Dr. Hensley has made many contributions to the field of School Social Work. As an school administrator, he exemplifies many of the core School Social Work values through his interactions with students, staff and parents, his commitment to diversity, his high level of expectations for all students and his dedication to looking at the whole child and encircling the student with all necessary services to help him/her be successful. . While Dr. Hensley served as Principal at JB Atkinson Elementary (JCPS), he was extremely supportive of the School Social Workers and Family Resource Coordinator. Under Dr. Hensley's leadership, the following are just a few of the innovative programs that were initiated:
Community Morning Meeting: where students' work and contributions to the school-community are highlighted; students are reminded what year they are graduating high school, and they affirm the Atkinson pledge. This is a place where hard work, resiliency and teamwork are the ingredients for success and readiness for college.
Significant Jobs: students who are in jeopardy of becoming disengaged either though attendance, mild behavior and academics are given the opportunity to "apply and interview" for "jobs" in the school. Once assigned a job they become a part of an elite group who receive "professional development", which are social skills groups. Statistics have shown students in this program have an increased attachment to the school, attendance and positive behavior.
Eagle Buddy: matches students with an adult in the building who contacts the student on a regular basis. This contact could be to give a high five and say good morning or to have lunch with the student. They also make inquiries if the student is absent either by phone calls or checking in with the student when he/she returns, the student knows this is their special person to whom they can turn.
Dr. Hensley left Atkinson in 2010 for a position as an Associate Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education's Office of District 180. In 2012, Dr. Hensley returned to JCPS in the District Superintendent's cabinet as Chief Academic Officer. Dr. Hensley now oversees a large portion of Jefferson County Public Schools. Directly under Dr. Hensley is the Assistant Superintendent for Academic Support Programs which includes Exceptional Child Education, Family Resource/Youth Service Center Coordinators, Counselors, Health Promotions, Pupil Personnel, School Social Workers, Assessment Center, Positive Outreach Program, Safe and Drug Free Schools and much more.
As you can see Dr. Hargens, JCPS District Superintendent, could not have chosen a better candidate for this position than Dr. Dewey Hensley. As he turned around J.B. Atkinson, Impacted low-achieving schools statewide, he will now influence the direction and path that the Jefferson County Public Schools takes as it pursues its' vision, that all JCPS students graduate prepared to reach their full potential and contribute to our society throughout life. JCPS students and parents are fortunate to have Dr. Dewey Hensley helping to navigate the course.