Representatives from Jefferson County Public Schools are in Washington D.C. at an invitation-only National School Turnaround Summit.
The summit was moderated by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, but JCPS also shared the stage. Superintendent Donna Hargens, Jefferson County Teacher’s Association president Brent McKim and Western High School principal David Mike were all invited to share their experiences with 26 districts with helping turn around the district’s 22 persistently low achieving schools.
The conference helped education leaders share ideas and success in boosting low-achieving schools, said Hargens. Western High School principal David Mike shared the story of his school’s success. Western is one of 22 JCPS turnaround schools and met all testing goals last year.
“David Mike was able to share those principals of Project Proficiency that have enabled Western High School to increase their results,” she said.
The district’s Project Proficiency initiative was a focus of conversation, she said. The project allows teachers to spend more time with individual students who have achievement gaps in math and English.
Discussions at the summit on how to manage the time spent with these students were most helpful, said Hargens.
“We’re really interested in increasing quality time for our student and how we can do that and we learned a lot from Boston and from other school districts that have really worked to improve the quality of the time but also differentiated time for students,” she said.