Missed school days will be made up in 2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 29, 2002


LULING – Missed school days because of Tropical Storm Isidore and Hurricane Lili will be made up in early 2003, the St. Charles Parish School Board decided at this week’s meeting.

Students missed five days of school because of the back-to-back storms. While some work could be made up, the state requires a minimum number of student instruction days.

At the same time, school superintendents in affected school districts have asked the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to waive that requirement in this case. However, BESE has not responded. Therefore, the school board approved Jan. 22, March 5 and April 21 as instructional days. Prior to this action, Jan. 22 was a professional workshop day, March 5 was part of the Mardi Gras holiday and April 21 was part of the Easter holiday.

In other activities, the board approved:

• Approved buying four new special education buses and five regular school buses from Wayne Mitchell Bus Sales for $497,799, the lower of two bids;

• Approved the development agreement with the developers of Ashton Plantation near Luling, where the board will accept donation of 10 acres for an elementary school site, with an option to buy 10 more acres for $653,000, that price good for the nine years following the actual start of development;

• Approved going out for bids on replacement air conditioners at Destrehan High School, replacing units in place for 27 years;

• Approved a change order at the new Distribution Center of an increase of $18,086 to the original project cost of $418,900, to reinforce the cold-storage area;

• Approved a change order at the new St. Rose Elementary School project, totaling $19,902, adding sewer lines; and another change order of $2,414, adding lower vision panels to all doors and deleting unnecessary pilings for the switchgear foundation.

During Supt. Rodney Lafon’s report, a presentation was given by Harry Hurst Middle School seventh-grade science teacher Barry Guillot on the work of the LaBranche Wetland Watchers. Guillot formed the group three and a half years ago, in which students provided public service while meeting academic requirements. During this time, more than 22,000 service hours by 2,700 students in grades five-eight have collected more than 600 bags of trash, learned about water quality, soil quality, animal habitats and erosion.

Area university professors have contributed their own knowledge, joined by the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, Audubon Zoo, and professionals from Dow, Motiva and Shell. In recognition of the students’ work, the school was honored as Louisiana’s first Presidential National Service-Learning Leader School.

Lafon asked for more volunteers in the Help One Student to Succeed program, especially in mathematics, but also in language arts. Interested persons should contact Regina McMillan at 785-7227.

Finally, it was noted that Annette Gray of Luling, a bus driver for A.A. Songy Kindergarten, resigned. Gray had been one of the two drivers who, on Oct. 1, accidently left a student on board at the end of her morning run, and parked the bus, leaving the child to exit the bus on his own and wander into traffic in Boutte.

The child was safely recovered, but Gray was charged by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office with misdemeanor child desertion.