School board recognizes achievement

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Monday night was a chance for the Acadia Parish School Board to begin recognizing the achievements of the parish’s schools.

The 2012-13 teachers of the year, chosen by their schools, were recognized as were the schools’ performance scores.

The parish, which increased its letter grade to B, had three A schools and two more that were within three points of earning the letter A as well.

“As you can see we have excellent results, thanks the hard work of our teachers, our students and the support of the board, our superintendent and the community,” said Margaret Jones, Acadia Parish School Board executive director of curriculum.

“It’s a great effort by our teachers, our students,” said Board President Doug LaCombe. “We continue to improve and it’s because of us all working together.”

“Every time there’s change, Acadia Parish teachers answer the call,” said board member Milton Simar, District 8.

The parish’s three A schools were Egan, Mermentau and Richard elementary schools. Mermentau Elementary earned a 104.3 SPS (school performance score), Egan Elementary earned a 105.3 and Richard Elementary earned a 110.

The two schools earning a grade of B, but falling within three points of an A were Mire Elementary, with a 99.3 SPS, and Morse Elementary, with a 97.3.

Acadia Parish earned a district performance score (DPS) of 87.3, earning it a B, which was the case with five other school districts in the area. Evangeline Parish earned a 76.6 C and St. Landry Parish earned a 69 D.

The parish also had only four schools receive a D and zero were given an F.

In the opening item prior, the parish Teachers of the Year for the 2012-2013 school year were honored. The teachers were not only chosen by each school’s administration, but by his or her peers, as Acadia Parish School Board’s executive director of personnel/operations, Ellan Kay Baggett, pointed out.

“It is an honor to be chosen by your immediate supervisors … as an effective, outstanding teacher, it’s even more of an honor to be chosen by your peers,” she said.

Several teachers that were selected were on hand to be recognized at Monday’s meeting. They were reminded that the banquet to honor the teachers of the year will be held Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Chef Roy’s in Rayne.

Also during Monday night’s meeting, the board began discussing changes to its Agriculture Lease documents as well as Policy DFJ: Lease of School Lands moving forward. It was reported that current farmers leasing with the school board would be brought in to discuss the item further. A more in depth report would likely be made at the committee meetings.

The Personnel, Insurance, & Curriculum and Budget & Finance committee meetings for the Acadia Parish School Board will be held Wednesday, Nov. 20. A decision will be made at the committee meetings of when the board will meet for its December meeting.


Facility naming measure tabled due to absences

Board approves other changes, committee recommendations

With two Acadia Parish School Board members absent due to illness, the board decided to table discussion and action on a revision to the parish's Policy FDC: Naming of Facilities until further notice.

Members Lynn Shamsie and Gene Daigle were forced to miss Monday's meeting and the change, sure to inspire some discussion, will be acted upon in the future.

The six members in attendance did act upon another policy change, however, Policy ICH: Class Rankings. As explained, the policy will be changed so that grade point averages to be based around total quality points for students in grades ninth through 12th.

Moving onto routine items, the board also voted unanimously as follows:

  • Approved Church Point High School's request to permit agriculture teacher Lyle Guidry to attend the annual National Association of Agricultural Educators Conference between Dec. 3 and Dec. 7 in Las Vegas.
  • Approved Lafayette Restaurant Equipment's bid of $29,770 for a walk-in cooler at Crowley High School. The bid, as it was below $30,000, could be chosen despite being the second lowest bid. The lowest bid came from a company that the board has had bad experience with in the past.

The recommendation of the Personnel, Insurance, & Curriculum Committee regarding the request from Rayne High school to permit a set of students enrolled in physics class to attend the 2014 Rube Goldberg competition at Saint Agnes Academy in Houston, set for Friday, Feb. 28. The group will travel the evening of Thursday, Feb. 27 and return the evening of Friday, Feb. 28. The committee recommended allowing the trip.

The following recommendations of the Budget & Finance Committee were approved unanimously by the board:

  • The committee's recommendation to approve telephones for the central office location.
  • The committee's recommendation that the board refer to its attorney regarding a request from Bluegrass Pipeline to conduct a survey for a pipeline on Section 16, Township 7 South, Range 2 West.
  • The committee's recommendation that the board refer to its attorney regarding a request of the nomination of 7 acres at the South Rayne Elementary School site by Traver Oil Exploration, Inc., of Lafayette for oil and gas exploration with a proposal for $350 per acre and one-quarter royalty inculding a provision of non-access to the property without written consent from the school board.
  • The committee's recommendation to permit the transfer of 21.22 acres in Section 16, Township 11 South, Range 1 East, Lyons Point, from the Simon Farm lease to the Guillot Farm Lease wherein both parties are in agreement.
  • The committee recommended regarding the allocation of funds and school financial statements.

The board also received information from its attorney concerning a request form Walter Oil and Gas Corporation, which has been submitted to Louisiana's Commission of Conservation for the termination of the units established as School Board “B” South Bosco Field, Acadia and Lafayette parishes, noted as Office of Conservation Order No.403-A, March 1, 1958. The board requested that those involved on the Acadia Parish School Board side, make a follow-up visit to make sure the property is clear after the termination.