June 5, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon
The Calcasieu Parish School Board met before a crowd of about 400 people to make an emotional decision about the future of Lake Charles-Boston High School. Several board members, including Clara Duhon, presented an alternative plan to counter Superintendent Wayne Savoy's recommendation to close the school, transfer students and staff and turn the campus into an academy of learning offering specialized classes. Their plan included a four day class schedule with a fifth day for tutoring, mentors and hiring an extra counselor, tutors and behavioral specialists. Duhon says, "It can work. Lake Charles-Boston should be allowed an opportunity to be cleaned up."
Board member Joe Andrepont recommended an amendment to keep the school open for a two year probational period. Andrepont says, "If you want to help these students, keep the school open. Give the students, parents, faculty and community a chance to prove itself."
After nearly three hours of discussion and comments from the audience, the two year probation plan failed seven to eight. Board member Bill Jongbloed says, "After all that's been done in the last five years, sadly the situation is now worse than ever."
Board member Fredman Hardy tried several times to introduce other options, including postponing the superintendent's plan. Hardy says, "The reading teacher left. The English teacher left. The science teacher."
After six rounds of voting on different amendments, it all came down to a nine to six vote to close Lake Charles-Boston and another nine to six vote to turn the school into a learning academy.