School Board meets student art winner, learns about importance of upcoming census

Toni Bennett, Director of Exceptional Student Services for the Natchitoches Parish School Board introduced Natchitoches Central student Abigail Woodard to the Board members at their meeting on March 5. Abigail won a student artwork competition for the Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children’s annual conference. Her artwork was featured on the cover of the conference agenda. She’s been in the Talent Program for Visual Arts for the last 2 years under Teacher Sandra Berry at Natchitoches Central.

The Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children works to improve policy affecting children and youth with disabilities and gifts and talents, their parents and the professionals who work with them, at all levels of government.

In other business, a Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau spoke to the Board. The U.S. Census, conducted every 10 years, is coming up on April 1. It’s important to share with everyone how important the Cenus is. It counts everyone on US Soil and impacts how much money from the federal government is distributed to the local and state level. Last year there were 5 million children between the ages 0-5 that weren’t counted nationwide. This affects funding going to Head Starts, the free and reduced lunch program, WIC, the Title 1 Program and much more. She asked the School Board to approve a resolution for a partnership between the School District and the Census Bureau to get information on the census into the hands of students so hopefully they’ll bring it home to their parents. For the last Census survey 49 out of 64 parishes in Louisiana scored below the national response rate, which is 74%. Natchitoches was one of those parishes.

They’re still looking for 200 applicants in Natchitoches Parish paying $17 per hour. These jobs would get paid weekly and be reimbursed 58 cents per mile for travel. Anyone 18 and up can apply online at

Other agenda items included:

Resolution from the NPSB to the State requesting funding to repair the roads in Natchitoches Parish

Resolution from NPSB opposing state central sales tax collection

Revise transportation reporting plan

Review facilities and use policy

Regional Construction was the lowest bidder for the new parking lot at Central Warehouse

Establish policy on submission of date, information on Social Media by Natchitoches Parish School Board members

Approve School Board member travel to NSBA Annual Conference and Exposition

Expand dual enrollment opportunities for NPSB students

Discuss teacher and staff appreciation

The Natchitoches Parish School Board will hold a Special Called Meeting on Tuesday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 11 at the NPSB Office on Royal Street. The School Board will go into Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. each day. They will then hold a Meet and Greet for the public to meet superintendent applicants at the Title 1 Media Center at 5:30 p.m. each day. The second round of Superintendent interviews will begin at 6:15 p.m. each day wtih three applicant interviews on Tuesday and two applicant interviews on Wednesday.