School Board discusses transparency, postponed school start day, bus routes, new grant and more

A representative with OpenGov spoke to the School Board at its Aug. 8 meeting. No action was taken on the matter, but the School Board is looking at the feasibility of using OpenGov to improve its transparency. It would be an annual subscription fee, based off price and budget tiers by size of the entity.

OpenGov is the only integrated budgeting, performance, communications, and reporting solution for the public sector. Its cloud based software allows entities to improve performance outcomes and budgeting efficiencies while enhancing internal and external collaboration and communications. It streamlines and unifies the end-to-end budgeting process, seamlessly ties budget dollars to key organizational initiatives, and draws actionable insights that maximize performance outcomes. It also allows organizations like school boards to connect with the community on the topics that matter. They’re able to tell their story with context while staying relevant to their constituents. Then, build trust by hosting discussions through Open Town Hall, receiving direct feedback, and communicating directly with the community.

Superintendent Dale Skinner addressed the fact that the school start date was postponed from Aug. 8 until Aug. 12. East Natchitoches, Weaver and LP Vaughn needed software updates on the chillers in their AC units. The School Board is also working with Ecco Ride to look at the feasibility of changing some bus routes to gets students home earlier.

“It’s a shame that a kid that lives 2-3 miles from school may not get home until 4:15-4:30,” said Skinner. “This is a major thing we have to deal with.” He said that on the first day of school principals will categorize students who ride the bus into lists based off what areas of the city/parish they live in. Skinner even shared an idea that he could try letting busses go before releasing kids to the car line so the busses can get a jump start on the school time traffic. He said they hope to have a better idea within a few weeks on how they can make things run more efficiently.

In an effort to make the bus rides run smoothly, Transportation Director Jason Edwards said the Ecco Rode Bus Company purchased durable luggage tags that will replace the paper tags teachers normally safety pin to students’ backpacks. Around 1,000 were ordered to pass out to the schools for students in grades PreK-3.

The Board also approved a Louisiana Workforce Commission Social Services Contract. The School District will pay $31,151 in matching funds to the $110,694 grant for total funds of $141,853. Through Louisiana Rehab Services, the school district will work with students with disabilities to help them find jobs. This transition program, which started Aug. 1 will hire two transition coordinators to work with the school district’s transition coordinators to find businesses to work with the students on job sampling and job coaching.

Another agenda item was carried over to the September meeting. The board will review addendums to the 2019-2020 Pupil Progression Plan and vote next month. Another item required no action. The board discussed committee assignments to determine 1. Job description and salary 2. General contract with benefits and 3. Performance objectives and evaluations. This all has to do with if/when the school board decides to search for a new superintendent.

“We need to have our ideas in place,” said Board Chair Rhonda Guidroz. “These forms haven’t been updated in a very long time.”

5 thoughts on “School Board discusses transparency, postponed school start day, bus routes, new grant and more

  1. I believe the 2nd paragraph is straight from the back of the OpenGov brochure. Why are they considering buying this new system when the State of Louisiana probably has something the parish can use? I know there’s a system for state employees called LEO.

  2. Skeptical about the OpenGov presentation. A lot of double speak there. Anyone who strings together so many cliches and generalities will not likely “streamline” anything.

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