MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA  70760

 

SPECIAL SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

Thursday, October 2, 2014

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a special session on Thursday, October 2, 2014, at 337 Napoleon Street, in New Roads, Louisiana 70760.  Mr. Frank Aguillard, Jr., President, called the meeting to order at 5:35 p.m.

 

Board members present when the roll was called were: Chad Aguillard, Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Leslie Ann Grezaffi, Kevin Hotard, and Thomas Nelson.

 

Mrs. Anita LeJeune arrived at 6:13 p.m.

 

Mr. Roosevelt Gremillion led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

 

Mr. Robert Hammonds was requested to offer the invocation.

 

Strategy Session Concerning Pending Litigation.*   The agenda noted there may be an executive session to discuss this litigation, which is entitled, “Boyd and United States v. Pointe Coupee Parish School Board,” Civil Action No. 65-3164-A on the docket of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. 

 

President Frank Aguillard announced Superintendent D’Amico prepared a binder consisting of six (6) proposed plans for the use of Pointe Coupee Central High School, with the goal of developing and approving a plan that will attract a diversified student population. These plans were generated from the general public, a School Board member, and the Superintendent.  Mr. Aguillard yielded to Supt. D’Amico and she read the following letter:

 

Dear Members of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board:

 

Per your request, I have been working to develop plans for Pointe Coupee Central High School, a school that was closed by Judge Brady for school year 2014-2015.

 

Several education models have been presented to the School Board for consideration of adoption.  Program feasibility, sustainability, and integrity must be of utmost consideration to achieve success.  Plans are included in this binder for your review.

 

I appreciate the discussions we have had and look forward to working with everyone to meet the challenge of bridging the diversity gap that will provide a better quality of life for all citizens in Pointe Coupee.

 

Educationally,

Linda D’Amico, Superintendent

 

Superintendent D’Amico announced six years ago, the state took over Pointe Coupee Central.

 

Superintendent D’Amico reviewed a chart she created summarizing the following six plans: ABC Plan, prepared by James M. Cline on September 25, 2014; Pointe Coupee Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (S.T.E.A.M) Academy, previously presented in 2012-2013 by Superintendent D’Amico; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy of Pointe Coupee, with a Project Lead The Way Curriculm, presented by Superintendent D’Amico on September 25, 2014; Early College/Career Academy of Pointe Coupee, presented by Superintendent D’Amico on September 22, 2014; Thematic Learning Academy of Pointe Coupee, presented by Joetta Hunter-Joseph,  spokesperson for the Concerned Citizens of Pointe Coupee on September 25, 2014; and Reverend Larry Oliver’s School Within A School Plan, presented by Mr. Oliver on April 24, 2014.

 

A correction was noted regarding the plan offered by Board Member Cline; the ABC plan is for a Type I Charter School, not a Type II, and it would be governed by our local Pointe Coupee Parish School Board. The ABC plan embraces two high schools (Livonia High and PCCH) with co-curricular and extra- curricular activities at both schools.

 

Mrs. D’Amico mentioned during the 2012-2013 school year, she presented the S.T.E.A.M Academy Plan, patterned after the Iberville Parish School Board’s Program; however, it could not be implemented, because the School Board did not have the physical plant back at that time. 

 

Board Member Brandon Bergeron announced he would like a STEM Academy.

 

Superintendent D’Amico recommended the School Board consider a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy of Pointe Coupee for the school year 2015-2016, housed at the former Pointe Coupee Central High School campus.  The program will have a focus on college/career readiness.  Pathways that may be offered are: Biomedical Science, Environmental Science, Engineering, General Technology and Dietetics. The STEM Academy of Pointe Coupee will follow the curriculum mandated by the State of Louisiana; however, students will also take STEM elective courses.  This program will be modeled after a successful school in Lafayette, LA, the David Thibodeaux STEM Magnet Academy, where the Project Lead the Way Curriculum is utilized.  This school has been one of the top 400 schools in the nation for the last four years. This program will provide students an opportunity to excel and still have an opportunity to earn college hours; courses and pathways will be available in STEM fields and occupation preparation for post-secondary education and employment.  She mentioned sports will be offered, with the exception of football, due to the cost of the program.

 

Board Member Chad Aguillard questioned why can’t we (School Board) blend and add sports?

 

Board Member Kevin Hotard announced he prefers the academy over the school.

 

Recess.  Board member James Cline requested a recess at 6:35 p.m.; President Frank Aguillard honored the request.

 

Open Session.  The Board returned to open session at 7:10 p.m.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron made a motion to approve Superintendent D’Amico’s recommendation to establish the STEM Academy of Pointe Coupee, housed on the former campus of Pointe Coupee Central High School,  to be modeled after David Thibodaux’s STEM Magnet Academy where the Project Lead the Way Curriculum Model is utilized.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard.

 

Mr. James Cline stated he would like to make a substitute motion to approve the ABC Plan (Type I Charter) having two high schools (Livonia High and PCCH) with special programming at Pointe Coupee Central High School. Mr. Chad Aguillard seconded the substitute motion. 

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard recognized the following audience members that wanted to make a public comment: 

 

Ms. Geraldine Simmons-Cage stated she is disappointed in the School Board Members’ behavior.  Nobody has to go anywhere, and mentioned that she thought she was back in the 60’s while sitting in the meeting.  Mrs. Cage alluded to how important football is at a school and stated it is time to be fair, time we are honest.

 

Ms. Joetta Hunter-Joseph expressed her concern about funding for STEM.  She mentioned they are forgetting about the children; stero-typing students by requiring a grade point average.

 

Reverend Carl Terrance questioned the number of students; Pointe Coupee Central High School would be used to take pressure off of Livonia.  He mentioned it is not a plan if you don’t know exactly how many students will attend STEM.

 

Mr. Myron Porche mentioned the following: Would you take your kid out of surrounding parish schools? He would like one high school or give them the best school facility in the parish (Pointe Coupee Central High School).

 

Dr. Monica Fabre stated she is here as a parent; she moved her child to Zachary to expose her to a great education.  She mentioned the plan has to be about the children and she is not here to support any plan. Dr. Fabre expressed her concerns regarding implementation, data, number of students with 3.0 GPA, the number of students willing to leave LHS, national rigors, etc.  She mentioned Pointe Coupee needs one middle school, she was not here to fight the consent decree, and attacking LHS is not the best way to go.  Dr. Fabre stated everyone must learn how to work together; the School Board’s plan is not better than the Community’s Plan and emphasized academic research is what is required.

 

Mr. Gus Dukes stated he would like Pointe Coupee Central High School to be the high school and make Livonia High School the middle school.  He mentioned PCCHS was academically sound before the School Board took the best teachers away.

 

Mr. Russell Young stated the parish needs one public high school; take a little more time and find a way to work together to operate one high school beginning 2015-2016.

 

A roll call vote on the substitute motion resulted in the following action:

 

YEAS:              Chad Aguillard, James Cline, and Thomas Nelson

NAYS:              Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, Leslie Grezaffi, Kevin Hotard, and

            Anita LeJeune

Abstentions:       None

Absent:             None

 

By a vote of 3-5, the substitute motion failed.

 

A roll call vote on the main motion, offered by Mr. Brandon Bergeron and seconded by Mr. Kevin Hotard, resulted in the following action:

 

NAYS:              Chad Aguillard and Thomas Nelson

YEAS:              Frank Aguillard, Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Leslie Grezaffi,

                        Kevin Hotard and Anita LeJeune

Abstentions:      None

Absent:             None

 

By a vote of 6-2, the motion passed.

 

Adjournment. Mr. Kevin Hotard made a motion to adjourn.  Mr. Brandon Bergeron seconded the motion and the meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

 

 

____________________________                          

Frank R. Aguillard, Jr.

President

 

_____________________________

Linda D. D’Amico

Superintendent