Education

Jefferson County Public Schools has narrowed the search for the district’s next superintendent down to two candidates, and parents have some thoughts on what that next leader should do.

Ramona Petto wants the new superintendent to change the curriculum. Petto said there should be more focus on creative opportunities like arts and music should be kept, and less on testing.

“JCPS focuses a lot on tests and scores, and in order to improve those scores they take away playtime and creativity in order to get the kids to study more,” Petto said. “I just think that that’s counterproductive.”

Stephen Franklin, whose son attends a JCPS school, said the district should focus more on healthier foods and less on strict schedules.

“It’s very regimented, which I do understand since there’s a large amount of students … but at the same time, children have to learn how to be kids – interact socially with their peers,” Franklin said. “That one on one interaction and learning interpersonal skills is important, and I think schools should be an environment that facilitates that.”

There are two finalists in the search so far: JCPS acting superintendent Marty Pollio and JCPS chief operations officer Mike Raisor. Pollio has served as interim superintendent since May 2017.

JCPS will hold a series of public meetings beginning this week to allow parents to meet the finalists and ask questions. The district also released a survey seeking online input. That survey has more than 2,000 responses so far, and will close on Feb. 2 – a month before the new superintendent is named.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.