The superintendent’s powers and responsibilities were changed via several other changes including the authority of employment and the reduction of personnel as well as the moving of disclosure information and criminal history information to the GBC-Professional Staff Recruitment policy.
Due to the changes, the CBB-Superintendent Powers and Responsibilities policy was deleted as it is now covered in the GBC-Professional Staff Recruitment, GBD-Employment of Personnel and GBNA-Reduction in Staff Personnel policies.
The board also learned that its policy of filling bus route vacancies based on seniority has not changed due to legislation.
These changes will add responsibilities to the superintendent and consequently will take many from the board.
Last month the board and Superintendent John Bourque voiced their displeasure marking how well their checks and balances system had worked for many years in the parish.
The changes drew symbolic “nays” but the parish passed the laws formally.
Another change later voted on was the new evaluation system being officially adopted by the board via state law changes.
Every employee will now be evaluated each year. Furthermore, the new system sees employees like teachers being evaluated by principals and, if certified and if the principal so chooses, formally each year. Groups that are not being evaluated under the new formal system will be evaluated annually by the old system. It is expected that after the other employees that do not deal directly with curriculum, like disciplinarians and instructional assistants, will be subject to the new system will at some point by state law.
Board members pointed out how larger schools in the state will face great strain, particularly at the end of the year with the new law. Despite obvious displeasure with the changes, the board accepted them as well.
In what became part of an accidental superintendent-centric meeting, the board once again approved the renewal for four years of Bourque’s contract. By state law, the Acadia Parish School Board was required to let Bourque know what the status of his contract was moving forward at its August meeting.
Over the next few months the contract will see some verbiage changes due to other state laws, but, through a roll call vote to show solidarity, the board unanimously voted to give Bourque four more years.
In his remarks to close the meeting, he thanked the board for their vote of confidence.
“It’s such a pleasure working in Acadia Parish,” he said. “A lot of school districts talk about it, but here I think it’s true, we care about our kids. We put the kids first here.”
Bourque also talked about the anxiousness over the start of a new year under all these new changes, but stressed to them the need to make sure children don’t fall behind in the first month.