St. John School Board retreat starts today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board will hold its semi-annual retreat on March 12 and 13 at the Hilton Inn in Lafayette.

“Retreats are considered a ‘best practice’ among school boards because they allow more depth of conversations regarding the educational issues in our school system,” said St. John Parish Superintendent Kevin George. “By devoting this time to continuous school improvement, we are working to better our system.”

Topics to be discussed at the retreat include the redistricting process, academic strategy, LHSAA changes, a superintendent evaluation tool, preliminary budget and a disaster recovery update.

The School Board voted on Jan. 30 to hire South Central Planning and Development Commission, based in Houma, to create a new redistricting plan. The vote followed a culmination of months of heated debates about whether a new firm should be hired to take over the plans. Some members were staunch in opposition to hiring a new firm, arguing that no more money should be spent on a plan.

A previously submitted plan by Data Center LLC was rejected by the state because of an issue with split districts. Cedric Floyd of Data Center LLC told the Board in early January he would fix the issue and resubmit the plan for free, but several board members were not satisfied with that proposal.

Additionally, representatives from All South Engineering will be on hand at the retreat to give a disaster recovery update to School Board members on the status of Lake Pontchartrain Elementary and East St. John High School. The two schools were flooded during Hurricane Isaac, and reconstruction efforts have yet to begin on either school.

As of press time, all School Board members had indicated they would be in attendance at the retreat.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for March 20 at Godchaux Grammar Cafeteria, 1600 Louisiana Highway 44 in Reserve.