School buses to hit the roads Thursday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 4, 2009

By David Vitrano

RESERVE— Thursday, morning commuters will once again have to shift gears in anticipation of yellow school buses making pick-ups and young scholars crossing streets on their way to school.

Today teachers across St. John are making the final preparations for their students’ arrival on Thursday. Although mandatory teacher days began Tuesday, educators in the parish have been readying for this day almost since school let out in May.

At the school board’s central office in Reserve, Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor Perry DiCarlo has had his hands full keeping up with new registrations and transfers, although traffic to the office has steadily decreased in the past couple of days. Last week, DiCarlo said they were seeing about 40 people a day.

“School starts Thursday, so we’re hoping it starts slowing down,” said DiCarlo.

The office can take registrations every day of the year, but the weeks before the start of the school year are typically the busiest time.

So far this year, the district has registered 6,196 students. According to DiCarlo, the numbers are pretty close to last year; however, some schools have seen a decrease from last year. This is because of the opening of the new Emily C. Watkins Elementary School, which has altered the attendance zones at Lake Pontchartrain, LaPlace, East St. John and Fifth Ward elementary schools.

DiCarlo said projections done for the new school year seem to be on target.

Elsewhere at the central office, teachers have been learning new educational strategies at workshops.

In a continuation of a program started last year, teachers on all grade levels have received instruction in “Differentiated Instruction” and “Process Writing” from the experts at Scott Foresman, an educational resource organization that first published the “Dick and Jane” series.

Other workshops on classroom management and proper use of smart boards were also conducted last week.

Finally, teachers new to the district underwent a five-day induction from July 27 through 31.