CROWLEY - The Acadia Parish School board members held their monthly meeting Monday evening at the school board office.
Board members reviewed recommendation regarding changes to the Pupil Progression Plan. Dr. Doug Chance, Liaison to the Pupil Progression Committee, recommended that the parish include a fourth grade transition program with a sixth grade option. This provision was previously approved by the Louisiana State Department of Education and State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
One requirement that students would have to meet in order to progress is scoring a minimum composite score of 1200 as a sum of all four components of the fourth grade LEAP. State Department research shows success rates, by noting that students who obtain the 1200 composite score are equally successful in future classes as students who meet the initial grade level criteria.
The board also considered recommendation of the Personnel, Insurance and Curriculum committee regarding policy changes as the result of new legislation. These new mandated laws were set by legislative changes enacted in this year’s session.
Those changes include legislation regarding electronic communication between employees and students. This states that electronic communication by an employee to a student pertaining to education services be done through methods made available by the School Board. Any communication through any other method must be directly related to educational services and is sent to and received by more than one student and MUST be reported. Employees must report any student initiated communication that may be constructed as inappropriate.
State legislation also deemed that applicants must disclose all actual cases of sexual misconduct with a minor or student by the applicant and report all investigations that occurred within 36 months of leaving the former employment. If the allegation was determined to be inconclusive, unjustified, or otherwise without cause for further formal pursuit, the applicant is not required to disclose. Further more employees are prohibited from participating in sexual conduct with students who ages 17-21 where this is an age difference greater than 4 years.
State legislation now states that parents/guardians are responsible for student attendance and solely responsible for absence or tardiness of a student.
In areas of discipline, legislators documented reasons for which students may be removed from a classroom. In the event of a student being removed he shall be assigned school work missed and if the work is completed satisfactorily and timely as determined by the principal upon the recommendation of the teacher. If this occurs, parent notification must be provided. A student who is suspended for more than 10 days and receives educational services from an alternative school site shall receive credit as determined by the certified teacher.
Finally legislators reviewed the administration of medication on a public school campus. This provides regulations for self-administration of medication by a student with asthma or the use of auto-injectable Epinephrine. Permission is only granted for each subsequent year provided all of the requirements are met, including written authorization, certification from a medical physician or other authorized prescriber and written treatment plan must be provided yearly.
A hot topic in recent media is the case of a Lafayette Parish bus driver arrested for alleged DWI. Acadia Parish has set that in the event of one of its own bus drivers being arrested on such charges the driver will be suspended with pay until he is either convicted in court or deemed innocent. If the driver is proven guilty in a court of law he will be terminated by the Acadia Parish School Board. In the event of a guilty charge in a DWI case, the court revokes the prosecuted person’s CDL thus making the driver unqualified for his duties as a bus driver. In addition, upon arrest the driver has 24 hours to report the charges to the school board.
The meeting also included discussion of the replacement of a malfunctioning chiller at Crowley High School. The prosed modifications would cost some where near $250,000 to complete. Board members agreed to seek out a mechanical engineer to provide further information on this proposal.
The board also discussed Rayne High School Emergency Medical Technician, First Responder, and Biology II students attending the Bodies exhibit in Dallas for a one day field trip. The board deemed this as an excellent and appropriate educational experience and approved the trip.
To close the meeting Superintendent John Bourque commented on the successes of the board throughout the year. The meeting was adjouned until next month’s gathering set for January 11, 2010.