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Jefferson Parish Public School System, Louisiana
|Jefferson Parish Public Schools|
|Superintendent:||Dr. James Meza Jr.|
|Number of schools:||82|
|Website:||School Home Page|
|Board of Education|
|Board president:||Mark Morgan (I)|
|Term length:||4 years|
- 1 About the district
- 2 Superintendent
- 3 School board
- 4 Budget
- 5 Teacher salaries
- 6 Schools in Jefferson Parish Public School System
- 7 Academic performance
- 8 Issues
- 9 Contact information
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
About the districtGretna is the seat of the parish government. Jefferson Parish was home to approximately 434,767 residents according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau.
Jefferson Parish overperformed compared to the rest of Louisiana in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 23.2 percent of Jefferson Parish residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 21.4 percent for Louisiana as a whole. The median household income for the parish was $48,522 compared to $44,673 statewide. The poverty rate in the parish was 15.3 percent compared to 18.7 percent for the entire state.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
The superintendent of Jefferson Parish Public School System is Dr. James Meza Jr., who took the position in 2011. From 2011 to 2014, the school district's letter grade has improved from a D to a B and the number of individual schools being rated B or A increased from 13 to 32. Prior to working in the district, Meza was a professor and dean at the University of New Orleans for over 21 years. During that time, he launched the University of New Orleans Charter School Network and Louisiana's first Type 5 charter schools in the Louisiana Recovery District.
Meza previously served as the executive director of the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the interim Louisiana Superintendent of Education, where he started Louisiana’s educational quality and trust fund and restructured the Louisiana Department of Education as the state superintendent’s position switched from an elected position to one appointed by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Meza has also worked as a high school teacher and principal. He served 32 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard and retired at the rank of Colonel.
Jefferson Parish Public School System is overseen by a school board comprised of nine partisan members who are elected to represent geographical districts for four-year terms. The partisan affiliation in the table below represents the affiliation which the officeholder held in his or her most recent election. In December 2012, the school board adopted a redistricting plan, which was developed by Redistricting LLC. The board choose to keep the city of Westwego unified under District 1. There had been discussion of moving one predominately African-American precinct in Westwego to District 5, but it was ultimately decided against. The map on the right shows the district boundaries as drawn by the 2012 decision.
|Jefferson Parish School Board|
|Mark Morgan||1||Independent||2004||December 31, 2018|
|Ricky Johnson||2||Democratic||January 1, 2015||December 31, 2018|
|Ray St. Pierre||3||Democratic||January 1, 2003||December 31, 2018|
|Melinda Bourgeois||4||Republican||January 1, 2015||December 31, 2018|
|Cedric Floyd||5||Democratic||2008||December 31, 2018|
|Larry Dale||6||Republican||January 1, 2011||December 31, 2018|
|Melinda Doucet||7||Republican||January 1, 2015||December 31, 2018|
|Marion "Coach" Bonura||8||Republican||January 1, 2015||December 31, 2018|
|Sandy Denapolis-Bosarge||9||Republican||January 1, 2011||December 31, 2018|
School board elections
The nine school board members are elected concurrently by district in partisan elections. This means that regular school board elections are held every four years with all nine members being up for re-election at that time. Additionally, all members are elected by a geographically defined district which they represent. Nine seats were up for general election on November 4, 2014, and two seats were determined in a runoff on December 6, 2014. The next regular school board election will be held November 2018.
School board candidates in Louisiana are elected by majority vote, which means the winner must receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the general election to win the seat. Runoff elections are held between the top two candidates for races where no candidate receives a majority. Candidates who are unopposed at the end of a candidate filing period are considered elected as of that date.
Any member who at the end of his or her term has served more than two and one-half terms in the last three consecutive terms cannot be re-elected in the following term. However, they can be re-elected following the one term break. These term limits first took effect with terms beginning on or after January 2010 and do not apply retroactively.
Public participation in board meetings
The Jefferson Parish School Board maintains the following policies on public testimony during board meetings on their website:
Anyone is welcome to speak at school board meetings. Public comment generally appears in four sections of a board meeting. The public may make comments prior to second readings, prior to the consent agenda, and prior to items pulled from consent agenda. Other general comments may be made at the end of the meeting, prior to the announcements.
Members of the public who wish to address the Board are required to fill out a comment card and submit it to the board secretary before the meeting begins. Comment cards can be found in the entryway of the board room.
Persons addressing the board are asked to be courteous and respectful. Individuals are asked to approach the board and state their name and address for the record. Public comments are limited to three (3) minutes per person.
—Jefferson Parish Public School System website, (2014), 
The table below displays the budget for the Jefferson Parish Public School System:
|Expenditures by Category|
|School Year||Staff Expenses||Student Services||Operational Expenses||Debt Service||Other||Budget Total|
|Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget|
Jefferson Parish Public School System employs 2,969 teachers. Teacher salaries are categorized based on higher education achievement, professional development and years of service. Certified teachers can received pay increases with a master's degree, 30 credit hours beyond a master's degree and an education specialist degree.
The following table details the salary schedule for Jefferson Parish certified school teachers in the 2014-2015 school year:
|Degree level||Minimum salary ($)||Maximum salary ($)|
|M.A. + 30||42,149||57,749|
Schools in Jefferson Parish Public School System
Jefferson Parish Public School System served 45,688 students in the 2011-2012 school year. The district does not publicly archive enrollment data.
Jefferson Parish Public School System operates 82 schools listed below in alphabetical order:
|Jefferson Parish Public School System|
|Adams, John Q. Middle||Janet, Congetta Trippe Elementary|
|Airline Park Academy for Advanced Studies||Jefferson Chamber Foundation Academy|
|Alexander, A. C. Elementary||Jefferson Elementary|
|Audubon, John James Elementary||Jefferson, Thomas High|
|Birney, Alice Elementary||Johnson, Shirley T.-Gretna Park Elementary|
|Bissonet Plaza Elementary||Keller, Harold Elementary|
|Bonnabel, Alfred Magnet Academy High School||Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy|
|Boudreaux, Geraldine Elementary||Kerner, Leo Elementary|
|Bridgedale Elementary||King, Grace High|
|Butler, Joshua Elementary||Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts|
|Celerity Woodmere Charter School||Livaudais Middle|
|Chateau Estates School||Live Oak Elementary|
|Cherbonnier-Rillieux Elementary||Marrero Academy for Advanced Studies|
|Clancy-Maggiore Elementary School for the Arts||Marrero, L.H. Middle|
|Collins, Lionel Montessori School||Martyn, John H. Alternative School|
|Cox, George A. Elementary||Matas, Rudolph Elementary|
|Cox, Helen High||McDonogh No. 26 Elementary|
|Cuillier, Joseph A. Sr. Career Center||Meisler, J.D. Middle|
|Dolhonde, Ella Elementary||Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies|
|East Jefferson High||Pitre, Vic A. Elementary|
|Ehret, John High||Pittman, Ella C. Elementary|
|Ellender, Allen School||Riverdale High|
|Ellis, J.C. Elementary||Riverdale Middle|
|Estelle Elementary||Riviere, Marie Elementary|
|Fisher Middle-High||Roosevelt, Theodore Middle|
|Ford, Henry Middle||Ruppel, L.W. Academy for Advanced Studies|
|Grand Isle School||Schneckenburger, Walter Elementary|
|Green Park Elementary||Solis, Paul J. Elementary|
|Greenlawn Terrace Elementary||St. Ville – Douglass Connections|
|Gretna Middle||Strehle, Catherine Elementary|
|Gretna No. 2 Academy for Advanced Studies||Taylor, Patrick F. Science & Technology Academy|
|Harahan Elementary||Terrytown Elementary|
|Harris, Mildred S. Elementary||Thibodeaux, Myrtle C. Elementary|
|Harris, T. H. Middle||Truman, Harry S. Middle|
|Hart, William Elementary||Wall, Miller Elementary|
|Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies||Washington Montessori School|
|Hazel Park/Hilda Knoff Elementary||West Jefferson High|
|Hearst, Phoebe Elementary||Westbank Community School|
|Higgins, L.W. High||Woodland West Elementary|
|International School of Louisiana||Woods, Granville T. Elementary|
|Worley, Stella Middle|
|Young Audiences Charter School|
Louisiana administers three main sets of tests to measure the academic performance of K-12 students: DIBELS Next, iLEAP and End-of-Course tests. Additionally, districts are given a letter ranking of A-F based on performance across all grades of students.
DIBELS Next is the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills test which is administered to K-3 students statewide. The test places students into one of three categories. Those who meet the benchmark levels are placed in the "core" category, indicating they only need core reading curriculum going forward. The other two categories indicate students who need "strategic" or "intensive" intervention in reading education. The following chart outlines the percentage of students in the district in each of the categories:
|DIBELS Next results|
|Testing date||Kindergarten||1st grade||2nd grade||3rd grade|
|Core (%)||Strategic (%)||Intensive (%)||Core (%)||Strategic (%)||Intensive (%)||Core (%)||Strategic (%)||Intensive (%)||Core (%)||Strategic (%)||Intensive (%)|
iLEAP and LEAP
|LEAP and iLEAP percentile ranks|
|Year||Mastery and above (%)||Basic and above (%)|
Louisiana 3rd through 8th grade students statewide are tested annually in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These tests are called iLEAP and LEAP.
On both tests, students can earn the following scores:
The table on the right compares the percentage of district students scoring either mastery and higher or basic and higher on the iLEAP and LEAP with the statewide averages. The percentage of mastery and higher is not available prior to 2013 results.
High school students in Louisiana take end-of-course tests in algebra I, geometry, English II and III, biology and U.S. history. The students receive one of the following four scores on each test:
In the 2013-2014 school year, 60 percent of students taking end-of-course tests across all subjects in the district earned a grade of good or excellent. This was up 5 percent from 55 percent in 2012-2013.
District letter grade
Louisiana uses a letter grade system of A through F to describe school performance scores. The table on the right outlines the district's letter score by year. The scores are based on the following measurements:
|A-F Letter Grade Results|
Board term limits
On July 1, 2009, Governor Bobby Jindal signed House Bill 504 into law as Act 291. This act created term limits for members of the Jefferson Parish school board by amending state statutory language. The amended language stated,
|“||Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a member of the Jefferson Parish School Board, who at the end of his term of office on the board will have served as a member of the board for more than two and one-half terms in three consecutive terms, such service being during terms that began on or after January 1, 2010, shall not be elected to the board for the succeeding term.||”|
- Louisiana school districts
- List of school districts in Louisiana
- Jefferson Parish Public Schools elections (2014)
- School board elections portal
- Jefferson Parish School System
- Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
- Louisiana Department of Education
- Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA)
- Louisiana Department of Education, "District and State Graduation Rates (2005-2006 to 2012-2013)," accessed November 24, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Quick Facts," accessed August 14, 2014
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Results," accessed August 14, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- Jefferson Parish Public School System, "Leadership : Superintendent," accessed November 25, 2014
- The Times-Picayune, "Jefferson Parish School Board approves redistricting plan, new turnaround network," January 10, 2012
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES," accessed September 2, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Jefferson Parish Public School System, "Jefferson Parish School Board Meeting Guide," accessed November 25, 2014
- Jefferson Parish Public School System, "Budget & Accounting," accessed December 3, 2013
- Jefferson Parish Public School System, "Facts & Figures," accessed November 25, 2014
- Jefferson Parish Public School System, "2014-14 Salary Tables," accessed November 4, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "DIBELS Next," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "Test Results," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "Annual Assessments," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "End-of-Course Tests," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "Performance Scores," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "School Letter Grades," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana State Legislature, "Act No. 291," 2009