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JCPS ready to open new schools in August as they say goodbye to students for the summer

JCPS officials will be opening up two new buildings for the 2023-24 school year as part of the master plan for the district.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Plenty of new policies and procedures will go into action over the summer months, and Jefferson County Public Schools will need to make sure everything is in place for students to return to class in August.

In West Louisville, that means preparing two new school buildings to see students for the first time.

Students and staff at Wheatley Elementary School are going to be moving to Perry Elementary School next year.

Perry Elementary is one of the two new buildings that JCPS will be opening for the upcoming school year.

The second building that will be welcoming students in August is Echo Trail Middle School in east Louisville.

District officials say this upcoming year will be a transition year. Echo Trail will only have 6th graders in the building, a total of about 200 students.

The old Wheatley Elementary building is going to be repurposed as a swing space for the students at Hudson Elementary during the 2023-24 school year.

JCPS Chief of Communications Carolyn Callahan says this is all part of the larger master plan for the Jefferson County school district.

"We have a plan to build more than 20 new schools in the next ten years and on top of that we will also be doing renovation work at several other schools so we really know that the learning environment is so important and plays such an important role not only for our students but for our staff members,” Callahan said.

According to Callahan, while the district is preparing for this upcoming year they will continue to offer learning materials and resources for students over the summer.

JCPS officials say they will be continuing programs like their backpack league and their partnership with the YMCA to keep students engaged and learning throughout the summer.

Callahan says the school district's partnership with online tutoring companies will stay in place throughout the summer.

Setting aside time to learn each day also helps keep them on a kind of "mental schedule", which can help ease them back into school come August.

"We don't want students to lose that educational value during the summer, and to get out of that routine, right? You're so used to going to school so it you take that break sometimes, it's a little more difficult in August to get back into the swing of things, so we have a lot of opportunities for kids to continue to learn throughout the summer months," Callahan said.

JCPS will also be providing meal services during the summer for students age 18 and under.

The district will provide breakfast and lunch at certain locations throughout the city.

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