The announcement was made Thursday morning at Forest Hill High School.
Incoming Freshmen at all Jackson schools will no longer be in a sea of a thousand students. They will be in smaller, critical thinking groups of 150, called academies.
"These learning communities give the opportunity for teachers to have more meaningful times with students, give students the opportunity to do more talking out loud," says Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber. Forest Hill High School is Yarber's alma mater.
"We ask for patience while we do this," says JPS Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray. "As the 9th graders become 10th, 11th, 12th seniors, this is going to be a successful process for all."
Dr. Gray says the JPS academy design will model what's been successful in Nashville. The goal is to raise the graduation rate from 65 percent to 80 percent by 2024. 10th, 11th, and 12th grades will be added to the academies over the next three years, so this year's Freshmen will have a completely different outlook on the future by high school graduation time.
"At that point, that young person will be able to give a testament to how effective this program actually is," Dr. Gray tells us.
Thea Faulkner's daughter is an incoming Forest Hill Freshman this year.
"I think that rigor relationship and relevance is a major component in success for children, so I really like the idea," she says.
In addition, incoming Freshmen at each JPS high school will receive a Mac Book Air. They should be available in September or October.