As students and teachers at North Street Elementary prepare for the end of the school year, they also must prepare for the possibility they won’t be returning to their school next year.
The superintendent says the recommendation comes because of financial reasons. Superintendent Carrie Laviolette told KATC’s Dannielle Garcia earlier today over the past few years they’ve lost more than a thousand students. Last year 60 percent of those students went out of state.
A few months ago, the school board announced Dodson Elementary school would also be closing to make way for the new Belle Place Elementary. Students and staff from North Street will be split between Park and Daspit Elementary.
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Now they might have to close North Street, but parents say they hope it doesn’t come to that.
“I was upset to say the least,” said one parent, Janet Trahan.
Trahan and another parent Amanda Randazzo both have 7-year-olds in the school’s special education program.
“He is thriving, and he is excelling, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with how much he has come out of his shell. He is at ease, he is at comfort. He loves going to school,” Trahan said of her son who didn’t have the same experience at previous schools.
“We have not even been transitioned, you’re just throwing this at us last minute,” said the other mom, Amanda Randazzo. “So you want to throw our autistic children into a new school with hardly any time? You want the teachers to pack up the whole school in less than two weeks? That’s not fair.”
The new Belle Place Elementary is set to open in the fall, leaving some parents with even more questions.
“Why are we opening a new elementary school, when you’re saying there’s not enough population at the schools that are already open,” questioned Randazzo.
The superintendent said Belle Place was approved back in 2013 when they saw growth in that part of the parish, but that stopped with the economy’s downturn.
Monday night some parents will be meeting to discuss the school’s future and see how they can voice their concerns.
“What happened to doing what’s in the best interest of our children, the way this is being handled is not in the best interest of our children,” said Trahan.
The recommendation will be discussed in committee and the board will decide whether or not to close the school next Wednesday.