United Way speaks at APSB meeting

By: Jeannine LeJeune
CROWLEY – Updates to the Acadia Parish School Board’s Pupil Progression Plan and a visit from Kaysha Allemand of United Way of Acadiana headlined a short board meeting Monday evening.

The meeting started with Allemand addressing the board and all in attendance. She stated that one of United Way’s biggest focuses is education.

“We decided to focus our dollars and energy toward issues instead of agencies,” said Allemand.

One of the three issues United Way regularly addresses is education. Within that focus, early grade literacy has become a targeted goal.

“I commend you for the work your teachers are doing in this area,” she said.

Many programs both in the school systems and through United Way help promote this ideal, including Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which was created by the Dolly Parton Foundation.

Allemand explained that the program helps put age appropriate books in the hands of children throughout the country, through United Way. The program is for children ages zero to four and allows enrolled children to receive one book per month up until their fifth birthday.

“That means that if a child is enrolled as a newborn, they can receive up to 60 books,” she said.

With the program being open to all children zero to four through United Way, Acadia Parish children are eligible through United Way of Acadiana, more information can be found on the organization’s website. Go to www.unitedwayofacadiana.org and click on “When We Succeed” for a link to more information as well as for forms to enroll.

The board then moved to its routine items where it unanimously approved adopted updates to the Pupil Progression Plan for 2011-12.

The first update came from a state mandate involving grade scales throughout the state. Grades that use grading scales will face less open scales for each grade this year. For example, an “A” is no longer a 90-100 percent and an “F” is no longer a 59 percent or lower. Under the new, state mandated scale for public school districts, an “A” is 93-100 percent, “B” 85-92, “C” 75-84, “D” 67-74 and “F” 66 or lower.

The second update was a recommendation to keeping the board’s traditional “quality points earned” language and for end-of-course classes (English II, English III, Algebra I, Geometry, Biology and American History), a qualifier was added stating “If a student successfully completes and End-of-Course BESE exam with a ‘C’ or better, the superintendent may review, assess and render a decision about the student’s final grade for the course.

The board does the same things for grades fourth and eighth regarding classes versus the LEAP test.

In the correspondence portion of the meeting Rayne High’s entrance into School Improvement Level 1 was addressed. According to the school board, Rayne High will need to revise its School Improvement Plan to indicate what it will do to ensure that all subgroups meet the state standard. A DAT team comprised of Dr. Chance, Linda Stemplewski, Margaret Leger and Carol Tall has been assigned to assist the school. Since RHS is not a Title I school, it does not have to offer Supplemental Services or School Choice.

The school board will meet next on Sept. 12, a week later than normal due to Labor Day.

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