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JCPS annual 'Showcase of Schools' returns

Students in the 'choice zone', will have the opportunity, for the first time, to choose if they want to go to school close to home or go to school farther away.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — If you're looking to enroll your student in a JCPS school next year, you won't want to miss the annual Showcase of Schools.

The showcase will take place on Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center. 

This is the first showcase since JCPS created the new student assignment plan, rolled out in phases beginning with incoming kindergarteners, 6th graders and freshman next year. It's the district's first major overhaul in about 40 years. 

This is the only event where all 150 JCPS schools will be together under one roof.

Parents can expect changes to feeder patterns, school boundaries and the creation of a "Choice Zone," allowing students in west Louisville to choose to attend school in their neighborhood.

“The hope is that more students have that opportunity to stay closer to home,” Carolyn Callahan, JCPS communications chief , said. 

Callahan said JCPS is setting up the showcase differently this year, aligning schools based on where students will attend next. 

“Everything is set up to make it as easy as possible for folks to say 'ok these are my schools, or I’m in the Ballard cluster I can just walk through this line,'” she said. 

JCPS recommends parents prepare by familiarizing themselves with their home schools and any magnets they may want to apply to. Callahan also said families should visit every school they plan to attend in their JCPS career. 

Western Middle School for the Arts parent Erin Jewell said her 8th grade son is getting ready for performing arts applications. 

“I’m from a little town in southeastern Kentucky where you go to one school, so it’s been a learning experience to me trying to figure out the different types of schools and learning programs and magnet options," Jewell said. 

Western principal Hollie Smith said the magnet performing arts school will be looking to attract applicants from all over the district. She's encouraged by the new school choice plan, saying it will give students more buy in with their chosen school. 

“When we talk about student sense of belonging and building programs, we want students that choose to be there just because that’ll make the programs flourish," Smith said.

JCPS also recommends checking out their School Finder ahead of time, so you know what your school choice are. 

Magnet applications up on Nov. 1 and stay open until Dec. 16 for the 2023 and 2024 school year.

During the event, select schools will offer transportation. No tickets or sign ups are necessary.

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