By Ricky LaCour
The Natchitoches Parish School Board meeting on Oct. 3 was one of substance. Though the agenda was short, many things was discussed in regards to student health services and the reevaluation of transportation.
Members of the board of Outpatient Medical Center made a presentation during the meeting. They presented the opportunity to delegate funds to provide behavioral health coverage for students and staff at three school locations to start.
“Our goal is to help students to be less stressed and more focused by pinpointing the root causes of some of their issues, address them, and help the student manage them in order to succeed,” stated Doris Kochinsky, Director of Behavior Health Service at Outpatient Medical Center. “We will work with the schools and parents alike to do so.”
It was also mentioned that these services would extend to the teachers as well and any parents seeking help can receive a referral.
Another big topic of discussion at the meeting was about transportation and issues some parents were having with drivers on their children’s bus route. This topic was originally brought up on Oct. 1 at the School Board Committee meeting when parents raised complaints about there not being a driver for their child’s route for at least six days. This issue caused some of the kids to be late for school and even left after school for a significant period of time according to the two parents.
These allegations were met with explanations as to why it happened and a promise to take efficient action to prevent it in the future.
At Thursday’s meeting Ecco Ride presented a new initiative to ensure the constant availability of Ecco drivers and incentives for recruiting and keeping those drivers. They, along with members of the school board, believe this should fix the bulk of the issues in regards to absentee drivers.
Also discussed at the meeting:
The board voted to 7:4 in favor of considering taking action to move forward with OpenGov.
The board voted all in favor of considering including orchestra programs in the group of programs receiving supplemental funding.
The board voted all in favor of considering accepting resignation notice from the Superintendent, with the understanding that an extension will not be granted upon completion of current contract.
The board voted all in favor of considering approving Video Surveillance Procedures.
The board voted to proceed into Executive Session around 7pm to discuss a parent complaint regarding a school personnel incident.