Changes to JPS to be announced this week - - Jackson, MS

Changes to JPS to be announced this week

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Source: WLBT archives Source: WLBT archives
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

This week, Alignment Jackson is set to announce some significant changes in the Jackson Public School District that will take effect in the 2014-2015 school year. 

According to Alignment Jackson, JPS's transformation will affect every grade level, including pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle and high schools. The most evident change for the 2014-2015 school year will occur at the high school level with the formation of Freshman Academies in each JPS high school.

Over the next three years, JPS will transform higher grade levels to the academy model by the 2017-2018 school year.

When school starts on August 18, JPS ninth graders will begin high school in small groups made of about 150 students who share the same 6 teachers.

All of their classes will be in their own area of their high schools. Alignment Jackson say that this is so that they can enjoy a more individualized freshman experience apart from the rest of the student body.

"Ninth grade is a critical time in a student's academic career," says Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray.

"Many students feel overwhelmed, academically lost, or intimidated by older students. Statistics show us that a large percentage of students who drop out of high school do so during their freshman year. Freshman Academy small learning communities will allow our teachers and counselors to better monitor student progress and address individual needs that are particular to ninth graders," says Gray.

According to Alignment Jackson, JPS will also provide 2400 ninth graders with an Apple MacBook Air computer as part of its 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative.

The JPS transformation is happening on the professional level as well.

An Academy Coach has been hired at each school to work with current teachers to implement the Academy of Jackson. JPS is also providing professional development specifically related to increasing the rigor of classroom work, improving relationships with students and making class work more relevant to student interests and the real world.

As part of their Freshman Academy experience, all JPS ninth graders will participate in a Freshman Seminar course, which will teach them about various career options.

They will also get to experience a Career Exploration Fair on Tuesday, November 11, at the Jackson Convention Complex.

"The City of Jackson is committed to strengthening our school district so that all of our students are reaching their full potential," says Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber.

"Alignment Jackson presents great opportunities for our business, non-profit, faith-based, and public sector communities to work together to move Jackson forward," Yarber says.

For more information about the Alignment process and how to get involved, please log onto or call Anthony Johnson, Interim Executive Director at (601) 948-4725.


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