A Better Way Forward for JCPS

A coalition of public education stakeholders, including students, educators, parents, and community leaders, has developed a plan to give all Jefferson County Public School students access to a quality public education. The student-focused 11-point plan (see below) called, “A Better Way Forward for JCPS,” represents the district’s best hope for creating the public schools Jefferson County Students deserve.

Add your name today. Pledge your support for the plan, and help turn our vision for a brighter educational future for all kids into a reality.

A Better Way Forward for JCPS

Educating the Whole Child

All students are unique individuals who deserve the opportunity to develop the skills, dispositions, and knowledge they need to thrive in a diverse changing world.  The public school experience should be about developing students’ voice, choice, and agency that will help them make a difference in the world

Authentic Deeper Learning:  Students are More Than a Test Score

All students deserve to explore, grow, and creatively develop through meaningful, authentic deeper learning experiences in a broad, rich curriculum including academics, arts, music, language, field trips, service learning, and trades. Learning must acknowledge and respect the backgrounds, perspectives, and learning styles of our diverse communities and emphasize engagement instead of preparation for high-stakes tests.  

Smaller Class Sizes

All students deserve to have individual relationships with their teachers, as strong relationships create strong classrooms.  Smaller class sizes allow time for more focused learning experiences and allow teachers to personalize and differentiate instruction, build relationships with students and families, and give students more meaningful feedback and attention.  

Caring Learning Environments:  Restorative Practices and Trauma-Informed Care

All students deserve compassion, empathy, and a safe place to learn.  At every level, our system must develop policies and practices that build relationships and resolve conflicts in ways that support every student.  Students deserve educators well-trained in restorative practices and trauma-informed care. The JCPS community must work to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and empower students to change their lives and their world.

Recess, Play, and Service

All students deserve at least 30 minutes of play and movement on a daily basis.  We know students learn when they play and when they help others. Recess promotes social and emotional learning such as working together as a team, making friends, and deciding which game to play next.  Middle and high school students need time to develop their abilities and interests by participating in clubs and service projects.

Healthy and Inviting Buildings

All students deserve fully staffed schools that are clean, healthy, vibrant, and inviting.  Buildings must be safe, in good repair and well maintained, with soap in the bathroom, safe drinking water, sanitary classrooms, and working HVAC in every school.  Schools should be a welcoming place with the physical settings and equipment students need to grow and learn.

Schools that Engage the Community  

All students and families deserve full-service community schools that provide access to critical services such as healthcare, childcare, dental clinics, adult education courses, before/after school programs, summer enrichment, and recreational opportunities.  This includes special programs, magnet schools, and opportunities to learn with and from people of different backgrounds and cultures.

Collaborative, Democratic Decision Making

All students deserve voice and choice in their education. Decisions about learning should also include and be guided by the voices and choices the parents, educators, and communities who are closest to students, as voiced through school councils and inclusive district committees.   It is vital that our school district and state government are committed to fully funded public schools governed by a democratically elected school board accountable to the public.

Inclusion and Equity: Quality Education for All

All students deserve a high-quality education regardless of their special education needs, primary language, race, ethnicity, religion, documentation status, family income, family composition, sexual orientation, gender identity, or neighborhood.  Students deserve educators, curricula, and a community committed to equity, disrupting racism and other systems of oppression, and reducing learning and opportunity gaps. Our schools need to be welcoming to all our students and their families.

A Living Wage for all JCPS Employees

All students deserve bus drivers, food service workers, office staff, and facilities workers who earn a living wage.  These employees are parents and neighbors who are part of the community, and who impact the lives and education of our students.   Quality wages help us keep a quality workforce.

Invest in Public Schools

All students deserve a diverse population of highly qualified, licensed educators, including nurses, social workers, counselors, psychologists, bilingual instructors, and library media specialists in their schools--all day, every day.  Every school must be fully funded with the resources, equipment, physical facilities, technology, support for professional learning and development, and ample professional staff to fulfill our vision and provide students the space to dream and grow.  Fully funding public schools is our best hope for creating the future our community needs and deserves.

Click here to download a PDF of the full plan.

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