The Natchitoches Parish School Board approved moving the Natchitoches Parish Technical and Career Center where it needs to be, which is right next to CLTCC. It just so happens that Natchitoches Central is building a building that has six classrooms, an office, and bathrooms for everyone and a tornado shelter and that building is right next to CLTCC so students would be able to do their first two years (freshman and sophomore year) on the campus and then they’d be able to do their junior and senior year at CLTCC in a dual enrollment setting.
Natchitoches Parish School Superintendent Dr. Grant Eloi said they would move the campus in January 2022 assuming that’s when they’re finished. Eloi added that he thinks they’re on schedule except for the winter storm.
This is something that only a few other districts in the state have access to. Eloi said he thinks this is something where there are resources at CLTCC that the district will never have. NPSB is already utilizing them for welding and instruction like that so this is building that relationship and making it more robust in letting students get an experience of post-secondary.
“I mean let’s be honest,” said Eloi. “A lot of times we throw a lot of money at our kids who are the gifted and gonna get tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships. This is one of the few times where we can really invest in our kids that are good kids with a bright future but they’re not interested in college and I think that’s very important because oftentimes we pay lip service that career and college are equal but when we look at our budget they’re not really equal because we’re paying a whole lot more for the college bound kids and I think it’s just time that we kind of realign those because if Covid has shown us anything it’s blue-collar workers are more essential than us guys with “doctor” in front of our name so that’s what this effort is about.”
In relation to the campus move, Eloi also mentioned that the district is planning to create a stand alone virtual program that will continue in perpetuity past the Covid pandemic that will take homebound students/expelled students and bring them into the virtual setting. This would also be for students who want to accelerate and for students who need to make things up. A bigger update is forthcoming as plans progress.
While NPTCC is still seen as an “alternative” school, it’s really a technical school. Taking struggling students out of the equation will help give all students more robust opportunities. This will also make NPTCC a true technical school. It also makes more sense to have these students on the campus near Natchitoches Central and CLTCC instead of where they’re currently located on the same campus at the Natchitoches Magnet School.
“We just feel like this is a win win for everyone involved,” said Eloi.