Dear Cavalier families,
I am happy to welcome back our students to what will hopefully be the first normal school year in quite some time! It’s a great time to be a Cavalier! We have a lot of exciting changes happening at Jenkins that guarantee to make this school year a great one.
We are in the process of some amazing facility upgrades. At Jenkins Middle High School, we are in the final stages of installing a much-needed HVAC system in our gymnasium. We also have a new poured epoxy floor in our newly remodeled cafeteria and kitchen. We have other big plans for the future! At Burdine Elementary, we are making great strides in our efforts to recover from last year’s flood. All classrooms have been painted and new epoxy flooring has been installed. Every classroom at Burdine Elementary now has brand new flexible furniture from Lakeshore! In addition, we are working on three big projects that should be completed this fall. We are totally remodeling our library, enclosing it to make it its own space and bringing it up-to-date. Preschool classroom construction is continuing, with all underground work completed and walls going up at this time. Lastly, we are rebuilding our playground, installing new equipment, and increasing the size of our preschool playground. We are also continually working to improve our athletic facilities. New fencing and painting are taking place at the football field/track. Our baseball field house has been remodeled, we are extending our home dugout, and landscaping has occurred to give us a grass infield. At the softball field, we are installing a new scoreboard and sound system. We are committed to giving our students facilities they can be proud of.
I am proud to say that our enrollment continues to grow, up over 20% during my tenure as superintendent. Our increased enrollment allows us to provide improved opportunities for our students. We have added a new language arts teacher at the intermediate (3-5th grade), middle, and high school levels. This will allow us to focus on reading and writing skills to help our students be academically successful. We have also created a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) position, which touches students at all grade levels. This will grow into a four-year engineering pathway that will help prepare our students for career opportunities in high-paying jobs.
Our district has been able to develop partnerships that, along with strong fiscal management, have provided opportunities that we’ve not seen in decades. Through Gear-Up, Full Service Community Schools, and Letcher Promise Neighborhood, we have been able to purchase high quality instructional resources, including textbooks, in Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science for all grade levels. These partnerships, along with Save the Children, also provide us with educational staff to target student needs at the individual level. Our staff is focused on improving instructionally and are working diligently on implementing a guaranteed and viable curriculum in all subjects at all grade levels.
Our technology implementation is unparalleled. Not only do we have a Chromebook for every student to use at school, but we send one home for them as well! This makes us one of the few schools in Kentucky with a greater than 2:1 device to student ratio. This year, we have installed a second interactive display in every classroom, which are shown to increase student interest and boost engagement.
With these great changes, along with our dual credit and vocational pathways, there are greater opportunities for our students to succeed than ever before! To take advantage of this, it’s of the upmost importance that you send your children to school as much as possible. We understand that sickness occurs, and students need to stay home when sick to prevent the spread of illness. However, it’s imperative that they are in attendance when well. I ask for your support in creating an atmosphere where education is valued.
As always, thank you for choosing us and for trusting us with your children.
Damian Johnson, Superintendent
August 28th, 2023