LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Almost all of Jefferson County Public Schools' 100,000 students head back to class Wednesday with some changes waiting for them. 

JCPS begins the year with a new grading scale that makes it easier for students to earn an A. The district's new scale scores 90 percent and above as an 'A,' whereas students previously had to earn a 93 percent to receive an 'A.' Scores as low as 80 percent will now earn a 'B' instead of a 'C.'  The  revised scale will help seniors compete for state scholarship money through the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship.

Elementary school parents will notice two fewer report cards this year. JCPS decided to move from six grading periods to four for its youngest students.
The district is exploring changes for middle and high school student, but no decisions have been made.

New and changing schools: 

District officials chose four conceptual schools as finalists, but only two will open this fall -- The Catalpa School at Maupin Elementary and the Louisville Reach Academy at Atkinson Elementary School are the first two of four "schools of innovation" planned for JCPS.  The designation gives them more freedom to experiment with different ways of learning. 

Alex R. Kennedy reopens as an elementary for the 2015-2016 school year and will ease over-crowding in the district's east end.  It's the first time since the 1980s the school has been an elementary. It's named in honor of the man who had donated land in 1881. A one-room schoolhouse first sat on the site off Taylorsville Road in 1881, and the building that now stands was erected in 1955 and closed in 1981.  This fall, Alex Kennedy serves students and families of children from preschool through fifth grade.

Alex Kennedy will not open with a magnet program, but it will have robotics equipment and educational material that could evolve into a program with a science or engineering focus.

JCPS by the numbers: 

97,000 -- approximate number of students in grades K-12 that JCPS is expecting back. (NOTE: the other 4,400 kids are pre-k students, and they won't be back in school until Aug 26). 
101,000 - Total expected enrollment for 2015-16.
6,400 - The approximate number of JCPS teachers. 
262 - Number of new teachers 
23 - Number of new principals 
5 - Number of years Dr. Donna Hargens has been with JCPS as superintendent. 
950 - Total number of buses that will be on the roads each day.
26,000 - Students at 31 public schools in Jefferson County will begin receiving free breakfasts and lunches this fall - regardless of their income. 

JCPS Bus Transportation Hotline Hours:

The district has once again set up a hotline for anyone who may have questions about the first day.

485-RIDE (485-7433)

Wednesday, Aug. 12 - 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 13 - 6 a.m. - 6 p.m

CLICK HERE for the bus finder website. 

Related Stories

SUNDAY EDITION | Alternative education, new grading scale among changes as JCPS begins school year

JCPS transportation hotline open for questions about bus routes

KONZ | New principals take over at several JCPS schools for 2015-16 year

JCPS going back to the future with reopening of Alex R. Kennedy Elementary

JCPS set to open Maupin Elementary as Waldorf-inspired arts school

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