Board members discuss whether year-round schooling would increase scores
"I really didn't give year round school much thought, but if we start to look into it and see that that's something we want to try, I would be for it," said School Board president Ellis Alexander. "But before that I would be more apt to look at Saturday school…especially for the kids who are falling behind, as a way to try to help them stay on level.
"Right now, we have asked the administration to kind of look and see what would work and be best for our school district."
Rochelle Cancienne-Touchard, public information director for the schools, said that the administration will be gathering information in the coming weeks to present to the board to see if year-round school is plausible for the parish.
Melinda Huff Bernard, chairperson of the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee, said that she believes year-round school could be an option, but that more research is definitely needed.
“Is an extended school year an answer? Possibly,” she said. “I absolutely have some research to do on that and I think we also need to look at other options as well.”
One concern she had with year-round school is that it would be costly, having to pay teachers for more time, pay more utilities and for more bus service. But she said the benefit is that there seems to be more focused time on instruction.
“We're not building refrigerators or cars, we are dealing with children who come to us with varying needs and learning rates with emotional and behavioral issues,” Bernard said.
“I understand exactly what Mr. Smith was saying when he said we now have such an enormous amount of assessment information to try to analyze our children’s strengths and weaknesses, but we have to find another way to address them than the way we currently have.
“You have this enormous curriculum that has to be taught and you have individual needs that you're working with…to find the time to individualize becomes a real challenge…we have to start thinking out of the box.”
While board members agreed that year-round was something to look into, some were not optimistic about the effects year-round school could have.
Board member Sonny Savoie said that he has researched year-round school extensively and that it seems to work best as a temporary fix to get schools back on track.
Dennis Naquin, past board president, said that he encourages more research on the subject, but doubts it will be the best option.
“I think it’s an option we have to look at, but is it going to be a popular option? Absolutely not,” Naquin said. “I’m not sure if that's the avenue we need to go.”
Naquin said that year-round school would be a burden to parents and teachers who use summertime for camps and vacations.
“I think teachers will be 100 percent against it. Secondly, you have to convince parents that it will be a good thing…because it will be putting a lot of burden on parents,” he said. He said there would be a lot of obstacles and conflicts to overcome if the district ever decides to implement year-round school.
Naquin said he hopes that the massive burden of paperwork on teachers will be dealt with before more drastic measures are taken.
“Teachers in the classroom are just consumed with so much documentation right now that I feel…it’s affecting the amount of quality time they can dedicate to the education of the students,” he said.
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
The Destrehan Lady Wildcats are on their way to the Class 5A state championship...
A pillar of the St. Charles Parish community was recently inducted into the hall of...
Revelers are preparing once again to line the streets of Luling and Des Allemands...
An auto theft ring operating in St. Charles Parish is targeting Chevrolet trucks...
A Luling college student who is following his dreams to become an animator is...
Kurt Dempster is a Mardi Gras enthusiast with 20 years experience riding in...
Air Conditioning & Heating equipment sales, service and installation. Home standby and commercial generators, sales, service and installation. Indoor air quality products, solar products. Locally owned and operated, since 1985. Call us for a free consult
After recovery from accident, local float builder vies for Grand Champion - 1086 views
Kurt Dempster is a Mardi Gras enthusiast with 20 years experience riding in parades, and after constructing his own float he has been a regular presence along parade routes for the past 16 years.