School district receives grant

By Shantelle Breaux


CROWLEY – At Monday evening’s meeting of the Acadia Parish School Board, the board was informed that a $100,000 grant was awarded to the parish school district.

The Enhancing Education through Technology Grant will be used to fund the M.a.T.H. program, or Math and Technology Heroes. The purpose of the program, which North Crowley Elementary (18 teachers), Armstrong Middle ( three teachers), and St. Francis Elementary (seven teachers) will be participating in, is to use technology to increase student achievement in math, according to Dana Leger, Acadia Parish technology instructional assistant.

Only 14 districts were awarded this grant, although 38 districts applied.

Teachers participating in the program will be receiving, or have already received, a ceiling mounted projector, a 78” Promethean Board, which is an Interactive White Board, a laptop which will connect to the projector, and if money allows, a document camera. They will also be undergoing professional development training.

Leger recognized some of the participating teachers at the meeting, saying “They’re working really hard.”

Students participating are in grade levels pre-k through eighth.

The board also passed a resolution giving parents in the parish an option to allow their children to participate in KID ID, an identification program which uses electronic fingerprinting and other means to locate missing children.

According to Gerald Hardy, Acadia Parish Middle School Education supervisor, the program was developed by Dr. Robert Chastant, and has been used in Vermilion, Iberia and St. Mary Parishes on over 17,000 children.

The program, which will cost the parish nothing, is completely optional for parents, and will gather and provide them not only with their child’s electronic fingerprint, but also documentation including the child’s photograph and a DNA sample.

Hardy called the program “a very effective program” and a “fast way to get information out,” in case of an emergency.

Local law enforcement agencies will also be given this information, with the permission of the parents, by the KID ID company.

The program is federally funded, with grades pre-k through sixth eligible to participate.

The board was ready to consider a resolution authorizing, under the Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) Program, the sale of $3 million in revenue bonds to the Bank of Commerce.

However, according to Acadia Parish Executive Director of Finance Mike Leonards, representatives of the Bank called before the meeting to object to a certain part of the sale agreement, necessitating the postponement of the passage of the resolution.

The next meeting of the Acadia Parish School Board will take place on October 5.

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