4 topics to know from the LPSB meeting

The Lafayette Parish School Board discussed a variety of matters at its regular meeting Wednesday. Here’s a quick recap:

More students in district

The district’s enrollment appears to have increased from last year. Superintendent Donald Aguillard said there are 29,264 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. There are 30,149 students in the district, including pre-kindergarten students. Both figures are up about 140 to 200 students from last year.

New software program gains traction

More than 2,000 students are taking advantage of a software called Fast ForWord, which focuses on literacy and language development. Aguillard said 16 school sites have licenses for the program, which was previously not being used. Aguillard said he is pleased with the initial participation and program completion rates, and hopes that up to 2,500 students will use the software in the future.

Special election called for tax renewal

The board unanimously agreed to call a special election on Nov. 21 to renew a 7.27 mill property tax. The tax generates about $14.2 million per year for maintenance expenses. It is set to expire in 2016. If voters renew it, the tax will continue for another 10 years. Chief Financial Officer Billy Guidry said the money is used for day-to-day expenses.

New high school plans move ahead

The board agreed to use the construction manager at risk delivery method for construction of a new high school in south Lafayette Parish. The method requires additional commitments by the construction manager, who also usually acts as a consultant in the development and design phases. The method could save 90 to 120 days of work time. Officials hope to have the first phase of the school opened in August 2017.

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