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What You Need To Know For the First Day Back For JCPS

school classroom
Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons
/
Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

More than 101,000 students are expected in classrooms on Wednesday for the start of the 2015-16 Jefferson County Public Schools academic year.

Here are some of the changes parents, students and community members can expect.

School Building Changes

JCPS reworked several schools this year.

Two are part of the Schools of Innovation competition, in which JCPS last year asked community members to pitch ideas for new school concepts.

Maupin Elementary in the Parkland neighborhood will be a Waldorf-inspired magnet program. And the Louisville Reach Academy is opening at the Atkinson Academy in the Portland neighborhood. (Here's more about the School of Innovation concepts.)

In addition, the JCPS alternative program for students with behavioral issues has undergone some changes. In recent years, middle school alternative students attended Alex Metro Middle on Taylorsville Road. That building has been converted to an elementary school.

This school year, middle school alternative students will attend classes in the same building on Bashford Manor Lane as high school alternative students. The building, previously known as Buechel Metro, has been renamed the Minor Daniels Academy. The school district says the alternative program changes are aimed at increasing opportunities for students to be successful in school.

Grading Changes

Elementary students this year will bring home fewer report cards.

The new grading period for elementary students will mean report cards are issued every nine weeks; in recent years, report cards were sent home every six weeks, according to a WDRB report. A similar change for JCPS middle and high schools is under consideration.

The Jefferson County Board of Education has also approved a new grading scale for this school year. On the new scale, students have a wider percentage range in which to earn an A or B, but a smaller range to earn a C or D:

A: 90–100%
B: 80–89%
C: 75–79%
D: 70–74%
U: Below 70%

Free Meal Expansion

Nearly 81,000 students are expected to be eligible for free breakfast and lunch through a federally funded program that aims to provide assistance to high-poverty districts.

The program launched last year with about 55,000 eligible students.

Early Childhood Locations

This school year, JCPS will have fewer Early Childhood Education locations and classrooms. But James Francis, the district's head of ECE, said the changes would not lead to fewer seats or reduced instructional time.

Francis said there would be room for nearly 4,400 students in the district's early childhood programs. (WFPL will have more on this Tuesday.)

Transportation

On Wednesday, elementary schools are set to start at 9:05 a.m.; middle and high schools start at 7:40 a.m. About 65,000 of the district's students will ride the bus, JCPS spokesman Justin Willis said.

The district's website offers a bus finder tool that provides information on all things bus-related, Willis said.

The district has also eliminated seven bus depots for this school year, Willis said, "which means that elementary students will not have to travel through a depot unless the school they chose to attend requires them to do so."

That change should lead to more efficiency in the way the district transports students, he said. JCPS has encouraged parents and guardians to familiarize themselves with their student's bus number, route and pickup and drop-off times.

Lastly, here are the days students will be in class:

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