The Natchitoches Parish School Board met Thursday, November 3rd, at the school district headquarters. Present at the meeting were members Garner, Harris, Wilson, Wilson, Melder, Daniels, Danzy, Hilton & Guidroz. School Board members Graham and Metoyer were absent.
The evening’s surprise happened at the beginning of the meeting at the Finance, Facilities, Services & Insurance Report. A motion to accept the bid of J&J Electric to build a canopy over the pickup and drop off areas at Marthaville as well as replace the lighting with LED lights and install new HVAC controls was rejected by a unanimous vote. The winning bid was $550,000.00 while the expected cost was $440,000.00. Of the three firms that expressed an interest, only one actually made a bid. The board will revisit the situation and look into splitting the project up and adding roof work at the next meeting.
The board unanimously accepted the other items with little discussion.
Earnestine Winslow, 6th grade teacher at Fairview Alpha and President of the Natchitoches Chapter of the Louisiana Educators Association, invited the board and general public to a presentation Thursday, November 10th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the FRJ Junior High on the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESA) which will replace the No Child Left Being Act this upcoming school year.
Danny Von Kanel updated the board on the L. P. Vaughn School of Fine Arts and invited them to its upcoming 5k run and fundraiser and Fine Arts Fair Luncheon.
Mrs. Bennette, acting Special Education Director, gave a presentation on progress in improving services to the children receiving services as well as reading programs such as “My Reading Coach” and the Sonday System. She and the board also discussed counseling and discipline.
Anita Dubois, Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance, and Vanessa Stanfield of the Natchitoches Sheriff’s Office gave an update on truancy in the parish schools. Ms. Stanfield detailed the process by which children and their parents come to her purview. For the period of August, 2016 to now, there have been 226 referrals leading to the arrest of 2 parents on 1 charge of Improper Supervision. This offense carries a penalty ranging from a $250.00 fine to 30 days in jail with community service.
Two of the items, grants from the Rapides Foundation for “Girls on the Run” and “ Math Assessment Strategic Solutions” were discussed previously at the Tuesday agenda meeting.
The young men of Boy Scout Troop 60, sponsored by FUMC Natchitoches, attended the meeting as part of earning the Communications Merit Badge.