KONZ | JCPS says no plans to reduce extended days for middle, el - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KONZ | JCPS says no plans to reduce extended days for middle, elementary school principals

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools is not planning on reducing the number of extended days during the 2015-16 year for its elementary and middle school principals, a spokeswoman told WDRB News on Tuesday. 

"As part of our budgeting process, we have been looking critically at every dollar we spend and reducing the number of extended days was one of numerous items we looked at," said Mandy Simpson, a JCPS spokeswoman. "However, no recommendation has been made about this." 

Up until the 2012-13 school year, the district's elementary and middle school principals were contracted to work 220 days with the option of working five additional days. Starting with the 2012-13 year, the district gave those principals the option of working an additional 15 days throughout the year.

Many principals use the 20 extended days during the summer months to look at data and plan for the upcoming year. 

In addition, with the Kentucky Professional Growth and Effectiveness System, the new teacher evaluation system taking effect across the state's schools this fall, many JCPS principals have indicated they expect to use some of their extended days to write up classroom observations, read over teacher self-reflections and student feedback, as well as monitor student growth.

Simpson said the district had looked at reducing the number of those days to 15 instead of 20 -- a move that would have saved $240,000 annually.

Bowen Elementary School principal Stephen Tyra told WDRB News the additional days have been very helpful for principals across the district.

"It allows us time to analyze student data and plan programs to improve student achievement," Tyra said. "I have used some of those days in the summer to plan for the upcoming year and I use some of those days during winter break to plan the next steps and interventions for students who are struggling."

Since the 2012-13 school year, the district has spent approximately $2.1 million on the additional extended days for elementary and middle school principals. 

Superintendent Donna Hargens previously told WDRB News that she is "looking at every dollar we spend in JCPS."

"We have to tie everything back into how it impacts our students," she said. 

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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