Welcome to Dear JCPS!
This website was created by a group of concerned stakeholders across JCPS. We wanted to provide a venue where we and other parents and stakeholders could address the JCPS Board of Education and Administration in a constructive, organized and timely manner. Our belief is that the School Board is often presented with information that the administration has had months to prepare but often very little community or stakeholder input has been sought. The Board is then asked to vote on the issues, sometimes on the same day it is presented. Often, the community is not aware that these discussions are coming up for a vote, until it is too late to organize, prepare counter arguments, or provide our Board Members with our feedback and concerns, or decisions have already been made. Oftentimes, stakeholders learn about it in the media or upon implementation of the decision and by then it is too late to interject sometimes simple and easy to address concerns. We would like to be able to give stakeholders more advance notice of items being presented, as well as more opportunity to voice their concerns publicly, so that Board Members are able to ask questions and better represent their constituents prior to casting their votes.
JCPS is a large and complex school district, and often times the ripple effects can be felt from decisions intended to only impact a select few. Recommendations from the administration only present one side. Our mission is to try to assist the Board with gathering feedback from their constituents BEFORE they are asked to vote on the proposals and to follow up AFTER the vote to be sure the decisions are working as intended. Dear JCPS attempts to provide an opportunity for the board to hear BOTH sides of the discussion, administration and stakeholder, and ultimately make sure the conversation stays focused on what is best for the students, not what’s best or easiest for the adults in the room.
Our organization was started by a couple of moms whose kids went to school in the west end. They learned the hard way how to advocate for their students and school when, on more than one occasion, a recommendation was going before the board, that in their opinions (and those who asked for their help) had not been properly vetted or accurately presented to board members. Every time this would happen, they would meet more and more people who expressed similar frustrations on different issues, and encouraged them to write letters to their board members and use social media to make sure they were read. In June of 2015, Dear JCPS was born. Click to see our growing list of Supporting Members, our Mission Statement and Vision Statement.