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School Board: New curricula, teacher of the month, and new school programs were the topics of discussion

File Photo | Webster Parish School Board Office

This month’s School Board meeting began with a presentation of new curricula by Brown Elementary, Brown Upper Elementary, Central Elementary, and Richardson Elementary. In their presentations, they described how their using their data about students’ performance and behavior in order to develop new curricula that will prioritize the big picture needs of the students and create lesson plans that will be geared more towards teaching critical thinking skills, increasing attendance through a reward system, curbing disruptive behavior, and improving social skills. 

“I’m proud to say that from last year to this year we have reduced our referrals from 54 to 29, that’s a 54 percent reduction. That’s a success for us. That has been through the building of the PBIS activities, building positive teacher-student relationships, and as of recently, there has been a push for restorative practices, which simply means moving away from the fussing, punitive measures we have done in the past and looking for positive ways to interact with the children and teach them replacement skills,” said Jenny Sims, Principal at Central Elementary.

In addition to the new approach towards students, there are several other developments being made with the curriculum, such as the implementation of more online learning programs being more common, meaning the students will now have more transparency with their progress and grades. 

The Employee of the Month for Feb. was awarded to Mrs. Debra Corke of Doyline High. She is the only bookkeeper at a Pre K-12 school in Webster Parish. “She is the only bookkeeper who still serves a Pre-K through 12-Grade school in Webster Parish. Her dedication to the school, staff, and students is unsurpassed. She not only does her duties, but also organizes almost every event at the school. She never asks or takes credit for anything she does, she says everything is for the kids,” said Rodney Taylor who presented the award. 

A new program for Junior High and High School students is in the works for Webster Parish. Don Westmorland, Vice President of the North Louisiana High School Fishing League, came to the meeting to discuss bringing the club to Webster Parish students. 

“Not every kid is going to be a star athlete, but when you do high school fishing, it doesn’t matter if you’re big, small, we’re all on an even playing field. So it gives kids who don’t have the opportunity to play these sports and be recognized, they can be recognized through us. Give them something to latch onto and to be a part of,” said Westmorland.

He also went on to say how the program will have other potential benefits such as providing scholarship opportunities to students.

The monthly Webster Parish School Board meeting takes place on the first Monday of every month starting at 6 p.m at the School Board Office located in Minden.