Parish pays more for college courses

CENTERVILLE, La. — Local school officials allocated $20,000 so they can continue to offer dual enrollment courses to high school students.

St. Mary Superintendent Donald Aguillard said Louisiana Department of Education funding for the courses through University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Nicholls State University in Thibodaux was nearly depleted in the fall semester. To be able to offer the courses in the spring, the school system is paying $50 per college hour, or $150 per course.

In the spring 2012 semester, 102 St. Mary students successfully completed college courses through the two universities. The parish anticipates a similar number of students to participate this year, the superintendent said, and the general fund dollars will help them do that.

Another program offering dual enrollment between high school students and a secondary education institution received approval during Thursday’s meeting of the St. Mary Parish School Board.

With the approval of an intergovernmental agreement between Hospital Service District 2 and the school board, $25,000 of equipment for a joint lab was donated to be used between the school system’s certified nursing assistant program and the South Central Louisiana Technical College system licensed practical nurse program.

Dual enrollment will be offered from CNA to LPN for high school students. The lab will give students the chance to practice skills in modulated labs at different levels of care as well as simulating real life scenarios in a health care setting.

In other action Thursday, the board:

—Approved changes in various policies including one resulting from the Oct. 3 school bus crash in which a garbage truck rear ended a bus. The driver’s policy of making students move to the front of the bus as it empties is credited with saving injuries and possibly lives. As such, it has been made a district policy. It is believed St. Mary may be the first district in the state with this policy in place.

—Approved purchase of $1 million in excess liability coverage at a cost of $36,789 coming from the general fund.

—Agreed to expend $10,000 for intercom system repairs at Bayou Vista Elementary School from District 2 funds.

—Approved a motion following an executive session to increase funding for Michael Dunn’s attorney agreement for ongoing litigation concerning mineral rights. Attorney fees increased from $30,000 to $60,000 because costs have exhausted the original limit, Aguillard said.

—Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Patterson to fund half of the Taft Street sidewalk project at a cost of $5,900, from District 2 maintenance funds, because it affects access to Hattie Watts Elementary School.

—Approved a change order to reduce the Hattie Watts Elementary construction contract with Acadiane Renovations by $5,000.

—Removed from the agenda a request to pay assistant principals to be coaches at their own schools.

—Formally declared the Crowell building in Franklin as surplus property and authorized the superintendent to act in the sale and transfer of it to the City of Franklin.

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