JP Schools Family,
Our nearly 50,000 students are always at the heart of everything we do. The 2020-21 school year presented many challenges, but I am proud that we continued to push for the best outcomes for our students. The students we educate today are tomorrow’s teachers, scientists and healthcare professionals who will take care of us in the future. When our students are successful and prepared for a career or college, the entire community benefits. Our economy will thrive, our healthcare system will improve, and Jefferson Parish Schools will become a proof point for what is possible in a large urban district. We are excited to continuously implement the priorities set forth in our strategic plan, “2024: The Future Our Kids Deserve.” Continuing this work remains critical to the future of Jefferson Parish, and the continued support of our families and the community is paramount to our success.
In many ways, our efforts to overcome the challenges of the pandemic hastened progress towards achieving our strategic goals. We improved our infrastructure to support clean, healthy and modern schools and doubled down on our investments in technology to provide access and equity for all students. Whether learning in the classroom or at home, all students in kindergarten through 12th grade have access to a computer and the internet. By closing the digital divide, we are providing equity and opportunity, leveling the playing field for all students.
Additionally, through federal COVID-19 relief funds, we have been able to launch several new initiatives including innovative summer programs, an early literacy strategic plan, increased opportunities to earn Industry Based Credentials and the soon to open Jefferson Virtual High School. These student-centered steps brought us closer to our long-term goals in addition to overcoming the pandemic’s impact on teaching and learning.
The quantity and quality of initiatives we were able to roll out shows the strength of our educators, support staff, school board and community. While I never imagined I would be starting a tenure as Superintendent during a global pandemic, I also never imagined how much we would accomplish given the challenges. I am proud of the work we’ve done and the added support we’ve provided to our employees and families. I am optimistic, knowing our students will graduate prepared to make the world a better place. Together, we will be the champions our students deserve.
Dr. James Gray