Education

The Kentucky Department of Education has determined two more Jefferson County Public School principals do not have the capacity to lead their schools. This brings the total of JCPS principals deemed unfit by the state this year to four.

According to press releases from JCPS, the principal of Olmsted Academy South and the interim principal of Valley High School were determined unfit by diagnostic reviews the Department of Education completes annually of low-performing schools.

Earlier this month, KDE made the same determination for the principals of Shelby Traditional Academy and Johnsontown Road Elementary School.

KDE designates schools that are among the 5 percent lowest-performing in the state as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) schools, and requires those schools to receive annual diagnostic reviews to help school officials develop improvement plans. CSI schools can also receive additional support from state education officials. KDE developed this accountability system to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

JCPS has now received the results of diagnostic reviews for all 21 of its CSI schools, and 17 of those schools’ principals were deemed fit to lead.

The diagnostic reviews are conducted by the AdvancEd nonprofit accreditation organization. A copy of the diagnostic review for Johnsontown Road Elementary obtained by WFPL describes the review as “a rigorous process that includes the in-depth examination of evidence and relevant performance data,” as well as interviews with school staff and parents. Principals also give a presentation to reviewers.

In a press release, JCPS communications officials said the district is “reviewing these recommendations and will make a determination at a later time.” JCPS spokeswoman Renee Murphy said that of the principals deemed unfit in the past, “many have become assistant principals at other schools.”

Liz Schlemmer is WFPL's Education and Learning Reporter.