TRANSCRIPT: Interview with incoming interim JCPS Superintendent - WDRB 41 Louisville News

TRANSCRIPT: Interview with incoming interim JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio

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CANDYCE:
Dr. Marty Polio is getting ready to take the reigns at JCPS as the interim superintendent and we appreciate you stopping day this morning on the last day of school, as we all kind of look ahead to what's next.

I want to ask you, first of all, you're principal at Doss High School. What do you think from your experience, and many years at JCPS, is the main thing you want to address when you take the reins?

DR. POLLIO:
Well, thank you for having me, Candyce. 

There's several things I think I'm charged with as interim superintendent right off the bat. Number one, it's to work to improve the culture in our schools and the climate within our schools. There's a lot of research that shows at successful schools what must come first is positive climate and culture within the school, for a very healthy academic learning environment for students.

And that's a big task anywhere, especially when you're talking a hundred thousand students, many schools, many classrooms. But that's the work we're going to start to do to make sure that we can work to improve the culture and climate in all of our schools where kids have safe, healthy learning environments.

Secondly, and a big part of my charge, will be what the board of education in their Vision 2020 is to increase deeper learning in schools. And when I say deeper learning, that's more hands on learning for schools or for students. That's more applying what students have learned on a regular basis, less of what we might remember as textbook and worksheets and things of that nature, and more kids doing work that is relevant to them.

That is going to translate to real-world jobs and professions and will really motivate kids to want to be engaged in school.

CANDYCE:
I heard you say in an interview earlier this week with our station that it's very important to you that even though the title is interim superintendent that you're not a placeholder, so the board has given you permission to take the reins July 2nd and start making changes as you see fit.

DR. POLLIO:
That's correct. You know, I'm not one to make rash decisions, so I mean, I think it's very important that you make sound decisions based upon data and interviews with people and your own personal research.

But I've always been a person that takes a job obviously very seriously, very dedicated and driven. And therefore, whether the job is three months, six months, nine months or longer, I will take every day like it is my job to make sure that I improve this district and move it forward. 

CANDYCE:
When you talk about improving culture, you have been charged with kind of turning around some schools nick district. What kinds of things have you seen work that you think can make the environment better district-wide and get better results.

DR. POLLIO:
There's no doubt that the number one thing that improves climate and culture within schools is effective instruction.

The better the teachers, the more we improve teaching, the better climate we'll have. That's the number one thing to do and any district must do. And once again, there's a lot of research to support that.

We have fantastic teachers in this district, but we need to continue to improve, bring in more great teachers and as always, continue to improve what we do.

Administrators, teachers -- everyone -- has to be on a cycle of continuous improvement. But also it is critical that we have high expectations in schools.

There's no doubt that we have some work to do in many places. Recent survey results show that, especially in regards to student behavior, and I'm very upfront about that, but we have to be committed to having high expectations for our students and our staff while still providing a very supportive environment for students and giving them what they need to be successful. 

I firmly believe that both can be accomplished.

CANDYCE:
Thank you. I'm sorry we don't have more time. I could talk to you about this for a long time. You and I both have children in JCPS, so we're really invested. 

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