JCPS superintendent evaluation, code of conduct revisions, facil - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS superintendent evaluation, code of conduct revisions, facility fix on tap for Tuesday's meeting

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The evaluation of JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens, a first look at revisions to the student code of conduct and how the district should address $880 million in facility needs are among the topics on tap for Tuesday's school board meeting.

First up, the Jefferson County Board of Education will hold a work session at 4 p.m. on proposed changes to the district's code of conduct and student behavioral support system, which has been a point of contention in JCPS over the past few months.

"During this work session, board members will receive a revised draft of the Code of Acceptable Behavior and Discipline, reflecting the changes made based on the feedback received, including the addition of language to address the positive behavior supports to improve student behavior and to reflect adjustments to the range of corrective actions for inappropriate behavior," according to the board agenda.

Details on what the revisions entail were not available as of Monday afternoon; the school board's meeting agenda states the attachment is "pending."

At 5:15 p.m., the school board will meet in executive session to continue the process of finalizing Hargens' annual evaluation, which will then be publicly discussed and voted on during the board's 7 p.m. meeting.

During the 7 p.m. meeting, the board will discuss Hargens' performance and revisit the four main objectives the board gave her to accomplish last year, as well as issue new objectives for her to tackle during the 2016-17 year.

School board chairman David Jones Jr. is expected to read a statement from the board about Hargens' performance and each board member will be allowed to comment. 

Tuesday's meeting comes after two three-hour executive sessions held by the board on Hargens' evaluation in the past two weeks

Hargens, who came to Louisville in 2011 from the Wake County school district in North Carolina, is under contract through 2019 but has faced a lot of scrutiny since her last evaluation was conducted in June 2015.

Turmoil over the district’s flirtation with relaxing student discipline policies and freezing salaries for most employees, including teachers, came to a head last month, when more than a thousand teachers, students and parents all-but shut down Newburg Road outside Jefferson County Public Schools headquarters in advance of the May 10 board meeting.

Last year, Hargens received a positive evaluation, but was told to focus on "internal initiatives" so she can deepen her success.

On June 14, she presented her overview of the 2015-16 year, in which she highlighted the work she and district staff have done to improve academic achievement and district performance and to meet goals established by school board.

Hargens concluded her presentation by saying she has two priorities in the coming weeks: reducing the district's assessment system to allow room for authentic assessments and designing a proactive behavior support system to be ready for the start of the next school year.

There are several other items of interest on Tuesday's board agenda, which can be found here:

  • JCPS Facility Fix

Consolidating offices and programs and closing some JCPS schools are among the things being considered as officials try to "right the ship" with more than $880 million in facility needs scattered across the county.

Michael Raisor, chief operations officer for JCPS, will present a report to the school board on Tuesday suggesting a number of ways for the district to deal with a number of aging buildings and a host of critical repairs that are needed.

  • Different bell schedule for alternative school students

JCPS is exploring the possibility of moving some of its alternative school students to a later bell schedule -- a plan officials say could potentially save the district $5 million and solve its bus driver shortage.

The proposal being considered would move students who attend Minor Daniels Academy, Breckinridge Metro High School, South Park TAPP (Teenage Parent Program) and Westport TAPP to the same bell schedule as the district's preschool students -- 9:40 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • New 10-point grading scale for students 

A new grading scale being considered by JCPS would move students to a straight 10-point scale, similar to the one that most colleges and universities use.

Under the proposal that will be voted on Tuesday as part of the district's 2016–17 Student Progression, Promotion and Grading Handbooks, an A student would be one who scores 90 to 100 percent, a B is 80 to 89 percent, a C would be 70 to 79 percent and a D is 60 to 69 percent, while a U is anything below 60 percent.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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