PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
P.O. Box 7117 | Alexandria, La 71306 | Phone: 318-487-0888 | Fax: 318 449-3167
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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
UPCOMING BOARD MEETING: There are a few important items on the agenda for next week’s board meeting:
1. Mr. Powell would like to reorganize the structure of the Child Welfare and Attendance, Food and Nutrition, and Physical Plant Departments.
a. He is proposing that the Physical Plant be under the supervision of the Finance Department.
b. He is proposing that the Child and Welfare Department add a Truancy Clerk and Coordinator. (additional $93,000.00)
2. Mr. Breazelale is asking Mr. Powell to answer the written questions from the board regarding different aspects of his strategic plan and explain the plan further. (questions and answers are attached to the agenda)
a. The superintendent would like to add the following new positions: Director of Early Childhood ($119,091), Director of Transformation (low performing schools) ($119,091), and Coordinator of Virtual Learning and Interest and Opportunities ($95,597).
b. The superintendent plans to eliminate the following:
i. Elementary Turnaround Coordinator (saves $96,091), 4 Turnaround Specialists (saves $288,222), and Director of Technology (saves $123,041).
3. Mr. Garrett is asking for a new Science curriculum for grades 3-5. ($612,441.51)
4. Mr. Garrett is asking for a new Math curriculum for grades k-8 to replace Eureka. ($355,722.73)
a. This was voted on by principals, teachers and a committee.
5. Ms. Burgess and Mr. McCall are asking that the superintendent present a plan reversing the community zones to its original structure.
a. This was an issue raised during the interview process to all applicants. The plan has failed to raise the effectiveness of the schools in the zone.
6. Ms. Burgess and Mr. McCall are asking that the superintendent be directed to present a plan at address the 12 low performing schools around the district, per school board policy.
PLEASE READ: The superintendent has reported to the School Board that he intends to make ALL schools Title I schools in an effort to extend those funds to every school in the parish, regardless of economic status. Actual Title I schools will receive drastic cuts to their funding while non-Title I schools will receive tens-of-thousands of dollars that they are currently not eligible for. See the chart below that was sent to us from a Central Office employee.
There will be no school for Oak Hill Elementary and High School students today.
Due to damage from today's storm, Mabel Brasher will be closed for all students until further notice.
The calendar options are available online for public voting! There are two options.
The main differences are:
Option 1: School begins on a Friday, there is only one day for Fall break, and Christmas break is one day shorter for students.
Option 2: School begins on a Thursday, there are two days for Fall break, and Christmas break is longer for students.
UPCOMING BOARD ITEMS:
1. Mr. Breazeale is making motions to have the administration provide him with reports on the enrollment numbers, spending, and “overall assessment” of the CTE and Conservatory programs at Bolton and Peabody.
2. Mr. Breazeale would also like reports on the attrition rate over the past five years for all students and employees.
3. Mr. Garett will present the calendar options for next year and explain the process.
UPCOMING BOARD ITEMS:
1. A motion by Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Barrios directing the school board to pay all employees $500.00 on December 15th in the form of a stipend for an in-service that the Superintendent is to designate.
2. Mr. Breazeale is asking for an App to be created for parents and students to pay their school fees.
IMPORTANT ITEMS FOR COMMITTEE MEETING TOMORROW:
1. Motion by Dr. Purdy (Director of Technology) to approve a 3 year renewal of Sophos (antivirus): $49,250
2. Motion by Mr. Rodriguez for Administration to bring back cost to establish a Junior High Assistant Principal at the four combo (K-12) schools.
3. Motion by Mr. Barrios and Mr. Rodriguez to use the surplus for a one-time stipend for ALL EMPLOYEES in the amount of $700 on December 14, 2019. (Basically, a Christmas bonus.) The Superintendent to designate the in-service as a requirement receive the stipend.
Please be reminded that there will be NO SCHOOL for students on October 17-21, 2019 for Fall Break! Enjoy!
If you are an involved parent, student, community member, or employee of RPSB, please take a moment and complete this survey. You have an opportunity to let your voice be heard.
We have had many views but few survey responses, please complete our survey we value your responses.
Survey link - https://tinyurl.com/rpsbsurvey
Over the summer the Rapides Parish School District had a major change when board members hired new superintendent Jeff Powell. With only a few more days left before school kicks off, we sat down with him to discuss what he has planned for the year ahead.
ATTENTION: Open House information has now been uploaded to the school board website.
If you or anyone you know is qualified and interested, please apply!
The Rapides Parish School Board is searching for 14 full-time school bus operators, as a new school year draws near.
Congratulations on a career well served!!!
Congratulations to MGySgt Carlie "Top" Davis on a well deserved retirement! After 27 years at ASH and 53 in service to the Marine Corps... "At ease, sir."
Master Gunnery Sergeant Davis received a letter of appreciation from W.F. Mullen, III of the United States Marine Corps upon his retirement. Excerpts are included below. (It is well worth the read to honor our very own national hero.) #TrojandomiNATION #USMC
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your years of service to the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Junior Reserve Office Training Corps (MCJROTC). Your service to the Marine Corps spans a period of over 53 years. You enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 1966 and served for 26 years on active duty both in the infantry and in the intelligence fields, including two tours of duty in Vietnam...
As an MCJROTC Instructor for the past 27 years, you have impacted the lives of over 3,500 cadets and through your example, leadership, and service influenced 253 to become members of the United States Armed Forces...As a teacher at Alexandria Senior High School, you have been nominated twice for the prestigious "Golden Apple" Teacher of the Year Award...
You have had the rare opportunity to teach and influence multiple generations of families. The fact that students in the early part of your teaching career encouraged their own children to participate in MCJROTC speaks volumes of the role model that you are. Most importantly is the respect you have earned from the administration, teachers, families, and cadets you have impacted over the past 27 years...
Archibald Henderson, known as the "Grand Old Man of the Marine Corps", served 52 years and 7 months. Your combined service to the Marine Corps and Marine Corps JROTC spans a period of 53 years and 3 months. Congratulations Master Gunnery Sergeant Davis.
Congratulations to Mr. Powell on his victory tonight! We hope he brings the change needed for this district!
#BREAKING: After a 6-3 vote, Jeff Powell is the new Rapides Parish Superintendent.
Allison Bazzle 13News Now
FIXING ARTHUR F. SMITH: Dehumidifiers and purifiers are keeping moisture issues at bay inside Arthur F. Smith Middle Magnet School, while Rapides Parish board members and administration continue to search for a permanent solution before summer vacation runs out.
UPCOMING SCHOOL BOARD MEETING ITEMS:
1. The Superintendent has submitted his resignation to the Board. The Board will accept it and begin the process of seeking a new Superintendent.
2. The Sales Tax stipend amount will be announced. The payment will be issued on May 22, 2019.
3. The Superintendent is still asking the Board to hire a Public Information Officer. The last time this was brought, Board members stated that he and the two Asst. Supt.’s were capable of disseminating information to the public. Other Board members stated that the process was not being properly executed. Dr. Chapman asked him to include this in his request for upcoming staffing (which will take place at this meeting).
4. Central Office is asking the Board to add nine new positions: Social Emotional Coaches (7), Behavior Strategist (1), and an Elementary Counselor (1). These positions would total an additional $380,000.00 per year.
5. The Employee Raise for 3% was not added to the agenda. The Superintendent stated that the District could not afford a raise for all employees at this time.
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers
Did you know Education is one of Raising Cane's areas of focus? And, we love celebrating our teachers! On May 7th from 6-9pm, teachers and faculty receive one free Box Combo when you present your current school I.D.
AS REQUESTED: We were asked to provide some insight on the upcoming vote regarding the insurance proposal. The School Board currently provides insurance to its employees through Office of Group Benefits (OGB). The benefit of being a part of this large group is that rates are substantially lower because insurance companies “compete” for the business from the group (which holds millions of members in one group). The downside of this is that members and companies have little-to-no input or control over rates, coverage, and benefit options.
OGB informed its members that there would be an 11% increase in rates soon (5.5% per year for the next two years). This prompted the School Board to hire a consulting firm to research and report the costs and benefits of leaving the group. The consultants (Babcock) informed the Board that there is an option that would provide the same level of coverage for the current rate and, also, provide life insurance to its active employees at no cost. United Healthcare has offered a plan customized for the Rapides Parish School Board that matches the coverage and rates currently provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield. Additionally, if employees vote to change providers, the School Board will be able to provide Life Insurance to all of its active employees at NO COST to them. The amounts of the complimentary coverage is whatever the employee’s current salary is, up to $50,000.00. There are also options for the employees to upgrade their Life Insurance up to $200,000.00 at a much lower rate than currently offered.
Six meetings will be held throughout the district to provide more information and answer questions by all affected. Information on the meetings will be mailed to each participant. The school board must have a majority vote by its employees to leave OGB; thus, the School Board is working diligently to provide information and answer all questions prior to the vote.
This matter is TIME SENTITIVE, so votes must be submitted by May 1, 2019.
If you have questions, please attend one of the following meetings:
April 29- Pineville High School @ 3:30 and 6:30
April 30- Alexandria Senior High @ 3:30 and 6:30
May 1- Tioga High School @ 3:30 and 6:30
Next week Rapides Parish School employees and retirees will have a chance to vote to stay with their current health insurance plan, or switch to a new proposed plan, exclusive to the district.
Decisions by the Board in the April 2, 2019 meeting:
1. The motion to approve the job descriptions for the CFO and two Exec. Asst. Supt’s passed 5-4 (Franklin, McMahon, McCall, and Barrios voted against)
a. Mr. Barrios asked if the work requirements of these positions had increased and Superintendent Authement stated “no.”
b. Mrs. Franklin asked how much the amounts of these raises were for the new job titles and neither the Superintendent nor CFO could recall the amounts. Mrs. Domite (CFO) stated that she did not have that information with her. Mrs. Franklin asked that they administration provide that information and make it available.
c. We searched and the salaries for the Superintendent, Executive Assistant Superintends, and CFO are not listed on the school board’s website; however, the salary for every other position is.
2. The Board unanimously voted to approve the TAP model for next year.
a. Mable Brasher, Alexandria Middle, and Pineville Elementary will be pulling out.
b. The principals at the other schools asked to keep the program.
c. Mrs. Bennett stated that Master Teachers at the pulled schools would either be reassigned to TAP schools with Master Teacher vacancies or go back to the classroom as a teacher.
d. Mrs. Franklin stated that the Board was no informed that Lessie Moore pulled out of TAP. Mrs. Bennett stated that they pulled at the beginning of the school year.
e. Under the new payout model, stipends will be determined by SPS scores instead of teacher evaluations.
3. Mr. Barrios made a substitute motion to move the conversation to the May committee meetings and require the superintendent to provide a written account of why or why not the district could/could not afford the 3% increase.
a. Attorney Ingrid Johnson stood and stated that she was “disappointed” that the board did not need to delay or find the funds for the raises given to the three upper-level administrators. She stated that this was “not fair” to the employees.
4. The Board voted 8-1 (Breazeale voted no) on Option 2 for Arthur F. Smith which will repair all issues at the school.
a. Mr. McCall asked that they approve to address the immediate issues first (Phase 1) and deal with the rest at time passes.
b. Many community members stood to support the school remaining open.
c. Attorney Ingrid Johnson reminded the Board that the same thing was brought up last year, just before Standardized testing. She also asked that when issues affect that area and are anticipated to draw large community support, that the Board move the meetings to a sizeable location to allow the community to have a voice instead of having to stand in the hallway, outside of the meeting.
i. Approximately fifty people were made to remain in the hallway because of capacity issues.
d. Dr. Chapman asked Mrs. Domite if there was funding for this. Mrs. Domite stated that District 62 is projected to have more than $2,000,000 at the end of the fiscal year. Dr. Chapman asked Mr. Rachal if initiating phase 1 now would ensure that the work was completed before the next school year. Mr. Rachal stated that it was “possible.”
e. Mrs. White, principal of A.F. Smith, stated that they did not want to move to Peabody and wanted everything repaired. She stated that they could move students to wings that were not affected until the work was completed.
f. State Representative Ed Larvadain stated that he has "lost confidence in the superintendent."
5. Bolton’s Auditorium received a substitute motion to only allocate $70,000 to address the immediate needs.
a. Mr. Rachal stated that no one is allowed on Bolton’s stage and he has “the keys in his office.”
b. Mr. Rachal and Mr. Authement stated that the Coughlin Saunders center has agreed to allow the conservatory to use their stage until Bolton’s stage is repaired.
c. Dr. Chapman asked how many students were enrolled in the conservatory and Mr. Authement stated, “About 50.”
d. Mr. Breazeale stated that this repair, as well as the repairs at A.F. Smith, would bring the District 62 fund down to about $1,000,000 at the end of the year. He went on to say that everyone wants the best for their schools, but we have to think about the other schools as well.
Teachers protest maintenance issues at Arthur F. Smith
Arthur F. Smith Middle Magnet School teachers protested for change Monday, many upset about a recent proposal to close the school.
As requested by many, this is a brief overview of some important topics to be discussed and voted on at the next school board meeting (4/2/2019):
1. A motion to approve the three administrative job descriptions, which will finalize the initiative to increase the salaries and promote the Chief Financial Officer (formerly Director of Finance), the Executive Assistant Superintendent of Administration (formerly Asst. Supt. of Admin.), and the Executive Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction.
a. Under the recommendation, supervision of Principals and instructional staff (i.e. Elem., Middle, and Secondary Directors, etc.) will be directed to Mrs. Bennett instead of Mr. Washington. Historically, the primary purpose of the Asst. Supt. of Administration was to supervise administrators. The proposal is to change that oversight to the other Assistant.
2. A motion to approve the Supt.’s recommendation to change the TAP model beginning next year.
a. He recommends that three schools be removed from the TAP model. This comes after the Central Office administration polled school teachers and leaders about their interests moving forward.
b. His recommendation is to support the decision of the leaders and teachers in each individual school. This would allow schools that are in favor of the TAP model to continue.
3. A motion by Mr. Barrios to grant a 3% raise for all employees.
a. The Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer stated in the Committee meeting that the funds are not present and could not be found to grant the raise to all employees (approx. $4,000,000).
b. Interesting Fact: Central Office Administration’s salaries make up 2% of the entire General Fund budget for salaries. This is almost as much as what is currently paid to all clerical staff across the district (combined) and
four times as much as the school board pays all of its nurses.
4. A motion by Mr. Keith Breazeale to review options and costs to address the situation at Arthur F. Smith.
a. According to the documents attached to the agenda, Options 1 and 2 would COST the district more than $2,300,000 each. Option 3 (closing the school and moving the students to Peabody), would SAVE the district approximately $600,000.
b. Ironically, this time last year, Central Office was proposing to close A.F. Smith.
c. Interesting fact: The issues on Arthur Smith’s campus has been well documented and unresolved by Mr. Rachal, but the district is in the process of spending almost $1,000,000 to renovate Bolton’s campus for their new Performing Arts Conservatory. There is also a motion by Mr. Rachal to allocate an additional $498,000 to Bolton to bring their auditorium up to standard.
619 6th St
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