LOUISVILLE, Ky. — School’s out for the summer in Kentucky’s largest school district.
Johnson Traditional Middle School in Louisville celebrated Thursday with ice cream, and teachers got in their last-minute hugs before seeing students to the buses.
“I’m really excited,” said Elder Cabral, a rising eighth grader. “I’m going to miss my friends, but to go out and play, that’s going to be really fun.”
Principal Keith Cathey, a former coach and athletic director, compared the last day of school to a ballgame.
“You got all this adrenaline and you’re going and you’re going,” he said. “The beauty of middle school, especially—we don’t really know who these kids are going to be and a lot of them don’t even really know. So what we’re trying to do with this age is allow them as many opportunities as they can to figure out what are the things that they’re into.”
Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Marty Pollio said big changes are coming to the district when students return, including the first change to start times in 50 years.
“We’ll reduce our bus routes down to about 600, but that’s going to be an enormous change for us,” he said. “We will have to work extremely hard to prepare for that. We know there’s going to be challenges along the way with about 80% of our schools having new start times.”
JCPS is also expected to place weapon detectors in high schools and implement a new K-8 English language curriculum.
“That starts on Monday and then beginning in the coming weeks, we will be training 3,000 teachers on ELA curriculum K-8 and our new reading curriculum, so as you can imagine, the amount of training that will take place is going to be enormous,” said Pollio.
The district is also looking to hire more school safety officers, teachers, staff and bus drivers over the coming months, he said.
Over 6,600 JCPS seniors are expected to graduate this year with about two dozen graduations over the next few days, according to JCPS.