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LPSB hears updates on construction projects, academic plan

Posted at 12:16 PM, Jul 07, 2021

At Wednesday's regular school board meeting in Lafayette, there were lots of housekeeping items and some annual reports.

The board heard about policy and budget changes required by recent legislative action, as well as bids, changes to job descriptions and budget adjustments.

Board members also heard a report on the status of the board's construction master plan, and the presentation of a plan to improve the district's academic classification from the state Department of Education.

The goal for the academic plan is to have LPSS classified as an "A" system by 2024.

"After a year of unprecedented disruption and uncertainty, our Lafayette Parish School System faces both challenges and opportunities. Like school systems across the country, we are beginning to measure and assess the impacts of the pandemic on student learning," Superintendent Irma Trosclair writes in the plan. "We know many students have fallen behind due to the circumstances of the past year, despite the best efforts of teachers, staff and parents. That’s why LPSS is creating tutoring programs, summer school plans and other strategies to supplement student learning, attending to individual needs as well as ensuring growth.

"Alongside these challenges, our district also has exciting opportunities for improvement and greater student success. Our academic and administrative leaders have developed a plan to take our district from a “B” to an “A” in state rankings in three years. The vision of "Pathway to an A" is simple and includes leveraging operational and instructional resources to ensure our students can succeed in school and the world we leave for them," Trosclair writes.

The plan has set goals believed to lead to that improvement, as well as "pathways" to the achievement of each goal.

"We are prioritizing existing gaps and deficiencies to make sure our most skilled faculty and the school system’s resources are directed where they can make the biggest impact. We’re expanding opportunities for enrichment, college and career preparation and advanced training for students across the district. Most importantly of all, we are focused on graduating students on time, as well as increasing the number of LPSS students testing at or above grade level and earning workforce credentials or higher ACT scores," she writes.

To read the report, scroll down.

The construction report updates board members on progress made on more than $1 billion in maintenance and construction projects that were planned more than 10 years ago. Over the past decade, more than $276 million has been spent on the projects that have been completed, along with $142 million in selective maintenance.

The design process for three new schools is underway; they would replace Lafayette High, Carencro Heights and Prairie. To read the updated construction plan, scroll down.

Requests for Proposals (RFQs) are currently out to select an architect for the Lafayette High project, while Carencro Heights has been assigned an architect and property has been purchased. The designs for Carencro Heights and Prairie are currently in progress.

Board member Tehmi Chaisson said he hopes to put an agenda item together for future phases that will create a priority lists of schools to be renovated, instead of the board hoping for a certain school or leaving to change which properties are slated next for renovations.