News from Jefferson County Public SchoolsJanuary 2013
JCPS will be 100 percent tobacco-free
District schools will participate in national assessment
PRP unveils plans for new performing arts venue
Lincoln Elementary architecture featured in Louisville Magazine
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Board has three new members
Superintendent is now on Twitter
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Teacher's special lesson gets national attention

A touching, award-winning video and a recent article in The New York Times feature a special lesson that Louisville Male High physics teacher Jeffrey Wright shares with his students.

Wright, Kentucky's 2006 Teacher of the Year, is known for exploding pumpkins, flying hovercraft, and lying on a bed of nails, but he also teaches a lesson based on his experiences as a parent of a special-needs child -- a lesson that touches on the meaning of life and the power of love.

The video was created by Zack Conkle, one of Wright's former students and now a photojournalism graduate of Western Kentucky University. The video and the lesson are featured in the New York Times article. You also can watch the video by clicking on the screen above.

(Editor's note: This is an especially well-made and moving video. You might need a tissue.)


JCPS soon will be 100 percent tobacco-free     
In November, the Jefferson County Board of Education approved a new tobacco-free policy for the Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) District.

Schools have had a policy for many years that prohibits smoking and other forms of tobacco use by students. The new policy, which will go into effect on Mon., July 1, 2013, will apply to everyone, including JCPS employees and parents. No one will be allowed to smoke cigarettes or use any other tobacco products on JCPS property or in district vehicles.

Watch for more information in the February edition of Parent Connection -- the printed newsletter mailed to JCPS families. For information on free classes that can help smokers kick the habit, visit the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness Web site.

District schools will participate in national assessment 

Several JCPS schools have been selected to represent schools across the nation by participating in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP assesses fourth and eighth graders in reading, math, and science. 


If your child's school participates in the assessment, it will not affect his or her grades. In fact, all results are completely confidential. JCPS will use data from the assessment to improve instruction and increase achievement.  

Students who participate statistically represent many other students, so high levels of participation are very important; however, if you do not want your child to participate, please notify the principal at your child's school in writing before Mon., Jan. 28.
For more information, visit the NAEP Web site or download the brochure What Every Parent Should Know About NAEP.


renderingPRP unveils plans for new performing arts venue  
Pleasure Ridge Park (PRP) High unveiled the design of its new performing arts wing last month during a special assembly. The new space will include a fine arts building and theater with a 350-seat auditorium. Construction is expected to be completed in September 2013.

PRP offers courses in the Communications, Media, and the Arts Professional Career Theme. Fern Creek Traditional High and Ballard High also offer courses in this theme.

Our success is public knowledge
Lincoln Elementary architecture featured in Louisville Magazine  

"One of fewer than a dozen arts elementary schools in the United States, the Lincoln Performing Arts Magnet School anchors the east end of what's popularly known as NuLu and, with its $8-million addition and overhaul, acts as a gateway to the developing downtown arts district," says Louisville Magazine.


LincolnThe publication's January issue features an article and a photo spread focused on the architecture and design of Lincoln's facilities. Last year, the school constructed a new 30,000-square-foot arts wing, which includes a 3,000-square-foot black box theater, dance studios, practice rooms, and a state-of-the-art piano lab. The wing houses daily arts instruction as well as after-school programs with various arts organizations. 


Lincoln is Kentucky's only public elementary performing arts magnet school. It offers students a range of arts instruction, including Orff Instrumental, Vocal, Piano, Dance (ballet, modern, tap, and creative movement), and Drama (improvisation, mimicry, pantomime, role playing, and storytelling).  



The JCPS Facebook page provides news about weather-related closings, delays, and early dismissals. To get Twitter text updates on your smartphone or wireless device, send a text that says "follow JCPSKY" to 40404. The district also will notify local TV and radio stations, and announcements will be posted on the JCPS Web site.


The January issue of Parent Connection, the printed newsletter mailed to 60,000 JCPS families, is now also available as an online magazine. Click any headline to jump directly to the article:  


JCPS is installing digital video cameras on buses
One piece of string -- lots of lessons

World-class saxophonist visits Ballard

Board of Education welcomes three new members

Are you as smart as a JCPS high school junior?

How to motivate your middle schooler


It's official: Board has three new members

At the Jefferson County Board of Education meeting on Monday, the Honorable James D. Moyer swore in Chuck Haddaway (District 4), David Jones (District 2), and Chris Brady (District 7).

To see the proceedings
, watch the short (three-minute) video. For information on the board's responsibilities and details on how to sign up to speak at a meeting, click "Board of Education welcomes three new members" in the article above.

board members

Twitter icon Superintendent is now on Twitter  

JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens has created a Twitter account. To follow her tweets on your mobile phone or wireless device, send a text
that says "follow JCPSSuper" to 40404. You'll get brief district news as well as information on events and student success.    
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