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JCPS Committee Crafts School Board Orientation Plan

Jefferson County Public Schools’ three new board members-elect will begin orientation soon prior to taking their seat on the school board next January.

“There are several topics that jump out,” said JCPS board chair Diane Porter.A tentative transition plan was sent last week to David Jones Jr. in District 2, Chuck Haddaway in District 4 and Chris Brady in District 7.The three are expected to participate in meetings about the budget and board protocols prior to Jan. 14 when they take their seats.The plan is being organized by a committee including Superintendent Donna Hargens, two board members and a consultant, Porter said.JCPS may also review other topics to clear up any “misrepresentation” that may have been discussed during this year’s campaigning, said board member Linda Duncan. This includes information about the JCPS student assignment plan, she said.“To me, the whole victory of this election was that we had candidates who were chosen who are proponents of choice and that’s what we’re going to continue to do,” Duncan said.Jones, Haddaway and Brady all support recent changes to the assignment plan, although some have mentioned it needs to be monitored for effectiveness.The main focus of the informational sessions, though, is to help educate the new members and to allow them to discuss key issues with JCPS staff members that oversee certain departments.They will also receive training from the Kentucky Schools Board Association (KSBA), which the board is affiliated with.Officials say new members must have 12 hours of board training each year in the first term—which consists of four years—and eight of those hours must come from the KSBA.Most board members statewide get all of their professional development hours as required by the state from KBSA, said spokesman Brad Hughes.Further, he said, most new board members likely need direction, especially with financial operations.“Most people that are coming in as new school board members, other than balancing their own household budget, probably don’t have any real experience, and certainly not in dealing with the millions and in some cases the tens of millions of dollars,” said Hughes.JCPS' budget is over $1 billion dollars and by far the largest education budget in the state. The new board members have all told WFPL they plan to visit with schools prior to taking a seat in January.They replace Steve Imhoff in District 2, Joe Hardesty in District 4 and Larry Hujo in District 7—all of whom are retiring.