Cameron Four Day Decision

May 14, 2007

Reported By: Natalie Grise

With Hackberry switching to a four day school week, only a Cameron Parish School remained in question-Grand Lake.

Parents, faculty and staff on both sides of the debate lined the school's cafeteria. Advocates to keep a five day schedule claimed not only would a four day week be a problem for working parents, it could mean trouble for teens.

That's the most important reason I'm here," Says Elizabeth Russell, "Through my own family's personal experience I know for a fact that the more free time a teenager has, the more trouble they can get into."

But speaking for Grand Lake's faculty and staff, Scotty Poole expressed concerns about Grand Lake remaining the only Cameron Parish school on a traditional schedule.

"Grand Lake teachers won't have the opportunity to tutor on Fridays, which would be a benefit to our students to have that extra day," he says.

School Board representatives say the whole issue came down to one point.

"Do we have a great need to go to a four day week to attract teachers?" Representative Rachel Abadie says, "At this time, my answer, what I got from my principal, and our supervisors, is no. We do not need to go to a four day week.

Abadie said although teacher recruitment is not a current problem at Grand Lake, it could be in the future. She says rebuilding Cameron Parish schools needs to be the board's first priority, and the use of higher salaries to attract teachers to Grand Lake.