Lake Pontchartrain Elementary opening new preschool

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Lake Pontchartrain Elementary will be opening its doors for preschoolers this fall in an effort to reduce the extended time children are traveling on the bus, St. John the Baptist School board officials announced last week.

The subject was brought up at last Thursday’s School Board meeting in Edgard. Superintendent Michael Coburn noted that federal regulators reviewed the parish’s Head Start Program earlier this year and concluded that some children are spending as much as hour and a half traveling back and forth to school, which can be an especially long journey for preschoolers, Coburn said.

The St. John Child Development Center in Garyville was housing all preschool classes but will now share duties with Lake Ponchartarin Elementary, which has already enrolled 122 students as of July 19.

Lake Pontchartrain will hold seven classes with 20 students each from LaPlace The CDC will continue to operate with only five classes, serving students from Reserve, Garyville and Mt. Airy.

Louisiana uses three different programs to help low-income families send their children to preschool, including the federally funded Head Start, and the state funded Model Early Childhood and LA4.

St. John Director of Early Childhood Programs, Josie Clement, said the addition of a new school to the Head Start program is an intervention to keep the kids off the bus for such extended periods, time that could be better used learning.

&#8220We’re trying to put the kids closer to home,” Clement said.

Applications for students can be obtained at the School Board office at 118 West 10th St., Reserve.

For more information about the school, call the St. John Parish School board at (985) 536-1106.