St. John schools dead zone again

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 20, 2008


Staff Reporter

RESERVE – Cell phones will again be banned in St. John high schools beginning next school year.

The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board at its meeting Thursday approved a new student code of conduct and discipline handbook that forbids even the possession of mobile phones on campus.

As part of a pilot program last year, high school students were allowed to bring cell phones to school but could not use them. Board member Matthew Ory said after the meeting that too many students had used their phones at school.

“It just got to be too much of a headache to all the principals,” he said. “So we took their recommendation.”

The new handbook, which at 25 pages has been condensed to half of its previous size, also calls for a stricter adherence to the uniform code, especially “wearing pants properly,” said departing Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance Robert Schaff.

Board members made little progress Thursday in drafting a contingency plan for the fall opening of Emily C. Watkins Elementary School.

Officials have said an Aug. 7 opening is unlikely, as the school’s construction has been plagued with delays. The school is still without full power and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not allow Entergy to install power poles along the levee until the high water in the Mississippi River goes down.

The board agreed to table discussions about the school and called for another special meeting July 1.

The board also approved the following principals for the 2008-2009 school year:

LaPlace Elementary – Alison Cupit; Fifth Ward Elementary – Kendria Spears; East St. John Elementary – Jerry Galloway; East St. John High – Patricia Triche; John L. Ory Magnet – Teri Noel; Lake Pontchartrain Elementary – Margaret Hastings; Garyville/Mt. Airy Magnet School – Kelli Joseph; West St. John Elementary – Gail Creecy; West St. John High – Erica Griffin; Leon Godchaux Accelerated Program/Pre-GED Skills Option Program – Phyllis Clark; Redirection Center – Shelton Smith; St. John Child Development Center – Jacqueline Forest.