BREAUX BRIDGE – School board members last week approved a plan to reconfigure grade levels at Cecilia area schools, but the change is not expected to be put into effect until the 2010-11 session.
After a motion to table the matter failed on a 5-5 vote, the board voted 8-2 to give Superintendent Richard Lavergne the authority to institute the change at his discretion. Lavergne said he and his staff could not accomplish the reconfiguration in time for the 2009-10 session but would begin planning in January 2010 to implement the changeover with the start of the 2010-11 session.
Lavergne said he and his staff are busy with the reconfiguration of schools in St. Martinville – which was approved earlier this year.
“I feel it is too late for 2009-10,” he said. “Reconfiguring St. Martinville has been very tedious, and to do this correctly, I need the time to do it right.”
In pushing for the change, District 9 board member Floyd Knott said he had talked with all Cecilia principals and most of the teachers “and there is no opposition.”
“Cecilia Primary currently has 930 students,” he added. “The cafeteria and library are too small. Traffic is very bad before and after school and we are expecting to see continued growth in the area.”
But District 6 representative Rodney Ledoux refuted Knott’s contention of widespread support and offered a motion to table the matter. The board split on the motion to table, with Jimmy Blanchard, Barbara Latiolais, Mark Hebert and Frederick Stelly supporting the delay while Knott, Steve Fuselier, Aaron Flegeance, Wanda Babin and Richard Potier opposed.
The motion to authorize the reconfiguration was approved by an 8-2 margin, with only Ledoux and Stelly opposed.
The current reconfiguration plan calls for Cecilia Primary (pre-kindergarten to grade 3) to give up the third grade to Teche Elementary. Teche (currently grades 4-6) will give up its sixth grade to Cecilia Jr. High which currently houses only grades 7 and 8.
Knott feels that the reconfiguration “is just a temporary fix. We’ll need a new school eventually.”