What will Happen to Lake Charles Boston? - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

What will Happen to Lake Charles Boston?

May 9, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

After years of academic failure and low school attendance, Calcasieu Parish School Superintendent Wayne Savoy proposes transforming Lake Charles Boston High School into a parish-wide Academy of Learning for the arts and technical skills. 

"The board can modify, they can change, they can do anything they want to this plan. But it was a plan that we feel like was in the best interest of the children, all the children of Calcasieu Parish," said Savoy.  

The following options would be available to students living in the Lake Charles Boston attendance zone and currently enrolled in grades 9-12 at a CPBS high school:

-- Students currently attending a CPSB high school other than Lake Charles Boston may continue to receive services at the school in which they are enrolled.

-- Majority-Minority choice remains in place for all students in the Lake Charles Boston attendance zone.

-- Washington Marion choice remains in place for all students in the LCB attendance zone.

-- "School Choice" as defined in the District's plan for addressing School Improvement II remains in place. (Iowa, Westlake, Sam Houston, Barbe, Sulphur and Bell City High Schools)

-- LaGrange High School will also be made available as an option.

Meanwhile, the following options would be available to students living in the LCB attendance zone but not yet enrolled in grades 9-12 at a CPSB high school as of May 1, 2007:

-- Majority-Minority choice remains in place for all students in the Lake Charles Boston attendance zone.

-- Washington Marion choice remains in place for all students in the LCB attendance zone.

-- LaGrange High School will also be made available as an option.

School Board Member Clara Duhon says she's appalled at the suggestion to reassign LCB's students and faculty. She says not enough effort has been made to change LCB's academic status.

"I've asked the Superintendent to provide Lake Charles Boston with more things for the students to have available. Give them more classes, Saturday classes, have some night classes for these students to bring them up. It can be done," said Duhon.

Lake Charles Boston employees would be reassigned within the parish based on tenure. Non-tenured certified employees may apply for available positions within the Calcasieu Parish School System. School Board officials say a reasonable effort will be made to provide non-certified employees with employment within the Calcasieu Parish School System.

Several students spoke on behalf of their teachers defending their academically unacceptable status. "The School Board has not given us the technology we need to correct this problem. We have incoming freshmen starting at a 4th grade reading level, yet the School Board has not provided more certified teachers to help bring the students to the level where they need to be."

"As far as I know this is the first time someone has gone in and looked at the data and tried to figure out a way to help those students that are going to school," said Savoy. "I have looked at the statistics and this is the suggestion I'm making. It is now in the School Board's hands." 

With an undecided future, parents are asking the school board to not give up on their children and Lake Charles Boston. "Our children are just as important as any other children at any other school in this area. If they would just invest the money that they want to invest in an academic academy, we wouldn't have some of the problems and issues they're discussing here tonight," said Lake Charles Boston PTA President Dianna Ross.  

School Board Member Clara Duhon made a motion to give Lake Charles Boston two years to improve. However, that motion failed with Superintendent Savoy's motion for an academic learning center passing by 6 votes, opposed by two, and abstained by one. The issue now heads before the the full board on June 5th.

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