Superintendent Dale Skinner announced at a Special Called School Board meeting Tuesday night, March 13, that no additional changes will be made for the reorganization of the schools.
At a regular meeting March 9, Skinner proposed some changes to the original reorganization plan that was introduced in February. However, he decided to go with the original proposal after much consideration to keep the younger grade levels together. The school base health center at LP Vaughn, run by the Outpatient Medical Center, was another factor that led Skinner to keep the original plan.
The reconfiguration will be as follows:
Students in grades Toddler, and PreK-2 will be moved to the LP Vaughn facility Building 1: 417 students
Teacher to student ratio of 1:20/21 in first grade and 1:21/22 in second grade Building 2: 393 students
Teacher to student ratio of 1:19/20 in PreK and 1:20/21 in Kindergarten
Students in grades 3-4 will be moved to the Weaver facility: 371 students
Teacher to student ratio of 1:19/20 in third grade and 1:24/25 in fourth grade
Students in grades 5-6 will be moved to the East Natchitoches facility: 395 students
Teacher to student ratio of 1:25/26 in fifth grade and 1:23/24 in sixth grade
Natchitoches Jr. High will go back to grades 7-8 only
LP Vaughn will be run as two separate schools. The only thing they will share is a cafeteria. Skinner said he feels this reorganization is the most important thing he’s done for the students of Natchitoches Parish since he’s been superintendent. (See Building Plans below)
After the special called meeting, the board went into a budget committee meeting.
The auditor will be at the board’s April meeting to discuss audit findings. The first finding deals with capital assets and how they’re reported in the findings. The best way to remedy this will be to hire someone to appraise all the School Board’s assets. Director of Business Affairs Richard Foshee said this hasn’t hurt them yet. But you never know what the future will bring. This was a finding last year and until it’s moved on, it will continue to reappear year after year.
The second finding deals with inter-fund transfers, which are overall in balance, but details of individual transactions between funds weren’t provided during the auditors procedures. Foshee said this is due to poor journal entries and he wants to work with the CPA and auditors to identify the exact problem and address it.
The third finding dealt with the way Title I funds are budgeted. In the past it’s been managed through an online system provided by the state. The revenue is budgeted on a certain location code, but then expensed on other location codes. This is a timing issue, according to Foshee.
The audit included two suggestions which included:
Consolidated District #8 was running a deficit balance, which has decreased by $41,000 thanks to the millage moving forward. Foshee said they’re doing the right thing, but it still has to be listed on the report.
The audit wasn’t completed at the end of the year. They had 6 months to complete it after the final year starts, but didn’t until February. Fish said he will pursue this more aggressively this year and push them to get it done by December.
A minor issue involves reconciling issues with the union, who says the School District owes them money. Foshee said some records were messed up and Board member Russ Danzy said in his experience with the union, it hasn’t kept real close records. Foshee said he’s put changes in place procedurally so that teachers have to contact the union, who will then send a form to the district before said teacher can join or leave. Before this was done with just a phone call. Foshee said they still have a whole mess to clean up.