BREAUX BRIDGE – School board members won’t be hearing appeals by students seeking to attend a school outside their normal attendance zone.
The final word on such requests will again rest with a special committee of professionals appointed to review the requests.
The board unanimously approved the change after huddling in executive (secret) session with legal adviser Jack Burson for almost an hour during their Sept. 2 monthly board meeting.
In August the board, by a 6-3 vote, had decided to reverse a policy adopted a year ago which left the final decision on appeals with the committee and allow the board to hear appeals that were denied by the committee. A year ago Burson had recommended that the board remove itself from the appeal process.
The review committee consists of four members of the central staff and four school principals, with four whites and four black serving.
Mozella Gonsoulin, director of child welfare and attendance, said that some 249 requests had been reviewed for zoning exceptions for the 2009-10 session and that 181 had been approved.
At the September meeting board president Mark Hebert asked Supt. Richard Lavergne to have his staff prepare a report on the overall cost of reconfiguring St. Martinville schools over the past several years.
“It was supposed to save us money,” he said. “But I’d like to know exactly how much was spent on both reconfigurations, not just the most recent one.”
He also raised the issue of school staffing levels, suggesting that the board needed to review that issue, implying that there might be a large variation in staffing that is unrelated to the number of students at a school.
Hebert admitted that part of the reason for his request on reconfiguration costs had to do with the eventual need to reconfigure schools in his Cecilia district. “I want to make sure we get the same amount of money as St. Martinville did,” he said.
In other business during tje Sept. 2 meeting, the board:
•Awarded a bid for the reroofing of the health services building at Breaux Bridge Jr. High to Southern Roofing & Vinyl Siding in the amount of $142,840. The project will be funded with money derived from the recently approved bond issue.
•Approved the implementation of the “Student Success Habits” program at BBJH. The $5,000 cost is covered by a state grant and will involve 20 students and their parents who will receive training in developing good habits and responsibilities.
•Honored the 2009-10 parish support personnel of the year recipients who were Barbara Neveu, a pre-K aide at Parks Primary; Jackie Taylor, a food services technician at Cecilia Jr. High; and Bessie Lanclos, a custodian at Cecilia High.