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Jefferson County School Board OKs School of Innovation Plan For Atkinson Elementary

Update 9:35 p.m.: School Board Says OK

The Jefferson County Board of Education during Monday evening's meeting unanimously OKed the plan to place the Louisville Reach Academy concept at Atkinson Elementary School.

Earlier: The Jefferson County Board of Education will vote tonight to finalize plans for establishing one of the winning Schools of Innovationconcepts.

In August board members elected to begin developing plans that would have two school designs submitted by the community ready for enrollment by the 2015-2016 school year.

District administrators are asking board members to approve a plan tonight that would allow the Louisville Reach Academy concept to be implemented at J.B. Atkinson Elementary, located in the Portland neighborhood.

The Louisville Reach Academy was proposed by a group of JCPS teachers.

The school will be a year-round school and is set to be the district’s first K-8 program. The concept is to offer “wraparound services” to students and families.  This means the school will offer medical and dental services, family therapy, government services, adult education, job shadowing and family education workshops. Every student will receive an iPad at The Louisville Reach Academy.

Establishing the Louisville Reach Academy at J.B. Atkinson Elementary will cost the district about $276,000 in added costs for the 2015-2016 school year, according to data provided by JCPS.  The costs increase to more than $306,000 for the three following years.

Initially, the district proposed moving the Louisville Reach Academy to the Myers Middle School building, but push back from board members led JCPS officials to reconsider.

If approved, the school will begin the 2015-16 school year with k-5 students.  The plan would be to add a grade each following year until K-8 programming is established.

In an earlier meeting, the Board of Education approved moving the Catalpa School concept into Maupin Elementary.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. for it’s regular meeting.

Other Agenda Items

The Board of Education will also be approving the district’s agenda for the 2015 legislative session. The agenda includes advocating for superintendent’s to have more say in selecting principals at struggling schools and establishing a plan for addressing the state’s ill-fated teacher retirement system.

He district plans to fight charter school legislation.
District officials will also be presenting a report on the JCPS visual and performing arts programs. The presentation will highlight areas of excellence and opportunities for growth in the programs, according to JCPS.

Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.