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Webster Parish School Board hears campus worries

by Minden Press-Herald

At the last meeting of the year, the Webster Parish School Board adopted a resolution accepting the results of the Nov. 21 election to extend a bond resolution to provide better facilities for students at J.E. Harper Elementary.

Following a roll call vote, the board voted unanimously, with board members Linda Kinsey and Jeri “JJ” O’Neal absent. However, Kinsey, buildings and maintenance committee chair, brought some concerns to the board via member John Madden. He says she received these concerns from her constituents:

  • Not enough classrooms at the new wing to be built at Webster Junior High School,
  • Too many children per classrooms
  • Too much money for what the school system is getting,
  • The possibility of utilizing Leon Hays Road, on the north side of Webster Junior High School in case of a traffic issue,
  • The naming of the new campus,
  • The proposal of seating in the cafeteria isn’t enough,
  • Nine classrooms would accommodate the core classes, but would not be enough for arts or class expansion.
  • The board will not discuss these concerns until at least January as Kinsey was absent due to a death in her family.
  • Charles Strong will preside over meetings as president for another year, with Johnnye Kennon remaining vice president. Frankie Mitchell nominated Kennon for president and she received votes in favor from board members Madden, Malachi Ridgel and Mitchell. She cast her vote in her favor. Ronnie Rhymes nominated Strong for president with Brandon Edens,
  • Jerry Lott, Penny Long, Ronnie Broughton and Rhymes voting in his favor. Strong cast his vote in his favor.
  • In other business, the board approved:
  • Moro Electric, LLC to connect electricity to two portable buildings at Central School for $1,545, using the District 3 Lease Fund.
  • John Gibbs Roof Systems Inc., to work on the roof at the special needs building at Central Office for $11,489 using the parish-wide maintenance tax.
  • Southern Hardwood Floors to sand and finish the gym floor and repaint game lines and art at North Webster Junior High School for $11,780, using the Sarepta School building fund, and
  • the personnel report.

In the superintendent’s report, Dr. Dan Rawls says he is still receiving test scores from spring testing. Although he says he has not seen all of them, the results so far seem to be promising.

Test scores are running nine to 10 months behind, he says, adding the tests and the rubric being used is delaying the release of those scores.

“They gave us raw scores, but you can’t do much with raw scores unless you know the scoring rubric,” he said. “You don’t know what you have, and right now they are in the process of scoring raw scores. We have the majority of them, but we still don’t have them all. I’m hearing it may be after the holidays before we get them all.”

He explained the state had to contract with a company to grade the tests, and the contract did not go through until the summer, hence the reason it took so long to get the raw scores. The data is more than 1,000 pages of information, and Rawls expects to bring it to the February meeting so board members can see how much goes into it.

“You’re not going to believe it when you see it,” he told the board. “When you see the number of tests that we give and the hours of the days we test kids, you’re not going to believe it. It’s very, very difficult for our teachers. The spend so much of their time prepping for tests, studying for tests and testing and not teaching the curriculum.”

The board will meet for its first meeting of the year at 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.

WPSB December 2015 Personnel Report

  • Dimettera Frazier, a paraprofessional, will replace Mitzie Wison who transferred to Webster Junior High School, effective Nov. 16.
  • Donna Parkerson, a bus driver, is retiring from North Webster Junior High School, effective Nov. 21.
  • Pamela McLendon, a paraprofessional, will replace Cleodis Bell who resigned from Webster Junior High School, effective Nov. 30.
  • Deborah Stevens, a speech therapist, is resigning from the Webster Parish School Board, effective Dec. 15.
  • Barbara Slack, a paraprofessional from Browning Elementary is retiring, effective Jan. 23, 2016.

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