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Changes set for elementary students in Opelousas next school year

Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 20, 2019

Some elementary school students in Opelousas will be seeing a change in where they attend school next year. Right now, schools are pre-k through sixth grade. On Wednesday, the school board voted to have three schools that will be pre-k through fourth grade. One campus that will house 5th and 6th graders and two elementary schools are set to close.

The council was split with a vote seven to five, as were the people in attendance at Wednesday night’s meeting.

“I will have three children at three different schools eventually. I have a child with special needs so switching schools every four years then two years that’s not beneficial to him, his well being or mental stability. They’re going to lose a lot of students with this saving money that they’re trying to do,” said one parent, Suzanne Pitre.

“We are here to fight for the kids, and I’ll continue doing that. it wasn’t my first choice, but it is what it is, we have to represent all the kids, move forward and play the hand that we have,” said board member, Randy Wagley.

Others believe the decision is what’s in the best interest of the children because they’ve seen it work with other schools in the parish.

“Our children will learn in their beginning years and by the time they get to 4th grade they should be reading, knowing that that’s where the major situations will happen for us, knowing that’s where most of the teaching and preparation would have taken place,” said board member Joyce Haynes.

“We are here for the ultimate reason of the children, and the children deserve better. We have for many years operated with K-6th and its not working, Opelousas needs to move forward,” said Tressha Willis.

The school board will hold a meeting on Monday at 5 pm to decide on which schools they will close.