JCPS approves cluster changes; announces superintendent review | News
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Changes are coming to the 2013-2014 school year for some of the 100,000 students who attend Jefferson County Public Schools.
At a packed school board meeting Monday night, the board went back and forth with making changes to its controversial student assignment plan.
Five issues of the plan were lumped into one vote, which board members later decided to split into two votes.
The first lump of four issues were put to one vote and unanimously won the board's approval.
That includes minor issues like adding English as a Second Language students into the diversity plan, and aligning Moore Middle School with Moore High School's boundaries.
The main issue that board members wrestled with for most of the meeting was the cluster plan.
In a 4 to 3 vote, the board voted to approve going from 6 clusters to 13.
The move is aimed at reducing bus ride times, but also reduces the number of school choices for students.
For example, a student and their family may have five schools to choose from in their current cluster. Under the approved plan, that choice could be down to just two.
The changes were made while district leaders wait to hear back from the Kentucky Supreme Court about whether it will uphold the student assignment plan. Board member Linda Duncan wanted to table the vote for two months, hoping that a decision would be reached by then.
Duncan originally made a request Monday night to table the vote until January of 2013, when new school board members will take their place. Both of Duncan's requests failed to win board approval, prompting the 4 to 3 vote.
The school board also publicly commented and released its review of Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens, who will mark her one year with the district on August 1, 2012.
All seven board members unanimously sang her praises, saying that she is more accessible and more student-focused than previous district leaders.
The board said they used three main criteria in their review:
- Improving student achievement
- Developing a sound organization management plan
- Effectively managing the student assignment plan
Members said she successfully handled the three objections well in her first school year, but added there is still much more work ahead to be done in the district.
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