Combining schools topic of meetings

The Calcasieu Parish School Board will consider a school reconfiguration plan agenda item during its budget committee meeting on May 26. The plan would affect John F. Kennedy, T.H. Watkins, Combre-Fondel and J.D. Clifton elementary schools.

But before that happens, the board is hosting two parent meetings this week for the public to share their thoughts on the proposal.

The School Board said the four schools “have had a pattern of declining enrollment in grades K-5” and that the reconfiguration plan provides an opportunity to “keep a viable, operational school in each of these communities, while maximizing the use of school system financial resources and continuing to improve academic opportunities.”

The School Board said students at all these campuses “would also benefit from the change as teachers will be able to collaborate at a deeper level and better plan curriculum and consistent delivery.”

If approved, all K-5 grade students in the J.D. Clifton and Combre-Fondel school zones would attend J.D. Clifton. Combre-Fondel would become an early childhood center, serving 3- and 4-year-olds in the Head Start and pre-Kindergarten programs.

Attendance zones for John F. Kennedy and T.H. Watkins would be combined and all K-5 grade students would attend T.H. Watkins. John F. Kennedy Elementary would become an early childhood center, serving 3- and 4-year-olds in the Head Start and pre-Kindergarten programs.

The School Board said the principals of the proposed K-5 grade schools would remain with their buildings. Administrators serving in any future proposed early childhood centers would be displaced, since the grants funding the new programs have existing administrators in them already.

The T.H. Watkins/John F. Kennedy informational meeting will be 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 20, at the T.H. Watkins Pavilion, 2501 7th Ave. The Combre-Fondel/J.D. Clifton meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 21, at the Combre-Fondel Pavilion, 2115 Fitzenreiter Road.

Don’t miss the chance to have a say in your child’s future.

Jim Beam

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