District 2 school board member Louis Melton presented the original idea of changing the school at the March 19 committee meeting. In order for the school to change a cost analysis of transportation as well as staffing must be acquired. The concept for the school is that all students grades pre-k through ninth who reside in the East Morehouse Parish District are eligible to attend. Each year, a school grade would be added until twelfth grade. For students residing outside that school district but wanting to attend, they would have to have a 2.0 GPA, satisfactory disciplinary reports, and be willing to have student and parental participation.
The objective is for the school to offer a curriculum including fine and performing arts such as band, drama, journalism, choir, art and foreign languages. There are also classes slated in home economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship.
An interest survey was given out to all East Morehouse Parish stakeholders and the results of the survey were overwhelming for changing the school.
The matter will be brought back before the board at the May meeting.
MPSB Superintendent Dr. George Noflin addressed the board regarding the possibility of making the East Side Elementary school building into a sixth grade academy, removing those students from Morehouse Jr. High. He intends to create a structured school for those students with the initial monies received from a tax which is on the May 5 ballot.
"There are some obstacles that must be addressed, with the property as well as staffing, but I truly believe it would help those students who are thrust into a situation from being the 'big dog' to being a 'small pup,'" Noflin said. "It would be a better transition for them."
Other items on the agenda included recognizing high attendance for faculty and staff, with Oak Hill having the highest at 99.65 and high attendance for students, with the Bastrop Learning Academy having the highest at 96.76. Dr. Noflin also recognized Morehouse Magnet School student Ashten Morgan, who had a piece of his artwork displayed at the Louisiana School Board Association's home office in Baton Rouge.
The Employee of the Month honor went to bus driver Sandra Hughes and new employees William Johnson and Larrisa Bonnett were recognized.
Kathleen Blakeney, instructional technology specialist, Joni Echols, curriculum facilitator at Morehouse Magnet, Evelyn Laforge, bus driver and Dolly Martin, assistant principal, were all granted retirement.