LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Jefferson County Board of Education approved a new facilities plan Tuesday that would consolidate Jefferson County Public Schools’ two teenage parent programs, open a new early childhood center and give the W.E.B. DuBois Academy a temporary home next school year.
Tuesday’s vote is the first in what will be a series of votes on proposed facilities changes at Jefferson County Public Schools, acting JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio told the board.
Consolidating the district’s TAPP schools, which have 77 teen mothers enrolled, to the South Park location in Fairdale would provide ample room for growth and allow greater access to centralized services offered through TAPP, he said.
“We firmly believe we can combine both schools and even come close to doubling the number of students in that program, provide better services, better counseling, better career (and technical education) programs for these students,” Pollio told the school board.
JCPS Chief Operations Officer Mike Raisor added that the South Park location is set for renovation in 2019 when asked by board member Linda Duncan about capacity concerns.
“If we see that there is growth in the future of the program, we could make adjustments at that time to the building,” Raisor said.
The other TAPP location on Westport Road will be repurposed into an early childhood education center in the upcoming school year and the new W.E.B. DuBois Academy will temporarily be housed at Gheens Academy under the plan.
Some had questioned the logistics of consolidating the two TAPP schools, which are about 20 miles apart. The Westport TAPP is near a Transit Authority of River City bus stop, but the South Park TAPP has no such public transportation options currently available.
“Is there going to be a concerted effort to get service to the school?” Duncan asked.
“Yes there is,” Pollio said. “We’re going to work on that, but we can also use our transportation to get students there if needed.”
Board member Ben Gies noted that no one spoke against the facilities plan at Tuesday’s meeting. Other votes on contentious issues typically draw dozens of vocal opponents.
That, he said, shows JCPS has “done something right.”
“That means that we were thinking ahead,” Gies said. “That means that we’re planning ahead.”
Other pieces of the facilities proposal will come up at future board meetings. The district’s facilities plan also called for a consolidated English as a second language program, shuffling the locations of some JCPS alternative schools and moving district staff to different work settings.
Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.
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