Final public input heard for school bond project

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 13, 2008


News Editor

RESERVE—About 30 people on Thursday night attended the last of the community meetings spearheaded by CSRS inc., the consulting firm hired by the St. John School Board to help create a master plan for the parish’s public schools.

The attendees of the meeting, which was held in the library of East St. John High School, ranged from school system employees to teachers to principals to concerned parents.

St. John Superintendent Courtney Millet began the meeting with a presentation concerning the aim of the creation of a master plan.

According to Millet, there are three specific goals in attaining the school system’s mission of higher academic achievement.

The first of these goals is to improve academic achievement in a timely yet sustainable manner. A realistic goal, she said, is to improve performance by 2 to 3 percent each year.

The second goal is to improve organizational effectiveness, and the last is to design a system of community input and support within the school district.

These goals mirror the approach the school system has taken in trying to create the master plan.

She also noted that these goals would be achieved by focusing on a number of different areas including technology, curriculum and facilities.

Those in attendance were broken into groups and then given the opportunity to review and assess four different options for spending the revenue from the proposed bonds that will be on the ballot on Nov. 4. That revenue totals $46 million.

Each option contained upgrades to technology and the stadiums at both East and West St. John High Schools as well as security upgrades, improved signage and playground improvements at elementary schools.

Option A allotted the most money—$29 million—for general maintenance upgrades at all St. John Parish public schools.

The other options contained more site-specific renovations but reduced the amount for general maintenance. In the other options the amount for general maintenance ranged from $23 million to $11.7 million.

Sue Robertson, educational facility planner, stressed, though, that these options are not written in stone and may be altered based on comments submitted by the community.

 CSRS is expected to release its final report on October 16.