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Louisville Kentucky Community Information

Louisville Schools: Public vs. Private

In planning the education of your children from pre-K through college, you have choices in Jefferson County. The Greater Louisville Area includes award-winning schools, including public, religious, private, and private institutions with plenty of opportunities for parents to play active roles in their children’s education. Beyond high school, the Greater Louisville area offers community colleges, technical schools, and universities with award-winning programs and excellent sports teams. 

Most elementary and secondary schools operate from August through May or early June. You can select the best fit for your children, based on their talents, interests, transportation needs, and schedule. 

For information on specific public schools in the district, click on the list of public school information for Jefferson County, where you will find, school descriptions, maps, and driving directions. 

If you are interested in private school education in Jefferson County, you have many choices as well. Just click on the list of private school alternatives for Jefferson County for a full list with ratings, mission statements, and class size. 

Choosing a Jefferson County Public School

The Jefferson County Public School System is versatile as it strives to meet the diverse needs of Louisville area children. 

  • If you live in Jefferson County, you have choices as to which school your children attend. JCPS elementary, middle, and high school students may apply to any of the following: 
  • The school that serves their home address
  • A magnet school
  • A magnet program
  •  An optional program
  • Any other school in their elementary cluster or their high school network

Which School Serves Your Address?

If you want a school near home,there are two ways to find out which school serves your child’s home address: 

  •  Use the online School Finder @ www.jefferson.k12.ky.us
  • Call the JCPS Demographics Office at (502) 485-3050.

Magnet Schools and Programs

Does your child have a special talent or show an interest in a particular career? JCPS magnet schools and magnet programs focus on a specific subject (such as environmental studies), offer training for a specific career (such as engineering), or provide a specialized learning environment (such as a Montessori school setting). 

Students who are accepted into a magnet program become full--time students of the school that offers it, and they go to the school for all of their classes-not just the magnet program classes. Some magnet schools and programs accept students only from specific areas of the district. Other magnets accept students from any home address. JCPS provides bus transportation for most district students accepted into a magnet school or program regardless of where the students live. 

The district offers many different types of magnet schools and programs including: 

  •  A traditional school is a type of magnet school that focuses on teaching and learning at grade level in a traditionally structured classroom environment. Traditional schools require uniforms, daily homework, and parent involvement. A traditional program operates in the same way as a traditional school, but it’s a program within a school.
  • A magnet career academy (MCA) is a type of high school that lets students focus on training for a specific career-in addition to providing the basic courses that all students are required to complete.
  •  A Montessori school uses the Montessori approach to learning, which encourages critical thinking, exploration, and self-directed education. 

Optional Programs

An optional program is a small, specialized program within a school. Students who are accepted into an optional program become students of the school offering the program. They attend the school for all of their classes, not just the optional program classes, but JCPS does not provide transportation for students in an optional program unless they live in the school’s attendance area. 

Elementary School Clusters

Students who aren’t interested in magnet or optional programs may still apply to any other school in their cluster. JCPS provides transportation for students who are accepted. Most of the district’s elementary schools are part of one of six clusters. Each includes 12 to 15 schools. 

Middle School Choices

Most JCPS middle school students always have the option of attending the school that serves their home address. Students may apply to attend a magnet middle school. They may apply to other schools through their magnet or optional programs. 

High School Networks

As of the 2010-11 school year, JCPS high schools were divided into three networks. High school students may apply to any school in their network and to district-wide magnet schools and programs. 

A Few of Our Standout Jefferson County Public Schools

Kennedy Montessori Elementary: Rated a 3.8 on a 4.0 scale for overall parent satisfaction; 95% of Kennedy

students entering the second grade read and write at or above grade level; Offers STLP, band, violin, fencing, track, basketball, cheerleading, Dance Team, Chess Club, Garden Club, and Academic Team. (St Matthews Area) 

Bloom Elementary: Provides Chinese language instruction at all grade levels; Hosts an artist-in-residence program; Tae kwon do, Chess Club, basketball, dance team, cheerleading, Newspaper Club, Media Club, Garden Club, and more. (Highlands) 

Lowe Elementary: Awarded National Parent Involvement School of Excellence Certification; Offers an Integrated Arts and Humanities Program; Recognized as an HPSE; Offers many student activities, including orchestra, band, basketball, cheerleading, mascot team, chess, science club, STLP, and the Young Rembrandts Art Club (Hurstbourne) 

Kammerer Middle: Provides more than 20 co-curricular student activities; Allows qualified students to take high school classes for credit at neighboring Ballard High; Employs nationally recognized teachers; Offers award-winning band, choir, and orchestra programs. (Brownsboro)

Brown School: Serves as a district-wide Self-Directed Learning Magnet School, Serves about  650 elementary, middle, and high school students in the same building; Provides a pre-Advanced Placement Curriculum using the College Board’s SpringBoard program in math and language arts; Offers a Science Camp for seventh graders and a social studies trip to Washington, D.C. for eighth graders; Offers a monthly field study investigations at the Blackacre State Nature Preserve 

Ballard High: Nationally recognized & includes National Board Certified teachers; The Mathematics and Science Depts prepare students to compete and win in regional, national, and international science fairs and academic competitions; Offers participate in a travel/study program and several world languages; Visual art students recognized annually through scholarship offers, and the program has produced several St. James Court Art Show winners (Brownsboro) 

Dupont Manual: Offers 27 AP courses; consistently has National Merit Semifinalists; an average ACT score of 26; Class of 2010 alone received $40 million in scholarships, and 99% of students are now attending a college, university, or conservatory; College-credit classes are available through partnerships with U of L, Bellarmine University, and JCTC. (Old Louisville) 

Louisville Male: Offers AP courses & honors programs; All of the faculty are certified teachers & 99% hold master’s degrees or higher; Offers a wide range of student clubs, including art, Beta, drama, French, Latin, literary magazine, marine biology, math team, Spanish Honor Society, Speech and Debate, & Student Senate (Audubon)

Youth Performing Arts Schools (YPAS): Offers performing arts majors—including Dance, Theatre, Musical Theatre, Design and Production (Technical Theatre), Vocal Music, Instrumental Music (including Band and Orchestra), and Piano; Has received local, state, national, and international recognition; Serves as a model for other performing arts schools throughout the nation; Annually hosts 65 to 100 college, university, and conservatory representatives who audition seniors for placement in postsecondary performing arts programs (Old Louisville)

The Academy @ Shawnee: Offers the nation's ONLY high school where students in the aviation program can earn their Private Pilot's License under FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations), Part 141, often before they have their driver's license! The program includes all the necessary instruction and flight hours, taught by Certified Flight Instructors (CFI)s. This program is free and is open to any high school student within the JCPS district. Also offers programs in Aerospace Engineering, Aviation Maintenance, Travel and Tourism, NJROTC and more! The Academy @ Shawnee just launched a brand new middle school with an aerospace emphasis in 2013!  

For a full list of Jefferson County Public Schools, see public school information for Jefferson County, or call the JCPS Factline 485-3228


 Picture credits: Taylor School, Youth Performing Arts School


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