Teachers of the Year Honored

The Morehouse Parish School Board held their regular monthly meeting Tuesday evening at the Student Services Center on Martin Luther King South. Prior to the regular meeting, the Building and Properties Committee held a brief meeting.

In the Building and Properties Committee portion of the meeting, the board heard from Bill Roark of TriState Properties about the possibility of assisting the board with the sale of some closed school properties. The committee requested that Roark and the board's legal counsel, Stephen Katz, get together and determine the legalities of the board entering into such an agreement considering bid laws the board is bound by law to follow.

In the regular school board meeting, the board recognized their teachers of the year for 2017. The teachers were; Arthurnese Nimmer, Morehouse Jr. High, Tara Andrepont, Morehouse Jr. High – Elementary, Claudie Fllintroy, Bastrop High, Bettye Berryman, H. V. Adams, Janet McClain, Bastrop High, Mrs. Hazel Sellers, Superintendent, Emily Fulmer, Delta Jr. High- Elementary, Jana Davis, Pine Grove, Sonya Blondin, Morehouse Magnet – Jr. High, Arnita Harden, Morehouse Magnet - Elementary, Linda Payton, Beekman Charter, Pam Sanderlin, Beekman Charter, Holly Farrar, Beekman Charter and Ophelia Perkins, Delta Jr. High.

The board heard from Ralph Davenport, the board's Child Welfare & Attendance Supervisor about efforts to obtain automated external defibrillator (AED) for each school. Davenport had been tasked by the board with acquiring the devices. Davenport explained to the board members that while researching the devices he had contacted Morehouse Community Medical Centers to gathering information about the devices so the board could purchase them. Morehouse Community Medical Centers upon learning of the need by the school board for the devices decided to donate the nearly $9,000 needed to obtain the devices to the board.

Cathy Yeldell updated the board about standardized testing scheduled for the spring at parish schools. This past week's weather may delay some of the testings as components in the systems internet capabilities were damaged in the storms. Repairs are being made and testing will continue either as already scheduled or possibly with a slight delay.

The board was informed that the systems graduation rate for the year 2014 was 73.2, up from 67.3 the year before. This is just shy of the state average of 77.5 for the same year.

Dr. Stacey Pullen spoke to the board about Bastrop High Schools Career and Technical Program. The Jump Start Pathways Program consists of Pathways for Oil and Gas, welding, C4M Manufacturing, Health Sciences (CNA), and a University pathway. Jump Start is Louisiana's new Career and Technical Education program. Through Jump Start, students earn industry credentials while still in high school. Jump Start students graduate high school prepared to secure a high-wage job and attend a technical or community college.

The board received a report about the projected FY 2017 - 2018 Minimum Foundation Program (MFP)funding to the school system. Due to a loss of students, as well as a lower MFP allocation per student, the board is projected to receive $27,127,139 in the fiscal year. This is down from a 2016 -2017 amount of $28,497,414.

In other business, the board agreed to allow Bastrop High School to be a backup location for use by the 2017 GUMBO Delta Regional Meet to be held on May 6. The meet is scheduled for the University of Louisiana -Monroe but may have to be moved due to construction. Carroll High School in Monroe is the first backup location, with Bastrop High School now in line to host the event if both other locations end up having conflicts.