St. John smoking ban is approved

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 11, 2006


Staff Reporter

EDGARD — The St, John the Baptist Parish School Board has approved the new smoking ban scheduled to go into effect statewide in January.

The current policy on smoking in schools states that staff be allowed to smoke in designated outside areas. The policy that will be put into place on January 1 states that no smoking, smoking devices, pipes, lighters or other lighted and combustible plant material be allowed anywhere in the school building, or school grounds at any time.

The plan was adopted after several weeks of review to change wording in efforts to comply with a state ban on cigarettes in schools and public places signed into state law earlier this year. The changes were approved by the board 10-0 with board member Russ Wise absent.

In the superintendent’s report, Superintendent Michaedl Coburn presented the LaPlace Elementary Bell Choir to the board for a short performance and Christmas Card Contest winners were announced and students were presented with plaques for their winning designs.

The St. John Parish School Board named winners of the parish-wide Christmas Card Contest, chosen from 66 entries from six different schools. Winners were:

Third place, Larry Williams, a 12th grade student at East St. John High; Terius Taranto, first grade student at East St. John Elementary, second place; and James Monestere, 12th grade student at East St. John High School.

These students will have their designs printed on St. John Parish Christmas cards to be sent out by school board members during the holiday season.

The River Parishes Tourist Commission also held its own card contest. Winning designs will be used on over 500 Christmas cards worldwide at vistiors’ bureaus, on tourists’ Christmas cards, travel agents and tour operators. The designs had to depict lifestyles and tourist related attractions of the River Parishes to help promote local tourism. Submissions were received from throughout the St. James, St.John and St. Charles parishes.

Winners were, in first place, Jacobi Wilson; second place, Jonathon Martin; and third place, Terri Scott. Jessie Lambert and Brigitte Leblance were on hand to accept awards for Jacobi Wilson, who has moved and Jonathon Martin who was not present at the presentation. Terri Scott did accept her award. All winners were from East St. John High School.

In keeping with award themes, Bruce Rhodea of Marathon, donated a $15,000 check to Jerry Galloway, principal of East St. John Elementary as part of the &#8220Partners in Education Plan.” Marathon representatives recently visited East St. John Elementary to work with students on a science experiment about chemicals that are acids or bases. The check was awarded to the school as part of a yearly partnership between th school and the company to promote science education.

Also, St. John the Baptist Parish schools has been selected as a Renaissance Learning Lighthouse School District. The Renaissance Lighthouse status has been awarded to only five school districts nationwide. Its purpose is to showcase the exemplary use of Renaissance Learning products in a district. By being named a lighthouse district, schools nationwide can access St. John Parish records on how the school system has implemented Renaissance programs into their classes and be an example to follow for all schools.

In other business, a lunch program quarterly report found that better lunch manager training is needed in the district and an independent consultant found that the cafeteria computer hardware and software needed updating, along with recommendations that some large equipment be replaced. School lunches charged by students was also excessively high.

However, they were commended for having ample food supply, community involvement and excellent storage capacity.

Correction: It was reported in error by L’Observateur in a recent story that Board Member Dowie Gendron abstained from a vote on land grants at last meeting. He voted in favor of the motion.