At the July 1 meeting of the Morehouse Parish School Board, a new pupil progression plan was approved and new start and end times for schools were announced.
These changes are occurring because the school system switched from a Monday through Friday workweek to a Tuesday through Friday workweek with more hours worked on each day.
Effective on Monday, July 7, the school board's central office at 4099 Naff Avenue in Bastrop will be closed on Mondays. New hours are from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays.
School hours will also be different for students, teachers and administrators. At Cherry Ridge, H.V. Adams, Oak Hill, Pine Grove and Morehouse Magnet elementary schools, school will start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. At Delta Magnet, Morehouse Jr. High and Bastrop High, school will start at 7:30 a.m. and end at 4:15 p.m.
For teachers at elementary schools, hours will be 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. For teachers at Delta Magnet, MJH and BHS, hours will be 7:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Bastrop Learning Academy will have the same start and end times as Delta Magnet.
Principals at individual schools will set the duty time and schedules for their campus based on school needs.
The Pupil Progression Plan for the 2014 to 2015 school year was also approved.
Dr. David Nordman, principal at Bastrop High School, presented the plan and explained that the PARCC test will not be part of the promotion matrix during this school year.
"Promotion will be based on students passing required subjects," Nordman said, "and attending school the required number of days."
A change in the number of days a student can be absent was also discussed. With the new four day school week and lengthened school day, high school students must miss no more than five days per semester during the school year while Pre-K to eighth grade students must miss no more than nine days per year.
The changes to the attendance policy have been sent to schools for inclusion in the 2014 to 2015 handbooks. The full policy presented in the plan states:
"Elementary students shall be in attendance a minimum of 60,120 minutes (equivalent to 167 six-hour days) a school year. In order to be eligible to receive grades, high school students shall be in attendance a minimum of 30,060 minutes (equivalent to 83.5 six-hour school days), per semester or 60,120 minutes (equivalent to 167 six- hour school days) a school year for schools not operating on a semester basis."
The pupil progression plan was unanimously approved by the board.