be very impatience. I do it not only because I love to encourage the students but because of the wonderful staff of the Challenger Center. I don’t think you or Dr Barber know what value you have in them or the volunteers who serve there! I hope you will reconsider the decision made and fight tooth and nail to keep it open with teachers running this program.
With great sadness,
Hope Johnson Proctor
cc: Houston Barber