2010

2014      2013    2012     2011      2009    2008     2007     2005 Hurricane Katrina Archives

Links embedded in archived news stories are not active.
To find a topic, use the "Find on this page" tool in your browser and input your search term.
In Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, press Control + "F"


Christmas Food Distribution Benefits Children Across Parish

(12-21-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System took part this week in a joint project of the Youth Rescue Initiative and Feed the Children to distribute hundreds of packages of food to families across St. Tammany. Some 500 boxes of donated food on 12 pallets were brought in by truck Monday morning to the Educational Center near Covington.

Representatives from several agencies greeted the truck at the Educational Center to help unload the food items. On Tuesday the packages were distributed to families contacted by mail. Besides the Educational Center, food was distributed out of Bayou Lacombe Middle School and Slidell Pathways.

The boxes contained a variety of canned goods and other non-perishable foods.

Present at the Monday morning event were Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III; Captain Paul Clark, Commander of Troop L, Louisiana State Police; Jim Bernazzani, president of the Youth Rescue Initiative; Susan Werdann with the Feed The Children program; Charlie Clark, former Deputy Chief of Enforcement for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; and Bill Dobson, CEO of Applied Marine Technology, a National Rapid Response Team.

The School System's Title I Coordinator/Homeless Liaison and several St. Tammany School System maintenance employees participated in the event. The School System helped provide the names of families who would benefit from receiving the packages of food and assisted in the distribution of the boxes of food.

Troopers from Troop L State Police also helped with the distribution effort. Both Troop L and the School System held food drives in November prior to Thanksgiving and have participated in the distribution of toys at Christmas time and other community service projects throughout the year.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with our community service agencies to help the families in our area, especially during the holiday season,” said Superintendent Folse. “All throughout the year, our School System employees assist in numerous volunteer projects, and we are proud of the important role they play as members and leaders in many of our most active community organizations.”

Invitations to pick up a food package were sent to parents of “Kids in Transition” program students in pre-Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. Food packages left over from the distribution were taken to the Covington Food Bank and the Slidell Community Christian Concern to go to those in need identified by those agencies.

The Youth Rescue Initiative (YRI) was co-founded in October 2008 by the Georgusis family and Bernazzani, a former FBI Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division. The YRI partnered with Feed the Children to provide food to over 20,000 children in three southern Louisiana parishes (St. Bernard, Washington, and St. Tammany Parishes) during the time they are out of school for the Christmas/Winter Break.


Holiday Music Concerts Showcase Student Talent

(12-20-2010)
Holiday musical concerts were held at many public schools across St. Tammany Parish this month, and hundreds of parents and visitors turned out for the events.

Videos of the concerts taped by Channel 13 are available for viewing online. Some of the schools featured in the video presentations include Tchefuncte Middle School, Mandeville High School, Brock Elementary, and Boyet Junior High.

For a complete list of holiday concert videos available, visit the Channel 13 Video on Demand page at http://www.stpsb.org/channel13_view.php.


First Semester Ends, Winter-Christmas Break Begins

(12-14-2010)
The first semester of the 2010-2011 School Year came to an end on Tuesday, December 21, following a week of exams for students in the upper grade levels.

Students reported to school in the morning on December 21 for one-half day only. The rest of the day teachers took time for record-keeping responsibilities.

The Winter-Christmas break is scheduled to start on Wednesday, December 22. Schools are closed through Friday, December 31, and classes resume on Monday, January 3.

School Board support offices are scheduled to close Wednesday, December 22 at noon, and remain closed through Friday, December 24. Offices re-open on Monday, December 27 , but will close for New Year’s Holidays at noon on Wednesday, December 29. After the New Year's Day weekend, support offices re-open on Monday, January 3, 2011.


Lee Road Junior High Teacher Wins Top State LACUE Award

(12-10-2010)
Stacey Hoover, Lee Road Junior High School’s computer lab and technology teacher, was named Louisiana State Middle School Teacher of the Year at the Louisiana Computer Using Educators (LACUE) convention in Baton Rouge recently. The award is given for outstanding use of technology in the classroom and recognizes those educators who have effectively integrated the use of computers into the educational process.

The School Board recognized her achievement at its December 9 meeting, with Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie explaining the School System’s participation in the event. “Each winner is an educator who is using computer-based technology in a very innovative fashion,” Mrs. Arabie stated. “St. Tammany Parish was recognized in four of the seven categories in which awards are given."

The three St. Tammany Parish educators who received Region II honors at the event were Lisa Cuevas of the Information Technology Department as “Special Person of the Year”; Shelly Bogran of Carolyn Park Middle School as “Educator of the Year”; and School System Technology Supervisor Julie Matte as “Leader of the Year.”

Ms. Hoover teaches Kindergarten through Grade 6 Computer Literacy and 7th and 8th Grade Broadcast Communications. Among her subjects is the I-Safe curriculum, an internet safety course. Ms. Hoover has taught in St. Tammany Parish for 15 years, the past seven of those at Lee Road.

“Lee Road is one of those schools that really keeps us on the cutting edge of technology,” Mrs. Arabie said. “And we are pleased that this is just one of the ways they are recognized for their efforts.”

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, said, “As technology advances, our teachers have kept right up with it, and the awards given by the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators reinforce those achievements. We congratulate our regional and state winners and appreciate the continuing effort of all our educators to integrate technology into each classroom to benefit every student.”

Many St. Tammany educators have been recognized by the organization in the past.

Last year, the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators named St. Tammany Parish Public Schools teacher Stephanie Purser of Bonne Ecole Elementary as Educator of the Year in the Elementary Division.

In 2007, Kristin Hernandez, a sixth grade teacher at Carolyn Park Elementary, and Janet Westover, a volunteer computer Para technician at Mandeville High, were named LACUE Elementary Technology Teacher of the Year and Special Volunteer Person of the Year respectively.

Other LACUE honorees include Bonne Ecole Elementary School Principal Ginger Roper, who was named the LACUE Principal of the Year in January of 2005, and School System Instructional Technology Coordinator Inkie Landry and Instructional Technology Facilitator Sandy Swartz, who were given a LACUE Educator of the Year Award and Outstanding Service Award in March of 2006.

In December of 2006, three School System educators were presented awards by LACUE. The awards and their recipients were as follows: Administrator of the Year Dr. Jean Krieger, Principal, Woodlake Elementary School; Educator of the Year Glen Walden, Assistant Principal, Salmen High School; and Special Person of the Year Jarrod Nix, Para Tech, Salmen High School

Fan Disher of Mandeville High was named Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2000 by the group.


School System Wins Milk Contest Grand Prize

(12-07-2010)
Madisonville Elementary School won first place in the Moo Dat contest sponsored by Brown’s Dairy and the Southeasts United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA) this fall. Winners were announced Friday, with Mandeville Junior High winning second place. The St. Tammany Parish Public School System won the Grand Prize.

Madisonville Elementary posted a 139 percent increase in the amount of milk consumed during the run of the contest from October 11 to November 12. The school will receive $5000 as a result of the win, as well as a visit by a Saints Player at a “Fuel Up to Play” pep rally led by Gumbo, the Saints mascot, and the Saintsations.

Mandeville Junior High came in with a 97 percent increase during the contest period, going from 6550 cartons of milk to 12,950 cartons. That school will receive $2500 and a mini-training camp with the Saints’ mascot Gumbo.

Schools throughout St. Tammany held a variety of activities commemorating Moo Dat, from tailgate parties and story time events to milk mustache photos and parades.

Overall, the School System increased milk consumption by 40.8 percent and won the Grand Prize of a HOPSports exercise system valued at $10,000. The system will be shared by all the schools, said Supervisor of School Food Services Pat Farris.

She congratulated all of her principals who took part. She said the cash prizes may be used for programs to improve student awareness and attitudes about the importance of eating nutrient-rich foods as well as getting 60 minutes of physical exercise each day. The funds will also be used to increase the availability and consumption of nutrient-rich foods, including low-fat and fat-free dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Some of the money may be used to purchase materials for the “Fuel Up To Play 60” promotion.

The Moo-Dat Milk Contest kicked off September 28 at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie. All public, private, and parochial school districts in the greater New Orleans area were invited to take part.


School Board Updates No Tobacco Use Policy

(12-01-2010)
The School Board recently updated its tobacco use policy to align with the wording used in the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 100 Percent Tobacco-Free Schools policy. Public schools in St. Tammany Parish have long been smoke-free, and the change in policy bans not only smoking but the use of all tobacco products on any School System property.

A letter is being sent to parents to detail new provisions in the policy, which states that any and all tobacco products can not be used on school grounds at any time. These same rules apply to outdoor athletic facilities, field trips, and off-campus school-approved activities.

Smoking is defined to mean inhaling, exhaling, burning, carrying, or possessing any lighted tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and any other lighted combustible plant material including herbal cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco products are also banned.

The policy is intended to promote a healthy lifestyle and set an example that discourages the use of tobacco products. To view the policy online, http://www.stpsb.org/docs/1284741593.pdf


Dress of Early School Teacher in Parish Donated To School System

(11-29-2010)
A dress worn by a woman thought to be the first school teacher in St. Tammany Parish has been donated to the School System’s archives by her great granddaughter. The long black dress was handmade and worn by Charlotte Lovering Morgan, the great grandmother of Charlotte Morgan Weed, 80, who is now a resident of Shreveport. Ms. Weed donated the dress when she heard of the School System’s efforts to collect and preserve the history of education in the parish. “I’m so happy the dress has found a good home,” she said.

According to Ms. Weed, her great grandmother is remembered as the individual who started and taught in the first school in St. Tammany Parish, which was located in the Mandeville area around 1890.

The dress features elaborate stitch work and ornamentation, with numerous hidden pockets. She believes the dress was worn on special occasions. “I’m sure she did not wear clothes like that daily,” she said. For display purposes, the 120-year-old dress has been placed on a manikin, and a sealed acrylic plastic box was lowered in place to protect it.

“It is an honor for our School System to be entrusted with this important historical gift,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “The donation of this dress will certainly help in our effort to preserve the history of the education system here in St. Tammany Parish, an effort which continues to be a source of inspiration to our employees and students.”

Ms. Weed said she grew up in Covington across from the Covington Grammar School building which is now the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex. When she heard what had been done with the establishment of Preservation Plaza and the School System archives collection, she decided the proper home for her great grandmother’s dress would be in that building.

She was a good friend of C. J. Schoen with whom she went to school, and she was pleased that the building had been named after him. “He was a fine young man,” she said. She was also friends with Ralph Menetre, an assistant superintendent with the School System who retired in 1986.

Having come from a family with a long line of teachers, Ms. Weed became interested in becoming an educator at an early age. She was valedictorian of the Covington High graduating class in 1947 and went to college at LSU. Upon graduation, she taught a third grade class in 1952 at Covington Grammar School. “I loved being a teacher and have many happy memories of that time,” she said. Later in life she sold real estate and had a decorating business.

The dress was recently delivered to the School System by Ms. Weed’s daughter, Dorothy Kristin Hanna, and her husband Bruce Allen, who set up the dress using established historic preservation techniques. Mr. Allen is a professor of art and chairman of the Department of Art and Visual Culture at Centenary College in Shreveport, and as a result of his expertise the dress had been carefully preserved in museum-quality storage boxes.

To view a full-length photograph of the dress, http://www.stpsb.org/PhotoArchives/Photos/77297dresswebpic.jpg.

According to newspaper records, Ms. Lovering died on March 23, 1915, and was buried in the Morgan family tomb in Mandeville. She was the mother of the Honorable Lewis L. Morgan and the stepmother of James Band and Miss Evelyn Smith.


Schools Closed for Thanksgiving Holidays November 22 through November 26

(11-22-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools were closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays Monday, November 22, through Friday, November 26. Classes resumed on Monday, November 29.

Also in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, School Board support offices were closed from noon on Wednesday, November 24, and all day Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26. Offices re-opened on November 29.


Chamber Awards Go To Three School System Facilities

(11-18-2010)
The St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce presented awards to three School System buildings during its annual business appreciation and recognition luncheon. The “Sites To See” awards by the Chamber’s Small Business Advisory Council spotlighted facilities with physical appearances that compliment the natural landscape of the community.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, received the three framed certificates naming Lakeshore High School, the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center, and the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex as “Sites To See” in St. Tammany Parish.

Each building was commended for its architecture, functionality, and outstanding contribution to St. Tammany Parish.

Lacey Toledano, president and CEO of the chamber of commerce, said the special luncheon was one of the most well-attended meetings of the year since it is an opportunity to express appreciation to those organizations and businesses that have given back to the community in many important ways.

Tom Sheldon presented the awards to Superintendent Folse after noting that the School System was the largest employer in the parish.

The first award went to Lakeshore High School, a new school that opened last year which has already won several awards and is setting the standard for excellence. “It is a state-of-the-art facility,” Sheldon said, recounting its variety of special educational, cultural, and athletics features.

The second award went to the Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville, named after the late Governor David C. Treen who was a known supporter of technology in the state. “It is the hub for instructional technology in the School District,” Shelton stated, added that it also serves an 11-parish region with training and technology services. “It provides staff and teacher professional development opportunities, houses a cable television station, distance learning labs, and a conference center. Each year, the facility hosts more than 450 educational and professional development workshops for over 15,000 students, teachers, administrators, and school staff members,” he said.

The third award went to the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex, a building that has served generations of Covington area residents as the site for five different schools. Sheldon reported that it opened in May of 2007 as the central office for School System operations. Renovations of the original 1914 building and an additional building that matches the original exterior help maintain the integrity of the historic facility, he said.

Superintendent Folse was joined in receiving the awards by Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie, Pete Jabbia and William Brady, as well as School Board members Robert R. “Bob” Womack, Elizabeth Heintz, Michael J. Dirmann, Roanne V. Tipton, Stephen J. “Jack” Loup, III, and Charles T. Harrell.


Family Information Fair Held

(11-18-2010)
A Family Information Fair for families with children with disabilities was held on Thursday, November 18, at the Castine Center, Pelican Park in Mandeville. The annual event is designed to increase awareness of the services provided by a variety of support agencies to aid in the transition of students graduating from high school.

Presented by the St. Tammany Parish Special Education Department, the 2010 Family Information Fair introduced families to the adult agencies and support organizations that can provide critical assistance to disabled young people once they exit the School System. Exhibits were on display from agencies such as the Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Families Helping Families, STARC, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Social Security, and many others. Up to forty agencies took part.

Approximately 200 parents and teachers of the disabled were expected to attend. Among the topics addressed were residential services, day activity options, at-home support services, Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid information, advocacy issues, and employment opportunities.


Schools To Close for Thanksgiving Holidays November 22 through November 26

(11-15-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools will close for the Thanksgiving Holidays on Monday, November 22, through Friday, November 26. Classes will resume on Monday, November 29.

Also in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, School Board support offices will close at noon on Wednesday, November 24, and all day Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26. Offices will re-open on November 29.


Magnolia Trace Elementary Receives $10,000 NFL Grant Delivered by Drew Brees

(11-12-2010)
New Orleans Saints Football Quarterback Drew Brees visited the students at Magnolia Trace Elementary School in Mandeville Thursday, telling them of the importance of daily exercise, eating good food, and being positive about their school work.

He presented a check for $10,000 to Principal Melanie Edwards from the NFL’s Play 60 Super School grant program. The money will help pay for the construction of the new KidSense Multi-Sensory play yard now being built at the school.

Brees was welcomed to the school by a large number of students dressed in football jerseys, a black and gold balloon arch, and the School Mascot, Miss Maggie. He was accompanied by the Saints Mascot Gumbo, who together with Maggie, led cheers, gave high fives, and conducted songs with the children.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie of Curriculum and Instruction and Pete Jabbia of Human Resources were on hand to greet Brees as he arrived.

Principal Edwards invited Brees to sign her Good Book, followed with a school office cheer celebrating his visit to the school. He also wrote a message to the students to be published in the school’s yearbook later in the School Year. In preparation for his visit, the hallways were lined with Saints posters and black and gold decorations.

In the gymnasium, hundreds of students gathered to hear Brees give a message encouraging them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. Several students asked him questions from the audience about his career and challenges he had faced.

Following the presentation in the gymnasium, Brees went outside to join a large number of students in a variety of play activities, from running and jumping rope, to hula-hooping and calisthenics.

The NFL’s Play 60 Super Schools Grant Program helps schools develop exercise programs and build playgrounds. Grants of $10,000 have been awarded to a number of schools across the country.


Teaching Academy Held at Tech Center

(11-11-2010)
The 2010 Teaching Academy Conference was held recently with approximately 90 students in attendance. Now in its third year, the annual event involves students from several high schools who participate in the Students Teaching and Reaching Program (STAR), and this year’s theme was “Turn Up the Volume on Teaching For Rock Star Results.” The conference was held at the David Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse III spoke to the group in the afternoon, following breakout sessions where academy participants learned about the latest technology tools for classroom teaching. Special emphasis was placed on engaging students during class presentations.

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System offers the conference to familiarize students interested in becoming teachers with the techniques and technologies associated with becoming educators. While the conference is a parishwide event that brings students from high schools across the parish together once a year, the teaching academies themselves are a daily class that follows the State Department of Education’s STAR curriculum.

The STAR Program stands for “Students Teaching and Reaching,” and it gives future educators a headstart on their careers by offering college credits in education while they are still enrolled in high school. Classwork in the academies includes class observation and tutoring.

The teaching academies also help in employee recruiting efforts by the School System by giving students a head start on career choices important to becoming an educator.

Julie Matte, Supervisor of Technology, said that the conference was an important event for the Instructional Technology Center, since it gave prospective educators a first hand look at the technology they would be using in the classroom. The students are shown the many free technology tools available from the Internet so they may enhance their teaching techniques at little or no cost. They also receive packets of information about student teaching and a list of reasons why they should consider a career in education.


Veterans Day Ceremonies Abound In Parish

(11-10-2010)
Public schools throughout St. Tammany Parish observe Veterans Day each year with special ceremonies featuring music, singing, and visits by members of the Armed Forces from the community. Elementary schools through high schools invite the public to take part with events scheduled throughout the day.

A special program beginning at 6:00 p.m. Thursday night will spotlight Veterans Day in the Atrium of the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington. The Lakeshore High School Army Junior ROTC will present the colors, and students from Fontainebleau Junior High School, Covington High School, and Mandeville Junior High will recite the Pledge of Allegiance, sing the National Anthem, and perform a medley of patriotic songs. The Fontainebleau Junior High School Band will perform a musical salute to members of each of the Armed Forces.

Pearl River High School will hold its Veterans Day program at 9:30 a.m. on November 11 in the cafetorium, with a reception in the library following the program for the Veterans and their families. The program will begin with a presentation of colors by the award-winning Pearl River High Jr. Naval ROTC. The school band will play “Salute to Freedom” and the “March of the Armed Forces,” while Talented Music students will sing “On Justice, Truth, and Peace.”

The program will also include several readings, the playing of “Taps,” a proclamation by the Mayor, and a brief ceremony to recognize veterans in the audience. The Commander of VFW Post 5174 will recognize Veteran of the Year James Sever. Special guest speaker for the event will be Breanna Parra, District Commander for the State of Louisiana for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Other Veterans Day programs on Thursday include an 8:30 a.m. ceremony at Madisonville Elementary, a 8:45 a.m. program at Marigny Elementary school, and a 9:00 a.m. program at PineView Middle School. Area veterans have been invited to attend each event. Also at 9:00 a.m., State Representative Scott Simon will visit Lyon Elementary to present a new flag to the school.

The pre-kindergarten through second grade students at Folsom Elementary will perform patriotic songs for their classmates at 9:00 a.m. The students at Lee Road Junior High School will honor the veterans of the community also at 9:00 a.m., with a special reception for them after the program.

Lake Harbor Middle School will have its program at 9:00 a.m. in the gym. The Chorus will perform, Band members and student violinists will be playing, and a speaker from the Navy will be on the agenda. The Color Guard from Fontainebleau High will present the flag.

Pontchartrain Elementary School in Mandeville will host several U.S. Marines in a 9:45 a.m. program at the front of their campus, accompanied by an exhibit of military equipment.

Students from Covington Elementary are scheduled to sing patriotic songs at the Parish Courthouse Veterans Day ceremony that begins at 10:00 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m., Madisonville Elementary’s program begins, with guests invited from throughout the community. Also at 10:30 a.m., PineView Middle School holds its second program of the day.

Second grade students at Florida Avenue Elementary present their Veterans Day salute at 1 p.m., with the Salmen Color Guard presenting the flag. They have invited 40 veterans from school families to take part in this event.

At 1:30 p.m. Cypress Cove Elementary will hold its Veterans Day program, which will be repeated at 2:15 p.m. At Folsom Elementary, the third through fifth grade students will present their Veterans Day event at 2 p.m. This program will include a presentation by the Sign Language Club, a handbell performance, a military flag salute, and "Taps" played on the baritone by one of the teachers. Military personnel, both active and retired, are invited to attend.

Covington Elementary will have its school Veterans Day event in the gymnasium beginning at 2:30 p.m.

At Bayou Lacombe Middle School, students are looking forward to a visit by Navy Seals who are bringing in a large boat and display to mark the occasion.

Fontainebleau Junior High School held its special Veterans Day salute on November 4. Ron Drez was guest speaker, and the program included a performance by the school band and school choir. A number of veterans from throughout the community attended.


Pro-Start Kitchen Students Learn From Well-known Cook Leah Chase

(11-09-2010)
The famed Creole cook Leah Chase gave the ProStart Kitchen class at Lakeshore High School a cooking lesson Tuesday, complete with personal advice and commentary from decades of restaurant experience.

The 87-year-old Chase prepared one of her favorite dishes for the first year Pro-Start students, a simple yet tasty menu item called Shrimp Clemenceau, complete with suggestions on how best to use garlic, salt, butter, and other ingredients.

Lakeshore High Family and Consumer Science Instructor Judy Achary welcomed Mrs. Chase to her classroom, and she was also greeted by Chef Jan Rost with the Northshore Technical College and the American Culinary Federation New Orleans.

Mrs. Chase said Lakeshore High School was a beautiful school, and she was pleased to visit the new culinary arts classroom. “Learning how to cook can be a back up career, no matter whether you go to law school or medical school,” she told the students. “Everybody needs to eat, so if you can cook, you can always get a job.”

Her presentation sparkled with personal anecdotes, kitchen hints, and tips on how to break into a professional cooking career. “First you have to get in the door,” she said. “It used to be if you looked good, you were more likely to get in the door, and then you had the chance to show them what you could do in the kitchen. Nowadays you have so many opportunities, you’ve got people helping you get in the door.”

And whatever they cook, it has to turn out looking good, she said. “If it doesn’t look good, it’s not going to taste good, because nobody is going to taste it if it doesn’t look good,” she said. Among other topics, Mrs. Chase gave pointers on how to take care of kitchenware, saying the longer it lasted, the more money one had to buy other pieces of equipment.

She cautioned the students about their own eating habits. “We used to eat fried chicken once a week, that’s really all anyone should eat fried chicken. You can’t eat fried chicken more than once a week, though some people eat it every day now cause all they have to do is go out and buy some. Also, macaroni and cheese, you should only eat macaroni and cheese once a week. You must learn how to eat in moderation, and if you do, you will be able to eat a long time,” she said. “I’ve been eating 87 years, and I’m looking forward to eating another 10 years.”

“Food is too good to deprive yourself of it,” she went on to say. “Enjoy it, but have it in moderation.”

Mrs. Chase is co-owner and chef at New Orleans' landmark restaurant "Dooky Chase." She was born to Creole parents in Madisonville, and when she was 14 years old, she moved to New Orleans. After high school, she worked in the Colonial Restaurant in the French Quarter and in 1945, she married musician Edgar "Dooky" Chase II, whose parents owned the Dooky Chase Restaurant. She began working at the restaurant during the 1950s and, over time, her family's Creole recipes began to fill the menu.

The restaurant was flooded during Hurricane Katrina, and she lost the stove that she had been cooking on for decades. She was given a new stove by a restaurant equipment supply company, and her old one is now on display in the Southbend museum, she said.

Mrs. Achary said of Mrs. Chase’s school visit that it is always exciting to have local chefs support Lakeshore High's ProStart program. “Who better to learn about Creole Cuisine from than Chef Leah Chase. She not only cooked delicious Shrimp Clemenceau for the students, but gave them a dose of life advice. What a wonderful opportunity for our ProStart students. Leah Chase is quite a lady!”

It is the first year for a Pro-Start Kitchen course at Lakeshore, with 13 students enrolled. Many of those had already taken Advanced Food Preparation and nutrition classes last year, said Ms. Achary. “Pro-Start gives students interested in working in the restaurant industry a good feel for what it is like to work in a professional kitchen,” she said.

Most of the students are pursuing careers in the food industry, Ms. Achary noted. In the program, they have to earn 200 hours working in area restaurants and put in another 200 hours in class, which sometimes involves catering for special events and cooking for the football team.

The ProStart students are serving paid culinary internships at a number of Northshore restaurants, including Benedict’s Plantation, Broken Egg Café, La Provence, and Sal & Judy’s. Their assignments range from cake decorating and working special events to cooking breakfasts and making pizzas.

Chef Rost is helping the students learn how to prepare party spreads and garnishing, as well as make the five mother sauces and chocolate desserts.
ProStart courses were established by the National Restaurant Association 15 years ago, and the program has been active in Louisiana for the past 12 years. There are currently 1300 students enrolled in 50 programs statewide.


Construction To Begin on KidSense Play Yard at Magnolia Trace Elementary

(11-08-2010)
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Friday for the new KidSense play yard between Magnolia Trace Elementary and Lake Harbor Middle School in Mandeville . The specially designed play area will feature physical activity equipment that helps children with sensory and attention problems re-focus themselves through specific kinds of exercise.

It will be the second such playground built in St. Tammany. The first one was constructed at Pontchartrain Elementary in November of 2008, it being the first one in the nation at a public school. The new KidSense play yard will be used by all children at the two schools, as well as the children from the nearby Marigny Elementary School.

Special guests at the groundbreaking included Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III; Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie; Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere; LeAnne Cantrelle, project leader for KidSense; and School Board Member Roanne Tipton. Also on hand were , Melanie Edwards, Principal at Magnolia Trace; Susan Patin, Principal at Lake Harbor Middle School; and Leslie Martin, Principal at Marigny Elementary.

“We have a beautiful day for beginning construction on this project,” Ms. Edwards said in welcoming those attending. “This has been a three-school partnership that we have been working on for some time, and we are very excited about it.”

She explained that the KidsSense II play yard encourages education through recreation by helping young children make the sensory-motor/neurological connections that enable them to focus and learn at a heightened level. It will be used by school therapists and teachers who schedule motor-sensory breaks when needed or as a reward after finishing an academic task.

Parents involved in the project feel that the KidSense playground is a “smarter playground”. Among other things, it will feature a sensory mural that incorporates Braille characters, inlaid sculptures and special visual motifs. There will also be a climbing boulder, stepping ledges, and walkways embossed with arrowheads, fossils, mosaics and wildlife footprints.

Mrs. Edwards said, “Our faculty and Lake Harbors’ faculty worked all year last year to make money to fund this play yard. This year Marigny also jumped on board to help fund it. We have had booths at festivals, sponsored several races, sold Smoothies and milk shakes, and held movie afternoons and evenings with the kids. You name it, and we have done it.”

“We also worked hard to earn grants – such as the $10,000 NFL grant my school is receiving next week and a Chase bank $20,000 grant. Angels on Earth Foundation supported our efforts to earn money as well. The three schools are also having a joint poinsettia sale to raise money,” she went on to say.

“Our teachers and parents have been wonderful, helping us to raise over $100,000 for this project. In addition, several contractors and engineers are donating their time and equipment, and the playground equipment companies have donated things and slashed costs for us,” Mrs. Edwards said. “Most recently, some generous donations from parents and community members have enabled us to begin construction.”

She told the group that LeAnne Cantrelle is the driving force behind getting these play yards donated for the kids at the schools. “She has given countless hours of her time and talents to get the job done,” she said.

Ms. Cantrelle recounted how KidSense play yards were originally the idea of parents at Pontchartrain Elementary School. “The project went from two pieces of special playground equipment to emphasize specific concepts to a $100,000 state-of-the-art playground, the first of its kind in the nation at a public school,” she explained. “It is designed for children with autism and ADHD, but will be used by all children at the school.”

The concept used in the selection and placement of playground components is called “motor-sensory integration,” and research studies have shown that after spending time in the play yard, 90 percent of the kids with autism and 95 percent of the kids with ADHD can return to the classroom with a much higher level of focus and can better attain their learning goals.

Fund-raising has already started for a third KidSense playground, Ms. Cantrelle said. She works together with Dr. Kristy Bourgeois and Dr. Troy J. Bourgeois of the Angels on Earth Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Mandeville, as well as with Bruce Wainer of The Wainer Companies which constructs the play yards. Kyle Associates, LLC, a planning and engineering company, helps design the facilities and its president, Franklin M. Kyle III was present at the groundbreaking ceremonies.

The foundation is involved in various projects throughout the Greater New Orleans area, and in the fall of 2007, it agreed to help raise funds for the first KidSense Play Yard project. “Initially, we became interested in donating money to the project, but it kind of evolved where the project came under the umbrella of our foundation. So we have the privilege of being a part of such a wonderful effort. A lot of hard work and a lot of enthusiasm go into these projects,” said Dr. Bourgeois, “and the parents have made this dream become a reality.”

The Pontchartrain Elementary KidSense project opened in Spring of 2009, and the feedback the organizers have gotten from students, teachers, and administrators there has been remarkable, Dr. Bourgeois said. “These yards are designed to help meet the sensory needs of these children and get them back into their classrooms ready to learn,” she said. “That’s the mission of our foundation, the teachers, and the administrators: to help these kids spread their wings and be the best they can be.”


Annual Family Information Fair For Disabled Students Scheduled

(11-08-2010)
A Family Information Fair for families with children with disabilities will be held on Thursday, November 18, at the Castine Center, Pelican Park in Mandeville. The annual event is designed to increase awareness of the services provided by a variety of support agencies to aid in the transition of students graduating from high school.

Presented by the St. Tammany Parish Special Education Department, the 2010 Family Information Fair introduces families to the adult agencies and support organizations that can provide critical assistance to disabled young people once they exit the School System. Exhibits will be on display from agencies such as the Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Families Helping Families, STARC, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Social Security, and many others. Up to forty agencies have been invited to take part.

The fair begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at noon. Approximately 200 parents and teachers of the disabled are expected to attend. Pelican Park is located just east of Mandeville off U. S. 190 near Fontainebleau State Park.

Among the topics addressed will be residential services, day activity options, at-home support services, Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid information, advocacy issues, and employment opportunities.

For more information, please contact Transition Coordinator Paul Meeker or Suzie Hughes, Harrison Curriculum Center, at 985-898-3300.


Parents, Teachers Reminded To Set Clocks Back an Hour

(11-03-2010)
Daylight Savings Time for 2010 comes to an end at 2 a.m. this Sunday, November 7. Parents and teachers are reminded to set their clocks back an hour to start Monday morning on Central Standard Time.


Public Schools Close for Election Day

(11-02-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System closed schools and school support offices on Tuesday, November 2, when elections were held for Congressional and other statewide offices.

Support Offices re-opened and classes resumed on Wednesday, November 3.

Since many of the public schools are used as polling places, the school holiday on Tuesday election days gives voters better access to cast their ballots and avoids any distractions that may take place with students on campus.


Air Force Band Performs at Covington High

(11-01-2010)
The United States Air Force Band of the West Concert Band presented a concert at Covington High School on November 9 in conjunction with Veterans Day events.

The performance took place in the Elmer Lyon Auditorium, and the public was invited to attend. Supervisor of Fine Arts Margaret Sharpe said the performance was great. “It is an honor for our School District to host a concert by this well-known group,” she said.

According to an Air Force spokesman, the Band of the West is a musical organization with an impressive record of achievement. The Airmen assigned to the band are highly-trained professional musicians who have dedicated themselves to serving their country through music. The Band of the West has performed for presidents, heads of state, and dignitaries from around the world earning an outstanding reputation among America's military bands.

On Wednesday, November 10, The Concert Band was scheduled to perform at the Mahalia Jackson Theater For the Performing Arts. For more information, visit the Band’s website at www.bandofthewest.af.mil.


Red Ribbon Week Observes 25th Anniversary

(10-28-2010)
Schools throughout St. Tammany Parish and the nation celebrated Red Ribbon Week this week, stressing the importance of a drug-free lifestyle. Programs were held at several schools with visits by law enforcement officers, customs agents, and community-based drug abuse prevention organizations.

At its October meeting, the School Board passed a resolution declaring October 25-30, 2010, as “Red Ribbon Week,” a nationally-recognized event presenting a unified and visible commitment towards creating a Drug Free America.

The theme for Red Ribbon Week this year is “Celebrating 25 years of Red Ribbon Week, Celebrating Being Drug Free.”

Cheryl Arabie, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, told the School Board, “Studies have shown that young people who are taught to Say No to Drugs are less likely to be involved with crime and other destructive behaviors. During this week, each of our schools has an exciting program planned for its students.”

Schools displayed posters and banners, and children were treated to visits by drug enforcement teams explaining how they use dogs, helicopters, and other tools in their fight against drug abuse.

The School Board resolution expressed gratitude to the community volunteer organization Amplified Resources for its involvement in providing leadership in teaching young people about the life altering consequences associated with drugs and alcohol. The group, formerly know as PRIDE, is a driving force in the community to help raise awareness and teach drug abuse education classes to parents and students.

For many years, the organization has promoted a healthy drug-free lifestyle for students through leadership activities, family life-skills education and prevention programs designed to reduce the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, Mrs. Arabie said.

Vicki Traina-Dorge, president of the Board of Directors for Amplify, explained the importance of a community-wide effort to discourage use of illegal drugs. She said the group was pleased with the School Board’s participation in Red Ribbon Week, which helps raise young people’s awareness of the need to take a stand against drug abuse.

She praised Superintendent Folse and his staff for working with her group in bringing the activities to all the schools throughout the System. “The students are our future,” she said. “This year we are celebrating 25 years of Red Ribbon Week,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without you.”

Among the agencies participating in the Red Ribbon Week programs were the United States Customs and Border Patrol, the ATF Command Unit, the Louisiana State Police, the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office, Covington City Police, the Louisiana Wild Life and Fisheries, and Covington Fire Department.


Public Schools Close Tuesday for Election Day

(10-26-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System will close schools and school support offices on Tuesday, November 2, when elections are held for Congressional and other statewide offices.

Support Offices will re-open and classes will resume on Wednesday, November 3.

Since many of the public schools are used as polling places, the school holiday on Tuesday election days gives voters better access to cast their ballots and avoids any distractions that may take place with students on campus.


Science Observatory Hosts High-Tech Field Trips

(10-22-2010)
A multi-million dollar science lab in Livingston Parish is giving St. Tammany Parish students an opportunity to see into their future. It’s not a time machine, but the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), and the facility’s Science Education Center provides students with hands-on experiences that may steer their future career decisions towards science, technology, and engineering.

Dr. Paulette Perrin, Secondary Science Curriculum Specialist, told the School Board October 21 that the facility is one of two in the United States studying gravitational waves based on the theories of Albert Einstein involving space-time. While LIGO has welcomed students and the public to its facility for some time, the new 9th Grade Physical Science Partnership with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System has brought the collaboration to a new level, working with teachers so they can take advantage of ongoing communication with each other and the educational staff at LIGO.

The partnership is one of the School System’s initiatives on STEM instruction, emphasizing to students their real-world career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The LIGO collaborative effort provides students a chance to participate in learning activities in a variety of disciplines. "The LIGO staff are very interested in local education,” Dr. Perrin said. “They know the importance of reaching out to educational systems in the area.”

On November 22, nearly two dozen physical science teachers from St. Tammany will take part in an all-day professional development workshop at the LIGO Science Education Center, giving them a chance to work together and interact with each other. “They will be able to develop a network system among themselves and a network among the educational staff who work at LIGO,” Dr. Perrin stated. “Hopefully, we will be able to develop networks with physical science teachers from other School Systems as well.”

In the spring, those teachers will bring back groups of students on field trips to visit the LIGO facility. Several student groups from area high schools have already taken part in on-site visits to the LIGO Science Education Center, Dr. Perrin said.

The Science Education Center contains an auditorium, a classroom, and an exhibit hall which offers 40 displays students can use to explore and develop their understanding of the work going on there. Each exhibit encourages participation in designing, conducting, and interpreting the results of experiments. Several of those science exhibits were on display in the Central Office Atrium this week so Board members and the public could take part in the hands-on learning activities offered by the LIGO Science Education Center.

The center not only offers field trips to teachers and students, but every third Saturday, the public can take part in “Science Saturday,” a free event featuring a new science topic each month.

The partnership enables the School System to carry out its Strategic Plan objective of working with community resources to expand the educational mission outside the classroom. Field trips to the LIGO Science Education Center will expand the students knowledge of real-world applications in the fields of science, math, engineering, and technology, Dr. Perrin said. In addition, the LIGO program offers science field trips based on appropriate Grade Level Expectations (GLE’s) and the Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum for K-12.

“We appreciate the great opportunities being provided by the LIGO Science Education Center, opportunities bringing our students even greater awareness about the rewarding careers in science and other high-tech fields,” said Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse III. “Educational partnerships such as these are invaluable to our community, our teachers, and our School System.”

Dr. Perrin told the Board, “Our main goal is to give our students a vision of the opportunities that are out there in the STEM career fields. If they can develop the academic foundations needed and just reach for it, they can achieve their goals.”

LIGO is funded by the National Science Foundation and staffed by scientists from Caltech and MIT. Constructed in 1999 and first operational in 2001, it performs experiments in conjunction with a similar observatory in Washington state, with the goal of detecting ripples in space-time. The facility uses two two-mile long corridors situated at right angles to each other and bounces laser beams off of mirrors at the end of the two corridors to measure differences in light travel caused by gravitational waves.

For more information on the LIGO Science Education Center, visit the website http://www.ligo-la.caltech.edu.

Dr. Perrin also updated the Board on the School System’s three-year old partnership with NASA’s Michoud Facility in New Orleans, where science teachers are trained in the work being done in the space program. Each summer several educators in the Michoud Education Fellow Program take part in an intensive two-week session held at the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility.

In that program, teachers take tours, interview staff members, and get a first-hand look at how important science, math, and literacy are in the daily work of Michoud employees. They also meet with several NASA space shuttle astronauts. That program encourages educators to communicate the information, experiences, and lessons learned to their students in their classrooms during the school year.


Channel 13 Wins Telly Award

(10-18-2010)
Last year Channel 13 produced a video telling the story of Ashlee Stokes, a Northshore High School student critically injured two and a half years ago in a tragic accident in which her car was hit head on by a drunk driver. The video was shown at the 2009 Teen Focus on Safe Driving with considerable emotional impact, and now it has gone on to win a prestigious Telly Award, one of the most sought after awards in the industry.

One of 13,000 entries from across five continents, representing the best in local, regional, and cable television commercials and documentaries, the video “Becoming Ashlee Again” garnered top honors and has become a tool nationwide for illustrating the consequences of driving and drinking.

The video continues to impact students across the country as it raises public awareness of the dangers of driving and drinking. It is being used by organizations, police agencies, and high schools across the country.

Director of Broadcasting Melody Swang and Channel 13 Producer John Harrison were honored by Superintendent Trey Folse at the School Board’s October meeting for creating the award-winning video. Mrs. Swang thanked the Board for its support of Channel 13 and its continuing effort to capture the historic moments and tell the story of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

“I can’t think of a more fitting video to receive our first Telly Award than one about Ashlee Stokes and her struggles and challenges,” Mrs. Swang said. “The video goes straight to the heart, and we feel it’s a labor of love to produce these kinds of videos.”

She noted that Channel 13 will observe its ninth anniversary on November 5. Winning the Telly Award assures that Channel 13 is making a difference, she said, noting that “good videos can be vehicles of amazing impact and change.”

At this year’s Teen Focus on Safe Driving, a new video updated Ashlee’s recovery efforts, as she was elected homecoming queen at Northshore High. Her goal is to be able to walk across the stage to get her diploma at graduation next May.

It was noted that judges for the Telly Award competition come from all over the United States, representing large advertising agencies, television stations, production houses, and large corporate video departments.


Teen Focus Finishes Strong with Safe Driving Message

(10-14-2010)
More than 150 students, educators, law enforcement personnel and firefighters converged on the Castine Center in Pelican Park east of Mandeville October 13 to take part in the sixth annual “Teen Focus on Safe Driving.” Several informative presentations, demonstrations, and activities stressed the importance of driving safely. Each student filled out a ‘playbook” throughout the day to help them remember the key points and game plan for the event, particularly the points they wanted to share with their classmates back at their campuses.

The event ended with a marching band, cheerleaders, and a pep rally centering on this year’s theme "Finishing Strong." Students from 12 public, private, and parochial high schools throughout St. Tammany Parish participated. The teams will carry out action plans for their schools to promote the safe driving message throughout the school year.

The Louisiana State Police demonstrated their rollover vehicle which illustrated how many ways an accident victim can be thrown from a vehicle by not wearing seat belts and shoulder belts. Local fire district personnel pried open a vehicle with the Jaws of Life to show how much effort, broken glass, and twisted metal was involved in a rescue attempt, as well as how long it takes to get an injured person out of a wrecked car.

Participants included speakers from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, Louisiana State Police – Troop L, ambulance companies, Slidell Police Department, St. Tammany Fire District #1, Booze ‘n Cruise You Lose, Acadian Ambulance, and other agencies, as well as the Fontainebleau High School band and cheerleaders from several schools.

During lunch, participants were entertained by a rock group made up of Talented Music students. At the end of the program, each school chose an “MVP” to spearhead bringing the safe driving message back to their campus.

The Teen Focus program included a safe driving art poster contest, with entries from throughout the School System on display. Channel 13 premiered a new video “FINISH STRONG,” showcasing the stories of students who have overcome adversity.

The first Teen Focus forum was held in November 2004, in response to several tragic vehicle accidents in which teenagers from public and private schools were severely injured or killed. School System organizers brought together a wide range of knowledgeable community representatives to present their case in the first forum of its kind.

The previous five teen forums have met considerable success, with students taking the message back to their high schools and conducting several follow up programs on their own campuses.

A number of exhibits are also on display throughout the day, staffed by volunteers from various community organizations explaining their concerns and providing valuable informational opportunities.


Former Student Directs Award-winning Documentary

(10-13-2010)
Josh Tickell, a former resident of St. Tammany Parish who attended Mandeville High, has won numerous honors with his new documentary film “Fuel,” an overview of the petroleum industry and the future potential of biodiesel to ease the world’s energy problems. Last fall the widely-acclaimed film was seen in 150 cities.

Concerned over the effects of the petrochemical industry on Louisiana, Tickell searched for a cleaner alternative, and that led him to research biodiesel. Based on his research, the movie “Fuel” has earned international recognition for its in-depth look at how motor fuels could be made from a variety of agricultural sources, even algae. His film won the 2008 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary and has earned dozens of other honors as well.

After attending Mandeville High for two years, Tickell graduated from Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts in 1993. For two years he travelled the country in the “Veggie Van” promoting the use of vegetable oils as an alternative fuel source. As a result of that experience, he wrote two books around sustainable energy: “From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank - The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel”, and “Biodiesel America.”

He earned an undergraduate degree in Sustainable Living from the New College of Florida and an MFA in Film from FSU’s School of Motion Picture Television and Recording Arts.

After Hurricane Katrina, his Biodiesel America Organization mounted a relief aid effort in Louisiana and Mississippi. Tickell’s biodiesel-fueled relief ships delivered 20,000 meals, clothing and medical supplies to the hardest-hit areas of the disaster zone.

His research into the history of motor vehicle engines turned up some interesting developments. While in Europe, he translated documents written by the inventor of the diesel engine, Rudolf Diesel, and found that the first diesel engine had been designed to run on vegetable oil, not petroleum. In the beginning of the American auto industry, Henry Ford had also manufactured a large number of vehicles to run on ethanol.

Tickell lives in California currently and travels as a speaker and enthusiast on the potential of biofuels to reduce American dependence on foreign oil.


Schools Help Raise Funds For Breast Cancer Research

(10-11-2010)
The Salmen High Football team played its game Friday night not only to win 44 to 0 but also to raise money in recognition of Breast Cancer awareness month.

The players wore pink “accessories”, the coaches wore pink shirts, and the team sold pink armbands for $2 each to raise money for Breast Cancer Research. Even the big School Initial on the playing field itself was coated pink for the occasion. The group collected over $300 during the event, and may collect funds and sell armbands again at a game later this month.

“This was an idea from the football players who are aware that one of their own lost his mother to cancer last year,” said Terri Wortmann, principal. “So it was a pink-out game. The players each signed a banner dedicating the game to someone they’ve lost or who may be battling cancer or has survived cancer.”

The armbands were sold at a table covered with a pink tablecloth at the gate, and the cheerleaders also made a donation. “It was a show of support for all the women that they care about,” Principal Wortmann said of the effort.

At Lakeshore High School, the volleyball team will be holding a “Paint the Gym Pink” volleyball game on October 28. All the proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

The district junior varsity and varsity volleyball games will start at 4:30 p.m. and efforts are being made to put together a faculty vs. student volleyball game to follow the other games. T-shirts and Pink Bracelets are being sold to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Awareness program.

The Lakeshore Head Volleyball Coach Kacie Mule said the cause was very important to her and the volleyball team since her sister was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. “Just in the last week we received news that the mother of one of the girls on the volleyball team was also diagnosed,” she said.

October is proclaimed as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” nationwide, and numerous community organizations, doctor’s offices and health agencies have made extra efforts to encourage early detection measures.


Teen Focus on Safe Driving Underway

(10-08-2010)
The sixth annual “Teen Focus on Safe Driving” is being held at the Castine Center in Pelican Park east of Mandeville today, beginning at 8:30 a.m. with several presentations scheduled on the importance of driving safely. The theme this year is "Finish Strong."

Students from 12 high schools throughout St. Tammany Parish are meeting for a full day with seven different break-out sessions, demonstrations, and speakers from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, Louisiana State Police – Troop L, ambulance companies, Slidell Police Department, St. Tammany Fire District #1, and other agencies. They are spotlight the need for driving defensively and the consequences of unsafe driving. Approximately 150 students from eight public high schools and four private/parochial schools are involved.

The demonstrations include the traditional “Jaws of Life” being used to pry open a wrecked vehicle so Emergency Medical Personnel can reach accident victims inside. New this year will be a car rollover demonstration, which will illustrate the chaos inside a vehicle when it flips over after a crash.

The “Booze ‘n Cruise, You Lose” program is also a part of the event, warning students about the consequences of driving while intoxicated.

During lunch, participants will be entertained by a group of Talented Music Students on stage, and at the end of the day, each school’s “MVP” will be chosen to lead their school team carrying the safe driving message back to their campus and help organize a local effort to spread the word.

The Teen Focus program includes a safe driving art poster contest, with entries from throughout the School System on display. Channel 13 premiered a new video “FINISH STRONG,” showcasing students who have overcome adversity in their lives. After the presentations, the teams have the opportunity to share their thoughts and brainstorm ways to help reduce teen accidents on the highways. The end result is a “plan of action” for each high school which has, over the years, proved effective in reducing teen injuries and fatalities.

Ending at around 2:30 p.m., the event closes with a pep rally to celebrate each school team’s efforts.

The first Teen Focus forum was held in November 2004, in response to several tragic vehicle accidents in which teenagers from public and private schools were severely injured or killed. School System organizers brought together a wide range of knowledgeable community representatives to present their case in the first forum of its kind.

The previous five teen forums have met considerable success, with students bringing the message home to their high schools and conducting several follow up programs on their own campuses.

A number of exhibits are also on display throughout the day, staffed by volunteers from various community organizations explaining their concerns and providing valuable informational opportunities.

For more information on the event, contact Terry Meyer at the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, 985-898-3360.


Students Get Day Off Oct. 8 For Teacher Workday

(10-07-2010)
Students did not have to attend school on Friday, October 8, as teachers took part in professional development workshops and fulfilled record-keeping duties. The first grading period of the 2010-2011 School Year ended Thursday, October 7. Classes for students resume Monday, October 11.


Schools Close October 1 For Parish Fair Holiday

(09-30-2010)
In keeping with a 100-year-old tradition, the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools System scheduled a holiday on Friday, October 1, the second day of the Parish Fair.

Designated as “School Day” at the parish fair in Covington, the holiday gives students and their parents the opportunity to visit the many educational exhibits at the fairgrounds and attend other special events and family-oriented attractions. The fair began on Thursday, September 30, and runs through Sunday, October 3.

School System support offices are also closed on Friday. They will re-open and classes will resume on Monday, October 4, 2010.

The School System has partnered with the parish fair association for decades to give students the day off so they could participate in many key fair activities such as providing marching bands in the fair parade, taking part in livestock shows, and displaying 4-H Club and FFA Chapter projects. For many years, the parish fair parade included entire classes of school children walking to the fairgrounds for opening ceremony festivities.

In addition to the wide variety of programs designed for youngsters, the fair offers more than 40 large educational exhibit displays put together by students from schools across the parish. These exhibits feature student work in grade levels kindergarten through 12th grade. The theme of this year’s educational displays is “Legacies of the Past, Dreams of the Future.”


College and Career Fair Tonight

(09-29-2010)
The 2010-11 College & Career Fair will be held Wednesday, September 29, 2010, at Castine Center, Pelican Park, in Mandeville. The free annual event is held by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and begins at 6:00 p.m.

All students from 9th grade through 12th grade in public, private, or home-school programs are invited to attend along with their families.

This year a large number of representatives will be on hand to distribute information, talk to students, and explain opportunities available to high school graduates.

Last year more than 125 representatives from universities, art institutes, apprenticeship programs, community and technical colleges, and military academies were present. Financial aid information will also be available on TOPS, participating lending institutions, and scholarships.


Chef John Besh Teaches Pro-Start Kitchen Class

(09-27-2010)
Well-known Chef John Besh visited the Pro-Start Kitchen class at Lakeshore High School Monday to give students a first-hand look at how to use kitchen knives properly.

Besh demonstrated a variety of standard knife cuts for the first year Pro-Start students, as well as several specialty cuts used in certain food preparations.

Lakeshore High Family and Consumer Science Instructor Judy Achary welcomed Besh to her classroom after he was escorted across campus by Principal Brennan McCurley. He was joined at the demonstration by his partner at La Provence Restaurant Chef Erick Loos. Also on hand was Chef Jan Rost with the Northshore Technical College and the American Culinary Federation New Orleans.

It is the first year for a Pro-Start Kitchen course at Lakeshore, with 13 students enrolled. Many of those had already taken Advanced Food Preparation and nutrition classes last year, said Ms. Achary. “Pro-Start gives students interested in working in the restaurant industry a good feel for what it is like to work in a professional kitchen,” she said.

Chef Besh brought his travelling collection of kitchen knives, explaining the purpose of each one, from the smallest to the largest. He demonstrated how each is used in everything from dicing onions to carving avocados.

“I didn’t have ProStart when I was a kid starting out,” he told the students. “I wish it had been available back then.” He grew up in Slidell and served his Chef apprenticeship in Germany.

He told the students that nothing goes to waste in a professional kitchen. Whenever the food preparation work result in waste trimmings, they either go into a soup or to feed livestock. Students were able to ask him questions and go through a list of classroom topics they were most interested in.

After his demonstration, he worked with individual students at specific work stations.

Principal McCurley said, “This was a great opportunity for our ProStart students to meet and learn from a well-known professional chef. We feel events of this kind go a long way to give them the confidence and skill sets they will need to get a good start in their upcoming careers.”

Most of the students are pursuing careers in the food industry, Ms. Achary said. In the program, they have to earn 200 hours working in area restaurants and put in another 200 hours in class, which sometimes involves catering for special events and cooking for the football team.

The ProStart students are serving paid culinary internships at a number of Northshore restaurants, including Benedict’s Plantation, Broken Egg Café, La Provence, and Sal & Judy’s. Their assignments range from cake decorating and working special events to cooking breakfasts and making pizzas.

Chef Rost is helping the students learn how to prepare party spreads and garnishing, as well as make the five mother sauces and chocolate desserts.

ProStart courses were established by the National Restaurant Association 15 years ago, and the program has been active in Louisiana for the past 12 years. There are currently 1300 students enrolled in 50 programs statewide.

Visitors to the event included James Blanchard, ProStart Coordinator for the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Education Foundation, and Joel C. Treadwell, the Bayou/Northshore Regional Director for the Louisiana Restaurant Association. Blanchard said, “In most of our programs, we have mentors who will come out and speak to our ProStart students, local chefs and instructors from many of our post secondary institutions, but not always someone the caliber of John Besh.”

The program gives students the chance to meet some of the top industry professionals, Blanchard went on to say. “It’s a great opportunity for the students to work side by side with the Chefs.”

“The program results have been fantastic. We are getting stronger and expanding into new areas every year,” he said. “We have kids who complete the two-year program and either go on into secondary education courses or straight into the workforce.”

Louisiana’s reputation as a great place to eat also offers area students a great variety of opportunities, he said, both in preparing great food and establishing and managing a restaurant. “ProStart is a great foundation for getting started and moving forward in their careers,” he said.

Treadwell said he was always glad to see Chef Besh out working with kids. “He is so good with students," he said. “He’s a local guy, and he gives so much back to the community. He is someone who is willing to come out and help us with the future of our industry.”

“Louisiana food and hospitality is an industry where you really can’t go wrong, and you get to work with the best people in the world,” Treadwell stated.


Schools To Close October 1 For Parish Fair Holiday

(09-26-2010)
In keeping with a 100-year-old tradition, the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools System will close on the second day of the Parish Fair, Friday, October 1.

Designated as “School Day” at the parish fair in Covington, the holiday will give students and their parents the opportunity to visit the many educational exhibits at the fairgrounds and attend other special events and family-oriented attractions. The fair begins on Thursday, September 30, and runs through Sunday, October 3.

School System support offices will also close on Friday. They will re-open and classes will resume on Monday, October 4, 2010.

The School System has partnered with the parish fair association for decades to give students the day off so they could participate in many key fair activities such as providing marching bands in the fair parade, taking part in livestock shows, and displaying 4-H Club and FFA Chapter projects. For many years, the parish fair parade included entire classes of school children walking to the fairgrounds for opening ceremony festivities.

In addition to the wide variety of programs designed for youngsters, the fair also offers more than 40 large educational exhibit displays put together by students from schools across the parish. These exhibits feature student work in grade levels kindergarten through 12th grade. The theme of this year’s educational displays will be “Legacies of the Past, Dreams of the Future.”


Student Creates Winning Appetizer Dish for Emerils

(09-24-2010)
A freshman student at Slidell High School has created a new appetizer dish that recently won top honors in a Culinary Students contest entitled “Dream Up Next Emeril’s Dish”. Money raised through the sale of the appetizer dish by Victoria Farmer, 14, of Slidell will be donated to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation.

The Foundation invited aspiring young culinary students at a summer program at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) to create an original dish inspired by the traditions of Louisiana’s Creole cuisine. Chef Emeril Lagasse and a panel of New Orleans chefs and restaurateurs selected the winning dishes from three finalists based on taste, presentation, creativity, use of fresh, seasonal ingredients and representation of Louisiana’s cuisine.

Miss Farmer’s Creole Rabbit with Roasted Butternut Squash & Spicy Corncakes won in the appetizer category in the “Dish that Makes a Difference” competition. “I am definitely pursuing this as a career,” she said after the win. It took her about two weeks to come up with the dish, and after two or three tries, she had what she was aiming for.

“I knew this was going to be served in October, so I tried to come up with something that people in Louisiana would enjoy,” she said. “Most of the ingredients will be easy to find, but it might be hard to get the rabbit.”

Her appetizer and the two winning entrée dishes will be featured on the menu at Emeril Restaurants from October 1 through October 31. Those restaurants are located in New Orleans; Orlando, FL; Miami, FL, and Las Vegas, NV. She will be visiting a couple of those restaurants during October to enjoy the dish herself and see how the public is taking to her creation.

For each dish sold, Emeril’s restaurants will donate $10 to Emeril Lagasse Foundation.


School System Celebrates Black and Gold Day

(09-20-2010)
Schools throughout St. Tammany Parish celebrated their support of the New Orleans Saints football team Friday, September 24, and at the same time helped raise funds for the establishment of a regional children’s museum.

Students and faculty members taking part donated $1.00 to wear Black and Gold that day with all proceeds benefitting the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany.

The museum is a project of The Junior League of Greater Covington and St. Tammany Parish and will provide a learning environment that serves the needs and interests of children, families, and schools in the area. It will feature a creative atmosphere of exhibits and programs that will stimulate curiosity and nurture a desire for life-long learning at all age levels.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, said, “It is important for our School System community to join with other St. Tammany schools and businesses in the efforts to support the new Children’s Museum of St. Tammany.”

A contribution check from the School System will be presented to the Junior League of Greater Covington to go towards the Children’s Museum. To learn more about the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany, visit www.jlgc.net.


College and Career Fair Set for September 29

(09-13-2010)
The 2010-11 College & Career Fair will be held Wednesday, September 29, 2010, at Castine Center, Pelican Park, in Mandeville. The free annual event is held by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and begins at 6:00 p.m.

All students from 9th grade through 12th grade in public, private, or home-school programs are invited to attend along with their families.

This year a large number of representatives will be on hand to distribute information, talk to students, and explain opportunities available to high school graduates.

Last year more than 125 representatives from universities, art institutes, apprenticeship programs, community and technical colleges, and military academies were present. Financial aid information will also be available on TOPS, participating lending institutions, and scholarships.


Patriots Day Observed By Schools Parishwide

(09-11-2010)
Schools throughout St. Tammany Parish hosted a variety of programs Friday, September 10, in observance of Patriot's Day, which this year is on Saturday, September 11. Special programs were held to show appreciation to law enforcement officers and firefighters for their dedicated service to the community. Many of them visited campuses and joined the faculty and students for lunch.

At Pontchartrain Elementary School, Mandeville Police Department officers and firefighters from Fire Protection District No. 4 greeted youngsters as they arrived at school. They signed autographs and had their pictures taken with the students.

At Fontainebleau Junior High School, a group from the school chorus sang for the visiting firefighters and Fire Chief Merrick Tassin. Several cards of appreciation were made for the group by Talented Art students, and the entire student body signed the cards. They were presented at the end of the lunch hour. Many of the students thanked the visitors for their efforts to keep the community safe.

Dr. Timothy Schneider, principal, said that while the event was low key, it gave students a chance to meet the officers and firefighters. The fire department brought several vehicles to each school, including a ladder truck, fire engine, and emergency medical service ambulance.

The law enforcement officers and firefighters look forward to the event each year, especially since many of them have children who are students at the schools or they were students there at one time themselves. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, encouraged principals at the beginning of the School Year to plan special events in keeping with the significance of the day.

Patriot's Day was first established to honor the police and emergency personnel who lost their lives nine years ago in the 9-11 World Trade Center tragedy. Some social studies classes viewed videos about the memorials being planned for those who lost their lives in the attacks.


Lakeshore High School Starts Campus-Wide Book Club

(09-10-2010)
In a first for St. Tammany Parish public schools, Lakeshore High School has launched its own “One Book, One School” project, where the entire faculty and student body all read the same book and then discuss it, research topics within it, and use it for a multitude of classroom projects throughout the year.

The idea sprang up last year when faculty members started a “book club” where the same book was read by a number of people and then discussed. When some of the teachers expressed a desire to share the book with their students, the concept was expanded to cover the entire school, all 680 students.

Thursday, September 9, was the day of distribution for the book, “The Hunger Game” by Suzanne Collins. The purchase of the books was made possible through a Youth Literacy grant from Dollar General Stores. With the help of several members of the PTSA, hundreds of books were distributed during a special event in the school courtyard during the lunch hour.

Sara Drewes, the school librarian, said there’s a little bit of something for everyone in the book. The book is sort of a survival story, she explained, and it gives teachers a variety of ideas for classroom projects, whether in English, science, geography, or social-economic classes. “It’s a program that gets everyone working together,” Drewes stated. “The year-long project will help students develop literacy skills and improve test scores by helping with reading comprehension.”

Many of the students had heard about the book and had already read it when the project started. Some had already started reading the second book in the trilogy, Drewes explained. “After they’ve read it, we tell them to just pass it on to someone else. At the end of the year, we will collect all the books turned back into us and send them all in a package to another school that wants to do the same thing,” she said.

The project has been spotlighted on the morning school broadcast. Students are kept up-to-date on the progress of the One Book, One School program, and in the coming weeks quizzes on the book will be given over the daily broadcast.
Overall, the project will show the students, their parents, their siblings, and even the community at large how powerful reading can be, that literacy skills can help students develop lifelong skills and become community leaders.

The project will also tie into a philanthropy that faculty and students will contribute to during the school year. Due to the name of the book, they have chosen the Samaritan Center and its food bank as their designated charity. Special events are being planned around days when canned goods are donated, including the building of a large cornucopia. Drewes said students and faculty will also be raising money and donating volunteer time to the Samaritan Center during the year. “It sort of ties in with themes in the book,” Drewes stated.

The first quarter students will read the books, the second quarter teachers will implement classroom activities drawn from the book, and third quarter activities will include a “community showcase” where parents will be invited to the school to see the projects the students have been working on. “We hope that will be a big event,” she said. During the last quarter of the school year, students, faculty, and community members will work together to pick the book for next year’s “One Book, One School” project.

Principal Brennan McCurley said the program will involve just about everyone in the school. “And when everyone is involved, it’s easy for the kids to get excited about it. Our hope is to be able to use the book in some way in every subject area. Our teachers have gotten together and created a number of lesson plans across the curriculum, ” Principal McCurley said.

“We want the kids to understand that reading can be fun, and there are things to be learned and explored and researched based on the materials they read,” McCurley stated. “There’s so much more that can be done than just reading the words on a page.”

“My teachers and librarian have done a great job of getting the students excited about this idea,” he went on to say. “They chose a great book, one that gets students interested right from the beginning. I can’t say enough about my teachers who really have worked hard on this project. They are passionate about literacy and what we can do to draw kids into reading.”

He is reading the book himself and will be taking part in some of the classroom discussions.

Arlana Leblanc, Assistant Principal, said the whole process was awesome. “This is the first time I’ve seen something like this,” she stated. “The kids are really excited about it, even more than we anticipated. Our teachers are working hard to design classroom projects to bring in our curriculum and tie it into the book. It’s been catching on like wildfire.”

She felt it was going to be interesting to see what happens when all students read the same book, the ones who are avid readers and those who don’t read much at all. “Everyone will be on the same page, in the same book,” LeBlanc remarked. It’s an opportunity for everyone to work together and learn together at the same time.

Other schools throughout the nation have used the “One Book, One School” concept, and the New Orleans Schools System has its own “One Book, One City” project, said Drewes.


First Lady Michelle Obama Visits Brock, Promotes Childhood Nutrition

(09-08-2010)
First Lady Michelle Obama visited Brock Elementary School in Slidell on Wednesday, September 8, to kick off the next phase of her “Let’s Move!” Campaign to combat childhood obesity. She was greeted by hundreds of students at the school with cheers, songs, smiles, hugs, and handshakes.

During her visit, she spoke to school food service personnel, School administrators, and community leaders. She said St. Tammany Parish public schools have shown great progress in taking the steps necessary to reduce childhood obesity.

She commended those St. Tammany Parish School Food Service Programs which participate in the USDA’s HealthierUS Schools Challenge program. The principals and cafeteria managers of the schools taking part in that program stood with her on the stage at Brock Elementary during her presentation.

Mrs. Obama said that Brock Elementary was not just a school that was dedicated to academic success, not just a school that is a model of determination to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, but it was also a school that is a model of excellence in teaching children good nutritional habits right from the beginning.

“Brock Elementary is among the very best of the best,” Mrs. Obama stated. “Brock isn’t the only school in this district to win the Gold Award of Distinction honor from the USDA,” she went on to say. “There are 25 schools in St. Tammany that have won the award, and this is an incredible accomplishment. You should be very proud of this honor. Something like this doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because there are principals and food service managers and others who have made a commitment to put a lot of hard work in to make it happen.”

She congratulated Brock and the entire St. Tammany school district, saying, “I can see it in the faces of your children that they are healthy, bright, and energized. There is a difference when kids feel good and invested in a nutritional program such as this. You are all doing a phenomenal job, even with the great challenges you faced. You have been able to rebuild this school and recover from one of the greatest devastations that this country has ever seen. If you can do it here, then all the schools in our nation should be able to do it.”

The Let’s Move initiative began in February and focuses on solving the problem of childhood obesity within a generation, an ambitious goal. “When we are talking about the health and well-being of our children,” she said, “when we are talking about our children’s future, that’s something I think we should be ambitious about.”

Mrs. Obama also outlined the goals and pledged to participate in the President's Active Lifestyle Award program, another part of the effort to reduce childhood obesity.

She urged schools nationwide to take part in the USDA's Healthier US Schools Challenge program, providing better nutrition for students as well as improved physical fitness activities.

After Mrs. Obama's remarks, the USDA presented the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools Food Service Program with a check for $50,000, one of the financial incentives for meeting the program's standards.

In 2005 Cypress Cove Elementary in Slidell was given the very first USDA Gold Award in the HealthierUS Schools Challenge program. Within a year, every elementary school in the parish was recognized for having achieved the USDA Gold Award level.

Regarding the fight against childhood obesity, Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, stated that the School System’s Food Service Program continues to be a beacon for nutritional excellence. “It’s a great example of how administrators, students, parents, and school food service personnel can work together to make the Go, Grow and Glow motto a healthy reality for all,” he said.
Folse also said that he was pleased that Brock Elementary was again recognized for its many accomplishments.

USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary national certification program that recognizes excellence in nutrition and physical activity. The Challenge is designed to bring schools closer to compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendations for school meals and foods in schools.


First Lady To Visit Brock Elementary Wednesday

(09-01-2010)
First Lady Michelle Obama will visit Brock Elementary School in Slidell on Wednesday, September 8, as part of her Let’s Move! Campaign to combat childhood obesity.

During her visit, she will highlight the steps schools and communities can take to reduce childhood obesity, and she is scheduled to commend School Food Service Programs which participate in the USDA’s HealthierUS Schools Challenge program.

The St. Tammany Parish Public Schools Food Service Program has been nationally recognized for providing outstanding educational efforts in nutritional instruction, and in 2005 Cypress Cove Elementary in Slidell was given the very first USDA Gold Award in the HealthierUS Schools Challenge program. Within a year, every elementary school in the parish was recognized for having achieved the USDA Gold Award level. Currently only 59 schools in the nation have earned the highest award, the Gold Award of Distinction, and St. Tammany Parish has 25 of those schools.

Regarding the fight against childhood obesity, Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, stated that the School System’s Food Service Program continues to be a beacon for nutritional excellence. “It’s a great example of how administrators, students, parents, and school food service personnel can work together to make the Go, Grow and Glow motto a healthy reality for all,” he said.
Folse also said that he was pleased that Brock Elementary would again be recognized for its many accomplishments. The school was devastated by Hurricane Katrina but was rebuilt and became a symbol of community restoration efforts.

The goal of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative is to encourage children to lead healthier and more active lifestyles and to end childhood obesity within a generation.

USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary national certification program that recognizes excellence in nutrition and physical activity. The Challenge is designed to bring schools closer to compliance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) recommendations for school meals and foods in schools. The Challenge is also a key component of the Let’s Move! initiative to raise a healthier generation of kids.


Public Schools To Close For Labor Day Holiday

(08-31-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and support offices will close on Monday, September 6, in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.

Support offices reopen and classes resume on Tuesday, September 7.


Summer Programs Serve Thousands of Students

(08-27-2010)
When the school year ends across St. Tammany Parish, a whole new world of possibilities opens for many students. A growing number of students are taking advantage of the many interesting and educational summer programs offered by the School System, whether for catching up with school work, getting ahead in certain subject areas, or just plain having fun.

Technology Supervisor Julie Matte reported to the School Board at its August 19 meeting about this past summer’s programs and participation, saying the large variety of summer program learning opportunities, both traditional and “not so traditional,” had been enjoyed by the very young to the “not so young.”

The traditional programs include regular summer school sessions, one for elementary and middle grade students and another for high school students. This program has two purposes, she said. Students may remove deficiencies in subject areas they have had trouble passing, and students may become stronger in a subject area where a need has been recognized.

In addition to the traditional programs, internet based instruction is offered through virtual online summer school, with two sessions during the summer. Quite a few courses are available through this service, Mrs. Matte said, including four levels of English, Algebra, Geometry, Financial Math, World Geography, Civics, Free Enterprise, History, Physical Science, French, Spanish, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Communications.

One hundred and eighty seven students took part in elementary summer school, and a total of 981 students took advantage of secondary summer school, both regular and virtual versions.

The LEAP Summer Remediation Program (LSR) offers students help in passing the fourth and eighth grade LEAP tests. Mrs. Matte said four school sites provided LSR instruction and LEAP re-testing. There’s a four-week LSR and a two-week LSR, with lessons tailored to meet the students’ needs.

High school students needing help to pass the Graduate Exit Exam (GEE) could also attend sessions at two sites, Lakeshore High and Northshore High. This past summer 350 students took part in that program.

The “Fast ForWord” program is a series of computer based brain exercises that help students improve academic achievement. The summer program at Florida Avenue Elementary and Pine View Middle School served 101 students from 35 schools. Students were recommended for the program by speech therapists or their teachers.

Also active during the summer is the Extended School Year Program, where students gain valuable additional instructional time. School sites participating this summer included Covington Elementary, Covington Pathways, Creekside Junior High, Little Pearl Elementary, Northshore High School, and Pine View Middle School. The program helps students maintain skills learned in the previous school year.

Now in its first year, the KIT Summer Camp session provided enrichment activities for 80 “kids in transition.” At the two KIT sites at Mandeville Middle School and Clearwood Junior High, the students learned math and reading skills, Home Economics, Physical Education, and the arts. The teachers found that students young and old enjoyed the experience, with the older students helping the younger ones through the program, Mrs. Matte noted.

Another 536 students took part in the Title I June summer program, which was designed to provide extended school year learning opportunities and instruction in math and reading. Technology was incorporated into many aspects of the program, as were cultural arts performances. That program took place at six schools: Abita Springs Middle School, Alton Elementary, Brock Elementary, Carolyn Park Middle School, Fifth Ward Junior High, and Riverside Elementary.

The Title I “STARS” program helped to provide at-risk students an early three-week start to the 2010-2011 school year. The extra instruction in math and reading helped the 505 students at nine schools get off to a good start this August, with emphasis on computer learning opportunities in math, reading, and other subjects. The experience was enriched through art lessons and physical education sessions.

Each summer, all eight high school band directors conduct band camps for younger students from feeder schools who will eventually attend that particular high school, as well as for high school students who are preparing for marching band activities.

Several schools also held fine arts camps this summer, Mrs. Matte reported. The camp at Woodlake Elementary School, for instance, emphasized instruction in music, dance, theater, and art.

Activities continued this past summer at the four 21st Century Community Learning Centers in Covington, Pearl River, Lacombe, and Slidell. The popular summer program served 650 kindergarten through sixth grade students throughout its six-week program. Mornings were spent with an artist from Young Audiences working alongside a certified teacher to deliver the Arts4Learning Curriculum. The focus was on literacy skills through the art disciplines of theater, music, dance, and the visual arts. Participants also enjoyed a variety of enhancement activities ranging from cooking and jewelry making to scrapbooking and cartooning. Field trips expanded the program, and the weekly “water day” proved popular, especially the water slides and snow balls.

Older students at the 21st Century Community Learning Centers learned community service skills as part of the “Junior Corps.” The students performed a variety of community service projects, learned CPR and first aid, adopted a neighborhood park and performed school facility improvement projects.

Mrs. Matte emphasized that summer programs were available to students across the parish, as School officials sought to provide equitable learning opportunities to all. Several of the programs provide transportation to and from the sites, she noted. “Members of our team work together to converge resources to ensure the success of all the students and all the programs,” she concluded.


College and Career Fair Set for September 29

(08-26-2010)
The 2010-11 College & Career Fair will be held Wednesday, September 29, 2010, at Castine Center, Pelican Park, in Mandeville. The free annual event is held by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and begins at 6:00 p.m.

All students from 9th grade through 12th grade in public, private, or home-school programs are invited to attend along with their families.

Last year more than 125 representatives from universities, art institutes, apprenticeship programs, community and technical colleges, and military academies were present. Financial aid information will also be available on TOPS, participating lending institutions, and scholarships.


Salmen High Holds Ribbon Cutting For New Campus

(08-25-2010)
A large number of area dignitaries, city and parish public officials, and School System administrators took part in ribbon cutting ceremonies for the new Salmen High School campus Wednesday morning, almost five years after the school was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III welcomed those present to the “brand new state-of-the-art Salmen High” school. He said he started his teaching career at Salmen High and when he saw the devastation left by Katrina, it was heart-breaking. “But it was clear from the beginning that this school is critical to our St. Tammany community, and due to the leadership of our School System administrators and local, parish and national officials, we have been able to open the doors to this new high school.”

U. S. Senator Mary Landrieu credited the loving care and support of the Slidell community, the school’s principal and administrators, and local officials for making it all come together. “I am proud to have been a part of that effort,” she said. “On this, the fifth anniversary of the greatest natural and manmade disaster ever to hit America, we must now look forward to the great future of this school.”

She recognized the efforts of FEMA officials in realizing the need to rebuild the school at a sufficient elevation to escape future storm surges and allow parking underneath the structure.

Members of the audience included, Parish President Kevin Davis, and several officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Among the guests were numerous School Board Members and Congressman Steve Scalise.

Principal Terri Wortmann said the first day of school on the new campus was “magical,” and the students and faculty alike were excited to be in the new buildings. Two students read poetry to honor the occasion, and another sang the school’s Alma Mater, joined by Salmen students and alumni.

An emotion-stirring video by Channel 13 chronicled the history of the school, from its early days to its destruction during Katrina, and then its rebuilding to once again serve the southern area of Slidell. Many Salmen alumni were interviewed in the video, including many who are today’s community leaders and members of the current faculty.

Special thanks was given to the faculty, administration, and students of Northshore High School, where Salmen High students attended classes under a platooning arrangement in the months following the storm.

Salmen High students helped throughout the special ribbon cutting ceremonies, guiding visitors, serving refreshments, and demonstrating some of the new high-tech classroom improvements. The Salmen High School Junior ROTC Color Guard presented the colors at the beginning of the program.

The new front entrance of the school is at the corner of Berkley and Spartan Drive. The campus features an elevated 122,000 square feet of floorspace with a capacity of 1000 students.

Federal disaster recovery funds were used to pay for most of the $49 million project. The school offers five classroom wings, a new administration office, and a building that houses the art, band and auto tech programs. The new campus also features a large outdoor commons area, a library building, and covered walkways between the raised buildings.


Salmen High Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

(08-24-2010)
The new Salmen High School campus was officially dedicated August 25 in a ribbon cutting ceremony in which a large number of area dignitaries, public officials, and School System administrators took part.

The event was held in the cafeteria of the school highlighted by a Channel 13 video showcasing the history of the Salmen High Spartans. Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, introduced special guests, including U. S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

The newly-rebuilt Salmen High School features an elevated 122,000 square feet of floorspace with a capacity of 1000 students. The original school buildings were demolished after being severely damaged by the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The school has been operating out of temporary buildings since that time. The temporary buildings will be removed soon in order for the School’s baseball field to be rebuilt.

“We appreciate all the hard work and effort that has gone into making this new Salmen High School a reality,” said Superintendent Folse, III. “The architects, contractors, FEMA officials, our construction office staff, and community supporters- everyone involved has been great, especially the parents, students, faculty and staff.”

Federal disaster recovery funds were used to pay for most of the $49 million project. The school offers five classroom wings, a new administration office, and a building that houses the art, band and auto tech programs. The new campus also features a large outdoor commons area, a library building, and covered walkways between the raised buildings.

 


Junior Corps Program Held During Summer

(08-23-2010)
A program encouraging junior high students to become involved with community service projects was launched at the four 21st Century Community Learning Centers across St. Tammany Parish this past summer.

While 21st Century Community Learning Center programs have always been popular with younger children, this was the first time junior high students had been included in the summer program. “The students were so excited about the Junior Corps program, they gave up sleeping late for the summer,” said Mrs. Julie Matte, technology supervisor for the School System, in a recent report to the School Board. “Their community service experiences proved they were up to the challenge, and it was a big success.”

One major project involved the students designing, building, and installing concrete tree identification markers for the Northlake Nature Center. Each center’s Junior Corps made eight to ten of the markers, with each marker weighing 100 pounds. “They got a great deal of satisfaction out of this particular project,” she added. “They realized that one day they will be able to show their own children and grandchildren the markers they made.”

Taking part in community service activities was new to some students, but they learned the rewards of “giving back” to the community. Mrs. Matte said.

In other activities, Junior Corps students completed the “Safe Sitter” program in which they learned CPR, choking rescue techniques, and first aid. Each center’s group also adopted a neighborhood park, committing to help in picking up litter, planting, and weeding, and they performed some school facility projects as requested by the school principal.

Once a week, Corps members went on trips to local nursing homes to bring cookies to residents and play a game of bingo with them.

The new community service effort has certainly been a successful addition to the 21st Century Community Learning Center program, Mrs. Matte said.


School Board Congratulates FFA Award Winners

(08-16-2010)
Members of the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) from several St. Tammany Parish junior high and high schools were honored for their accomplishments over the past year at the recent state FFA Convention in Alexandria.

At the August School Board meeting held in Slidell, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie reported that FFA members at Creekside Junior High, Fifth Ward Junior High, Folsom Junior High, Fontainebleau Junior High, and Lee Road Junior High had won honors in a variety of competitions, and FFA members at Covington High, Fontainebleau High, and Pearl River High had brought home a number of recognitions as well.

Awards received ranged from landscaping, agriscience, and livestock exhibition to environmental science, public speaking, and biological sciences.

"FFA is a youth organization that has been a part of our agricultural education programs at some of our schools in St. Tammany for many years,” Mrs. Arabie stated. “The National FFA Organization reflects the growing diversity of agriculture, and the Louisiana FFA is at the forefront of preparing students for leadership, personal and career success in agriculture and many other industries. FFA members are continually challenged to make an example of themselves as stewards of service and leadership.”


Jazz Ensemble Invited To Perform In Chicago

(08-13-2010)
The Fontainebleau High School Jazz Ensemble One has been invited to perform at The Midwest Clinic, an international Band and Orchestra Conference to be held in Chicago December 15-18. Led by director Lee Hicks, the band will give a concert at the world’s largest professional conference for instrumental music educators. More than 15,000 music educators and professional musicians are expected to attend.

Ensembles wanting to perform for this event undergo a rigorous application process, and the Fontainebleau High School ensemble is one of 38 selected from over 140 applicants from middle schools, high schools, colleges, and community organizations as well as professional musicians. The winning participants were chosen because they represent the musical excellence that is possible at every age and experience level.

Antonio García, the Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and a member of The Midwest Clinic Board of Directors, said, “I had the privilege of hearing Fontainebleau High School perform at the Loyola University Jazz Ensemble Festival in early March. Mr. Hicks asked me afterwards if that year’s band was strong enough to justify an application to perform at Midwest later in the year. I told him ‘Absolutely!’ Two weeks later, the application recording indeed prompted our accepting the band for The Midwest Clinic.”

“I had been aware of Fontainbleau's excellence for a number of years,” García added. “I am delighted that their community has been recognized by this international music event as having such high standards for music education for their students.”

The Fontainebleau High School Jazz Ensemble One performs regularly at local cultural events, school concerts, and jazz festivals, and play and study with professional jazz artists. Recently the group has performed with Mark Mullins, Dan Caro, Dan Keberle, Tony Dagradi, John Mahoney, Jim Ketch, Roland Guerin, Troy Davis, Fred Sanders, and Wycliffe Gordon.

In 2006, the Jazz Ensemble One opened for the late Maynard Ferguson’ “Big Bop Nouveau” and performed the Theme from Rocky with the jazz legend. Fontainebleau High School’s music program has hosted the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Count Basie Orchestra in live concerts held on the school campus. The program has also hosted clinics with world renowned drummer Stanton Moore of Galactic, Jason Marsalis, and Mark Mullins, and Harry Connick Jr.’s Big Band, as well as with inspiring drummer, Dan Caro, a Fontainebleau alumnus.

Ensemble One has received numerous honors. In 2008, the ensemble was invited to participate in the 1st Annual Swing Central National Jazz Band Competition at Georgia’s Savannah Music Festival. They placed 4th out of the 12 school jazz ensembles invited from around the country and plan to return to the festival this year. The ensemble was also named 2009 and 2010 Louisiana Grand Champions at the annual Louisiana Association of Jazz Educators State Jazz Ensemble Competitions.

At the 64th Annual Midwest Clinic, members of the Fontainebleau High School jazz ensemble will have opportunities to enjoy a variety of jazz, band, orchestra, and chamber concerts, a number of clinics and displays from more than 350 exhibitors, such as sheet music publishers, instrument manufacturers, and college music programs.


Summer Video Institute Held

(08-12-2010)
A large number of parents turned out for a special premiere of this year’s student-produced videos made during the 2010 Summer Video Institute offered by Channel 13 at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

Twenty students from across the parish took part, breaking into five teams, each headed by an experienced Channel 13 staff member who taught them the basics all the way through a finished product. Topics featured in the videos this year were the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the Cousin-Lowry House in Slidell, the H.J. Smith’s Sons Hardware Store in Covington, the “Sign Man” at Saints Football Games, and the Playmakers Inc. benefit production of “Cats” for the St. Tammany Humane Society.

Summer Video Institute participants this year were Fontainebleau High School students Katherine Burns, Jake Chapman, Kaitlyn Morales, Tyler Farrell, and Lauren Zimmerman; Mandeville High students Jasper Cicero, Sophie Goodgion, Kristen Ajubita, and Andrew Franzella; Pearl River High School students Kaitlyn Fickle, Danielle Koster, and Daniel Horton; Slidell High students Kevin Dupuy Jr., Leah Reeb, Daniel Smith, Meghan Conaway, and Joseph Galbreth; Covington High School students Katherine Pennington and Jennifer Pennington; and Lakeshore High student Brendan Twomey.

The intensive one-week Summer Video Institute gives broadcast students an opportunity to learn video production techniques from shooting raw footage and standup commentary in the field to final editing procedures in the studio. The ninth annual summer video program included instruction on how to best tell a story employing camera handling techniques, lighting and music overlays.

Melody Swang, Director of Broadcasting for the School System, said, “We had a wonderful week in spite of the heat. This has been the best institute we’ve had yet. The students came to us with some valuable experience from their school broadcasting programs and worked really hard for us.” Instructors agreed that the “kids were awesome.” They were proud of their accomplishments in becoming craftsmen in the art of story-telling by creatively using video.


School System Officials Monitoring Weather Situation

(08-11-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public School System officials are working with the National Weather Service and the local Emergency Operations Center to monitor weather conditions. Please continue to monitor this website, the School System TV Station on Charter Cable Channel 13 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99, and local news stations for updates. A text message and call alert will be sent out in the event of any cancellations.


2010-2011 Proposed Budget Discussed

(08-10-2010)
The proposed Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Budget for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System has been presented by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse III to the St. Tammany Parish School Board for its consideration for adoption at the September Board meeting.

The Superintendent presented his recommended budget at the August 5, 2010, Committee As A Whole meeting. A public hearing on the budget was held August 19 at the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington.

The board is scheduled to discuss the proposed document again at the Thursday, September 2, Committee As A Whole meeting, and final adoption may be considered at the September 9 School Board meeting.


Classes Begin for 2010-2011 School Year

(08-09-2010)

St. Tammany Parish Public School students  returned to classes on Monday, August 9.

The Payschools online fee payment service is in operation, with all schools participating this year. Through the secure online service, parents can used their  credit cards to pay a variety of school fees by visiting their school’s individual Payschools website.

To view maps showing the attendance district boundaries for each school, visit this webpage. Clicking on the low resolution link brings up an overall map of the attendance area, and clicking on the high resolution link brings up street level boundary information.

Supply lists for each elementary through junior high school are available by clicking on the “Supply List” link next to the school name on the School Directory Page. Clicking on the name of the school in the directory will bring up the school’s home webpage.

Information on the Free and Reduced Price Meal Policy for students of the School System for the 2010-2011 School Year is available here.

For information regarding school bus transportation, parents may visit the transportation department webpage and the Bus Route Database where entering a street address will bring up nearby bus stops and bus driver assignments.

 

 


Classes Begin Today for 2010-2011 School Year

(08-09-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public School students returned to classes on Monday, August 9.

To view maps showing the attendance district boundaries for each school, visit this webpage. Clicking on the low resolution link brings up an overall map of the attendance area, and clicking on the high resolution link brings up street level boundary information.

Supply lists for each elementary through junior high school are available by clicking on the “Supply List” link next to the school name on the School Directory Page. Clicking on the name of the school in the directory will bring up the school’s home webpage.

Information on the Free and Reduced Price Meal Policy for students of the School System for the 2010-2011 School Year is available here.

For information regarding school bus transportation, parents may visit the transportation department webpage and the Bus Route Database where entering a street address will bring up nearby bus stops and bus driver assignments.


 

Back To School Report Presented to Board

(08-09-2010)
A Back to School report for the 2010-2011 School Year was presented by William Brady, Assistant Superintendent of Administration, to the School Board last week, including updates on a variety of construction projects at or near completion.

He said the new Salmen High campus was ready to open, and individuals who have seen the facility agreed that it is a magnificent example of ingenuity, architecture, and engineering. “It is a classic example of all that is good with our School System,” he stated.

Students have moved into renovated classrooms at Folsom Junior High School, with work on a new cafeteria expected to proceed later this month. “The young people of Folsom have a lot of new things to look forward to,” Mr. Brady said.

At Lee Road Junior High School, a new wing offering ten classrooms is opening, and renovation projects are underway at Alton Elementary School and Bayou Lacombe Middle School.

Transportation routes have been assigned and adjusted as needed, with parents able to contact their bus drivers with the help of the Transportation phone hotline and the transportation department ‘s webpage query feature which matches street addresses with bus routes. With the addition of 22 more bus drivers, a total of 369 school buses are on the roads this year, Brady said.

The Payschools web service is up and running, he added, with all schools participating this year. Through the secure online service, parents can used their credit cards to pay a variety of school fees by visiting their school’s individual Payschools website. “We piloted that at a number of schools last year and got great results,” said Superintendent William L. “Trey” Folse III. “There is a link on the School System’s website home page to the Payschools page where parents can select their school and then use a shopping cart to pay fees.”


 

Willie B. Jeter Joins School Board

(08-05-2010)
Willie B. “Coach” Jeter of Lacombe took his oath of office Thursday night to serve as the District Seven representative on the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

He was the only candidate to qualify for a special election to fill the unexpired term vacancy left by District Seven Board Member Sorola “Jody” Palmer who died in December of 2009.

Jeter was sworn in by Ward Seven Justice of the Peace Dewey Spies during a special board meeting following the August 5 meeting of the Committee As A Whole. He said he was excited about joining the team that is already supporting a great school system and will do everything he can to make it better.

He retired from the School Board personnel department in 2004 after working for the School System for 36 years. He had served as a coach, Principal, and supervisor in the Human Resources Department.

Mr. Palmer’s wife Judy was appointed by the Board to serve in the position for the past several months until a special election could be held.


 

Jim Henderson Speaks To Coaches

(07-30-2010)
Well-known sportscaster Jim Henderson spoke to a gathering of public high school and junior high school coaches Tuesday during the annual Coaches Event at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

Henderson, the “Voice of the New Orleans Saints” for years, told the crowd about the many players and coaches he met during his career as a WWL-TV sports reporter and Sports Director. He told the group dozens of inside anecdotes about the games, the different coach personalities and their styles, as well as some of the owners.

He acknowledged the important job of public school coaches in not only fielding teams that can win, but also inspiring individual young people to know their own capabilities and do their best. “I appreciate the job you all do,” Henderson said. “While I don’t remember much about the plays and skills my high school coach taught me, I will never forget that he taught me how to think about myself, making me a better competitor and teammate,” Henderson said.

Henderson was an English teacher for three years before getting his degree in broadcasting and starting his career covering sports on radio and television.

The meeting gave hundreds of coaches, assistant coaches and administrators a chance to share excitement for the coming year’s competitions and meet with William L. “Trey” Folse III, the new Superintendent of Schools.


 

Summer Institute Offers Innovative Workshops

(07-29-2010)
Hundreds of public school teachers from throughout St. Tammany Parish converged on selected school sites and the Treen Instructional Technology Center July 28 and 29 to attend a number of specialized workshops dealing with classroom technology updates.

Summer Institute seminars were held at Fontainebleau High School, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Pine View Middle, Lake Harbor Middle, Fontainebleau Junior High and the Tech Center in Mandeville.

At Fontainebleau High, more than 100 diffferent seminars were presented on innovative teaching strategies and best teaching practices in all content areas. At Bonne Ecole Elementary, one session dealt with using Promethean Boards in grades Preschool through 6th, and at Bonne Ecole workshops were offered on how to use the iPod Touch to engage students in meaningful learning.

Educators and trainers also presented sessions on everything from secure blogging and video conferencing to Microsoft Office and Web 2.0 tools. Teachers discovered what learning opportunities are available through a variety of software programs, websites, and video production skills which enable students to showcase what they have learned.

The presenters included Stacy Hoover, Tammy Gendusa, Sandy Scott, Rachael Blanchard, Jan Latino, Patty Blair, Judi Anger, Jennifer Busch, Stacey Alexius, Amanda Hartman, Summer Holliday, Joan Harris, and Gary Bennett.

The Summer Institute is an annual two-day professional development program that emphasizes interactive learning experiences. Attending the seminars enable teachers to begin acquiring the six hours of required professional development credits for the school year and to receive Continuing Learning Credits (CLUs).


 

Bus Transportation Hot Line To Begin August 2
(07-22-2010)

To help parents get information about school bus routes for the 2010-2011 school year, a “Transportation Hot Line” will be offered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System before the start of school.

The Hot Line will be open Monday, August 2, through Friday, August 6, from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and then on Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8, from 1:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The telephone number for the Hot Line is 985.898.3373.

Parents can call the Hot Line to get the name and contact information for their children’s bus drivers, which will allow them to call drivers to find out bus stop locations and pick-up and drop-off times.

“The Hot Line is a great tool for parents. It allows them quick access to bus information and provides details they will need for the first day of school,” said Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse, III.

Parents can click on the Bus Transportation link on the School System's web site home page to find bus routes, bus driver contact information and pick-up points. Folse added, “We implemented the Hot Line and web link for the first time two years ago and both proved to be very helpful. We believe by providing the information again this year, it will make the start of school as smooth as possible for our students who use bus transportation.”


 

New Teacher Induction Program Enhances Classroom Effectiveness
(07-20-2010)

More than 100 new teachers attended the 2010-2011 New Teacher Induction program at the David Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville, a four-day event where speakers discussed a variety of subjects important to newly-hired instructors.

The annual program helps teachers new to the St. Tammany Parish Public School System become acquainted with overall goals, instructional strategies, and specific curriculum initiatives. In attendance were 101 educators recently hired by the School System, ranging from individuals with 33 years of experience and others just starting out in their careers. The average years of experience among those in the group was just over seven years.

Participants were able to meet with Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse III when he joined them for lunch at the Tech Center one of the days.

The professional development event insures a high level of classroom performance by teachers new to the School System by introducing them to the local educational culture and providing a climate of understanding for what is expected of them. They are shown many of the programs being used to improve student performance, with sessions taught by the grade-level teachers who have a first-hand understanding of the various programs and how they work in the classroom setting.

New teachers meet in small group sessions led by a “master teacher” for each curriculum topic and grade level, and some of the meetings are one-on-one for some subject areas. Efforts are made to familiarize new teachers with the latest techniques for encouraging student engagement so that a meaningful learning environment is assured. The School System’s current “Working on the Work” initiative, a program that provides continual assessment of classroom effectiveness, is also explained.

Topics ranged from online teaching tools and Blackboard to special education and STI, an Internet based system that gives parents access from home to check their children’s grades.

Dr. Holly Broom, Professional Development Coordinator, said it was a wonderful group. The audience was introduced to Central Office personnel they will be working with as a teacher.

Teachers were introduced to the various digital teaching venues offered by the School System, and special education programs were explained in depth for those teaching gifted, disabled, and talented students, as well as other areas of special needs. Other topics included the process for calling in substitute teachers, the District Handbook for Students and Parents, and the highly-effective Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program.

Each year the new teachers are asked to evaluate what portions of the session were most valuable to them, and next year’s program focuses even more attention on those areas.


 

School System Wins Top Press Club Media Awards
(07-19-2010)

For the third year in a row, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System won recognition from the New Orleans Area Press Club for outstanding media projects over the past 12 months. Both Channel 13, the School’s System educational television channel, and the Department of Communications won top honors at the 52nd annual Press Club Awards Banquet on July 17 in downtown New Orleans.

For the first time ever, the School System’s Department of Communications took home an award when Communications Specialist Angela Daviston won first place with the brochure design for the STAR Employee-Business Program, ahead of other nominees the United Way and Loyola University.

Channel 13’s Kevin Mumphrey won first place in the Documentary category for his video on Preservation Plaza, and Trevor Cassidy also earned a first place award for his graphics on the Preservation Plaza video.

In the feature category, Melody Swang and John Harrison won an Honorable Mention for “Becoming Ashlee Again,” a video produced for this past year’s Teen Focus on Safe Driving.

In response to the awards, Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse III said, “It is quite an honor to win such outstanding recognition for our School System media efforts, both for print and television productions. Getting the word out about our excellent people and programs is a rewarding challenge in itself, but to have the New Orleans Press Club showcase our media productions in this way is proof that we are communicating our mission in the most effective and professional manner.”


 

Covington High Homecoming Queen Competes In National Program
(07-17-2010)

Brittany Anna Bruhl, Covington High School’s Homecoming Queen for 2009-2010, was crowned Louisiana's Homecoming Queen on May 23 and is now in competition for being named America's Homecoming Queen. She recently visited Anaheim, California, for a round of festivities and scholarship presentations.

The national scholarship program is conducted by America's Homecoming Queen, Inc., a non-profit organization, promoting leadership, education, educational travel and responsibility for serving your community. It also promotes several scholarship opportunities for young women.

Miss Bruhl was selected by her classmates as Covington High School’s 2009-2010 Homecoming Queen, and that afforded her the opportunity to participate in the selection of Louisiana's Homecoming Queen. She was chosen as a state finalist, and then was crowned 2010 “Louisiana Homecoming Queen,” earning an all-expense paid trip to Disneyland in Anaheim to participate in America's Homecoming Queen Contest.

The activities began with a reception at the Disneyland Hotel and included a trip to Disneyland and a banquet to honor the State Queens. In her speech she encouraged all present to visit Louisiana, mentioning the Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints, the delightful cuisine and desserts. She also told them about Mardi Gras and the outstanding architecture.

America's Homecoming Queen, Inc. awarded Miss Bruhl a Public Relations award and two college scholarships. She is eligible to earn the title of America's Favorite Homecoming Queen by supporters voting on the America's Favorite Homecoming Queen website by making donations to the AHQ scholarship fund. The voting ends in November.


 

Palmer Leaves School Board District Seven Seat
(07-16-2010)

Judy Palmer, District Seven representative on the St. Tammany Parish School Board, will be leaving the group this month after serving seven months in the seat held by her husband Sorola “Jody” Palmer. He passed away unexpectedly in December of 2009, and she was appointed by the Board to fill his unexpired term until a special election could be held.

“She joined the Board during a very difficult time, and she has become very special to us,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse III at the Board’s July meeting. He stated she had shown much grace and integrity in filling the position and that she has served the students of St. Tammany Parish well in her brief time on the Board. “You have done a wonderful job, and we will miss you,” he told her.

Willie B. “Coach” Jeter, the only candidate who qualified for the special election to fill the unexpired term of office, will take his oath of office during a special board meeting following the August 5 Committee As A Whole meeting. He retired from the School Board personnel department after working for the School System from 1968 to 2004.

In special remarks at the July 15 Board meeting, School Board President John Lamarque said the Board appreciated Mrs. Palmer for stepping in during trying times and expressed the group’s grateful recognition for her efforts over the past several months.

Mrs. Palmer said she felt it would be beneficial for the new board member for District Seven to have time before the start of the new school year to become familiar with his fellow Board Members, and that is why she chose not to take part in the special election. She thanked her family for their love and support and said the Board could count on her help when called upon.

In her farewell comments, Mrs. Palmer was joined at the podium by her son Sorola Palmer Jr., and her sisters-in-law Elsie Burkhalter and Brenda Palmer.

District Seven covers the Lacombe area, serving the schools of Bayou Lacombe Middle, Chahta-Ima Elementary, and Monteleone Junior High.


School Food Services Receive USDA Recognition
(07-15-2010)

Twenty five public schools in St. Tammany Parish have been awarded the HealthierUS School Challenge Program’s highest level of recognition for excellence in food service and nutrition. The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments by meeting specialized program criteria.

Schools have the opportunity to become certified as Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Gold Award of Distinction Schools, depending on meeting certain criteria ranging from development of a wellness policy and promoting physical education to limits on sugar and salt in the meals served. A key component is nutrition education, where students learn about the food pyramid, whole grain foods, and the importance of vegetables.

Food Services Supervisor Pat Farris was notified by the United States Department of Agriculture this week that the schools named below had met the criteria for the “Gold Award of Distinction” for their meal preparation, nutrition instruction, and physical activity programs: Abita Springs Elementary, Abney Elementary, Alton Elementary, Bayou Woods Elementary, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Brock Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Covington Elementary, Cypress Cove Elementary, Fifth Ward Jr. High, Florida Avenue Elementary, Folsom Elementary, Honey Island Elementary, Lee Road Jr. High, Little Pearl Elementary, Lyon Elementary, Madisonville Elementary, Magnolia Trace Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Marigny Elementary, Pontchartrain Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, Whispering Forest Elementary, and Woodlake Elementary School.

Cypress Cove Elementary earned the honor of being the first school in the nation to win the Gold Award recognition in 2004, and by 2005, every elementary school food service program in the School System was recognized for having achieved the USDA Gold Level award. By 2006, twenty three St. Tammany Parish public schools had achieved Gold Award status in the program.

The U.S.D.A. commended the schools for the exemplary steps, leadership and team work employed to make changes to their school’s nutrition environment, improve the quality of the foods served, provide students with more nutritious, healthy choices, and enhance their physical activity program. In acknowledgement of their achievement, each school will receive a HUSSC award plaque and a banner to display for meeting the Healthier US School Challenge’s updated criteria. The names of the schools also will be added to the HUSSC awardee list on the Team Nutrition HUSSC website.

The School System’s “Go, Glow and Grow” program was recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)for outstanding effectiveness in providing nutrition education.


 

New Salmen High Ready To Open
(07-07-2010)

School officials are looking forward to the opening of the newly-rebuilt Salmen High School next month, as work crews put the finishing touches on the elevated campus. The new structure will offer 122,000 square feet of floorspace and a capacity of 1000 students.

The original school buildings were demolished after being severely damaged by a storm surge from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that left eight feet of floodwaters in the school. After the hurricane, the school was re-located to nearby Northshore High School under a platooning schedule, then moved into temporary buildings at the original site the following year.

Working with FEMA, architects came up with a design for a raised one-story structure to avoid the future risk of flood waters. The new structures are 14 feet above sea level, some three feet above the required flood elevation and 9.5 feet above existing ground level.

In preparation for next month’s opening, everything usable from the temporary buildings is being moved into the new structures, and bids will go out next month to remove those temporary buildings so the School’s baseball field can be rebuilt.

Although some weather delays were experienced during construction, the three-year project was completed sooner than expected due to an accelerated work schedule that was approved by a School Board committee earlier this year.

Federal disaster recovery funds are being used to pay for most of the $49 million project, which will include five classroom wings, a new administration office, and a building that will house the art, band and auto tech programs. The new campus also features a large outdoor commons area, a library building, and covered walkways between the raised buildings.

The cafeteria and the gymnasium are together in one structure, connected by an atrium and lobby space, thus sharing restroom facilities. Because the school buildings are raised, elevators and ramps were built into the design to comply with ADA regulations.

The front entrance has been relocated from the Berkley Street side of the campus to the corner of Berkley and Spartan Drive.


 

Folse Takes Office as Superintendent
(07-01-2010)

William L. “Trey” Folse, III was sworn in Thursday morning as the thirteenth Superintendent of Schools for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Superintendent Gayle Sloan retired June 30.

He was unanimously appointed to the post by the School Board on May 20 after serving as Deputy Superintendent for the School System since 2003.

The entire Central Office staff gathered in the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex auditorium for the event, while School Board Attorney Harry Pastuszek administered the oath of office and Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie, Pete Jabbia, and William Brady stood nearby.

When he was appointed, Folse stated that parental involvement in St. Tammany Parish is second to none. “With that involvement comes expectations, and we will work to continue to meet those high expectations," he said.

Prior to serving as Deputy Superintendent, he was Assistant Superintendent of Administration, an Administrative Supervisor, an Assistant Personnel Director, an Assistant Principal, and a teacher. He joined the School System in 1985.

In 2008, he won an Excellence in Government Award For Innovation from the Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) for his establishment of an energy conservation and management program which has saved the School System millions of dollars over the past several years.


 

Local Students Win Environmental Awareness Awards

(06-25-2010)
Four St. Tammany Parish Public School System students recently won top honors in Louisiana's Eighth Annual Environmental Awareness Art and Language Contest. Approximately 800 entries were submitted, with 22 winners announced.

St. Tammany Parish winners were Muhammed Yousif, Mandeville Middle School, who took third place in Language Arts; Brianna Miller, Cypress Cove Elementary, who won a third place in Art; Madison Hardee, Covington Elementary, who was awarded a first place in the Art category; and Kristen Boese, Mandeville Middle School, who earned a first place in Language Arts.

The contest is sponsored by the ALCOE Foundation and Louisiana Environmental Education Commission (LEEC), which is under the direction of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The competition was open to all Louisiana students from Kindergarten through twelfth grade in public, private or parochial schools.

The students attended an awards reception in their honor at the Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge on June 22, 2010, where they received certificates along with cash awards. The students' teachers and administrators also attended the reception.


William Brady Appointed Assistant Superintendent of Administration

(06-18-2010)
The School Board appointed William “Bill” Brady to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Administration at its June 17 meeting. He will assume the post July 1.

Brady, Senior Administrative Supervisor since 2004, joined the School System 43 years ago as a teacher at Slidell Junior High School. He became Assistant Principal at Chahta-Ima Junior High School in 1970, Principal of Bayou Lacombe Junior High School in 1975, and Principal of Covington Elementary School in 1980, moving to the Central Office as an Administrative Supervisor in 1995.

He holds a Master’s Degree plus Thirty in Administration and Supervision as well as a Master of Education Degree, both from Southeastern Louisiana University.



Chris Duhon Foundation Awards Scholarships

(06-16-2010)
Five St. Tammany Parish public high school students are the first recipients of scholarships from the Stand Tall Foundation established by Salmen High School graduate and pro basketball star Chris Duhon. Each student will receive a $5,000 scholarship to the four-year college of their choice. Recipients of the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation Scholarships for 2010 are Adam C. Beasley of Fontainebleau High, Michael E. Braud of Slidell High, Brittany A. Bruhl of Covington High, Bradley T. Hewitt of Northshore High, and Mary Ann Zar of Salmen High. A Scholarship Dinner will be held at Bayou Oaks Plantation on July 17.After graduating from Salmen High, Duhon attended Duke University where he earned top baskeball honors, played for the Chicago Bulls for four years and is now with the New York Knicks. After Hurricane Katrina devastated Slidell and his alma mater Salmen High in 2005, he brought in large amounts of relief supplies and began working to rebuild the community. The new scholarship program joins other projects Duhon has initiated over the past five years, including a basketball camp, a Feed the Children program, and a fund-raiser golf tournament.The Stand Tall Foundation was formed in 1998, and Duhon’s Hurricane Relief Fund became a chapter of the foundation to support his efforts in providing aid to Slidell. He then formed the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation in 2007. Among other things, the organization has worked towards refurbishing the public basketball courts and playgrounds in Slidell and New Orleans East. The mission statement of the Duhon foundation says that every day is an opportunity to contribute to the quality of a child's life, through recreation, education and welfare. “We believe an educated child has unlimited possibilities, and it is our desire to serve the community in ways that are significant and will directly benefit the community's most valued citizens, children and youth,” Duhon said.

More information about the foundation is available at www.chrisduhonstandtall.org.



Digging Deeper Conference Helps Teachers

(06-10-2010)
More than 120 teachers attended a special web technology workshop entitled the “Digging Deeper Conference” at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville in early June. Two teachers from each school took part, and the skills they learned at the two-day event will be taken back to their campuses and shared with their fellow teachers.

The aim of the conference was to show that the 21st Century classroom can be more engaging and successful by using digital tools easily found on the Internet, on every computer, or with inexpensive software programs. These tools include webcams, flip video cameras, Newsmaker software, wikis, Google applications and educational websites. The course helped educators become more aware of how the World Wide Web works, how content on the Web is manipulated, and how to be a smarter web researcher.

Participants commented that the information would get students excited about planning, creating, and uploading web-based media presentations. “The conference was so eye-opening,” one teacher said. “I am looking forward to sharing these concepts with my students and integrating this technology into my daily lessons.”

Julie Matte, Supervisor of Technology, said the workshop focused on how students can become producers of multimedia learning content to be shared on the World Wide Web. “The job of educators is to help students become a productive and contributing part of the global digital community, to guide them to be critical, collaborative thinkers using the Web as the medium. This will enable students to take their reading, writing and speaking skills to the next level, and through this process, create a never ending learning cycle that enables lifelong learning,” said Matte.

The trainers for the conference were Rachael Blanchard, Inkie Landry, Sandy Scott, and Sandy Swartz, with Michele Montreuil, Stephanie Purser, Jennifer Sheets, and Bonnie Bernstein serving as assistants.


 

School Registration Schedule Announced For Fall Semester

(06-08-2010)
Registration for all students entering the St. Tammany Parish public schools for the first time during the 2010-2011 School Year will begin Wednesday, July 28, at the school the student will attend. The registration date for each school is printed below.

An Assignment/Transfer Request Form must be completed for students changing schools within St. Tammany Parish (other than students going to another school because of grade promotion), students who are entering the School System from home schooling, and parents or court-appointed guardians who do not have the required proof of residency. The forms are available at the Child Welfare and Attendance offices located at the Covington School Board Annex at 406 East Boston Street or the Slidell School Board Annex at 980 Ninth Street. An Assignment Letter must be obtained from one of these offices before registering at the school they will attend.

Every child, as a prerequisite to enrollment in any first grade of a public school, shall meet one of the following criteria: have attended a full-day public or private kindergarten for a full academic year; or have satisfactorily passed academic readiness screening at the time of enrollment for first grade. Students who have completed kindergarten at an accredited private school must furnish proof of attendance.

Any child born before October 1, 2004, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2005, will be eligible for kindergarten.

Registration Schedule

The hours of registration will be 9:00 a.m. until noon on the dates listed:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Abney Elementary
Chahta-Ima Elementary
Cypress Cove Elementary
Florida Avenue Elementary
Folsom Elementary
Folsom Junior High
Fontainebleau Junior High
Lake Harbor Middle
Little Oak Middle
Little Pearl Elementary
Magnolia Trace Elementary
Mandeville Elementary
Mandeville High
Mandeville Middle
Mandeville Junior High
Monteleone Junior High
Northshore High – 1st Registration
Pearl River High
Pine View Middle
Pontchartrain Elementary
Riverside Elementary
Salmen High – last names A-L
Slidell High
Tchefuncte Middle
Whispering Forest Elementary
William Pitcher Junior High

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Abita Springs Elementary
Abita Springs Middle
Alton Elementary
Bayou Lacombe Middle
Bayou Woods Elementary
Bonne Ecole Elementary
Boyet Junior High
Carolyn Park Middle
Covington Elementary
Covington High
Fifth Ward Junior High
Honey Island Elementary
Lakeshore High – 1st Registration
Lyon Elementary
Madisonville Elementary
Marigny Elementary
Northshore High – 2nd Registration
Salmen High – last names M-Z
St. Tammany Junior High
Slidell Junior High
Woodlake Elementary

Friday , July 30, 2010
Brock Elementary
Clearwood Junior High
Creekside Junior High
Fontainebleau High
Lee Road Junior High
Lakeshore High – 2nd Registration
Madisonville Junior High
Sixth Ward Elementary

Registration Requirements

The following items are required for student registration:
1. State Certified Birth Certificate
2. Proof of Residency
3. Social Security Card
4. Health Record of Required Immunization
5. Report Card/Records from last School/LEAP results (for in-state transfer)
6. Assignment Letter (if applicable); and
7. Custody Papers (if applicable)

State Certified Birth Certificate. Those who do not have a birth certificate may contact a St. Tammany Parish School Board Annex in their area for information on how to obtain one. Contact the Covington Annex at 985-898-3370 or the Slidell Annex at 985-646-4917.

Proof of Residency. Proof of Residency must be established, using at least three of the documents listed below. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required. All documents must be the most current available.

Documentation may consist of a current utility bill (butane, electric, gas, water, cable, or satellite), the current year W-2 forms, the most recent federal or state income tax returns, a vehicle insurance print-out from the parent’s or guardian’s insurance company, a signed residential building contractor agreement, a signed real estate lease agreement, or signed mortgage loan documentation. All documents must show the name of the parent or guardian, the utility service address (if using utility bills), and the street or road address of residence. Lease agreements must show street or road location and must be from a real estate office, apartment complex, or mobile home property, not from an individual.

U. S. Post Office box numbers, printed checks, or drivers’ licenses are NOT considered proof of residency.

Social Security Card. The Social Security number serves as a student identification number on all records.

The Social Security number written on a piece of paper cannot be accepted.

Health Record. State Law requires that all children attending school in the State of Louisiana have the following immunizations. This requirement includes students in the Title 1 four-year-old program and in Pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Included are students who are coming into the St. Tammany Parish Public School System from another parish, state, or nonpublic school.

1. DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis or Whooping Cough) – A minimum of four (4) doses is required. The last DTP or a booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.

2. Polio – A minimum of three (3) doses is required. The last polio or booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.

3. MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) - One (1) dose is required at twelve to fifteen months of age. A second MMR is required before entry to school.

4. Hepatitis B – Three (3) doses are required for first time enrollees into Louisiana public schools.

5. HIB – Four (4) doses or proof of at least one dose after fifteen (15) months of age are required for pre-kindergarten and noncategorical students to enter school.

6. Varicella (Chickenpox) – Two (2) doses or a history of the disease is required for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

7. MCV4 (Meningococcal Conjugate) – Required for all students entering grade 6 or eleven (11) years old in any other grade. These students must also have proof of booster doses of Tdap, MMR, and Chickenpox.

Dates of the above required immunizations must be recorded on an official immunization form and presented to the school at the time of registration. Contact the Slidell Health Unit at (985) 646-6445, the Covington Community Wellness Center at (985) 871-6030, the Greater New Orleans (GNO) Immunization Network Mobile Unit at (504) 733-3268 for immunization information.

The immunization policy of the St. Tammany Parish School Board dictates that no child be allowed to enter school without proof of immunizations.

Report Card/Records from Last School/LEAP Results. To ensure correct grade placement of new students, a report card and standardized test reports from the last school the student attended must be presented.

Students entering fifth and ninth grades from in-state public, nonpublic or any home schooling program are required to show evidence that they have passed the English/Language Arts and the Mathematics sections of the LEAP (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) test, as mandated by the State of Louisiana.

For more information about the LEAP requirements, contact the St. Tammany Parish Public School System Testing Coordinator at (985) 898-6481.

Assignment Letter. Students who are transferring within the St. Tammany Parish Public School System (other than those being promoted to a higher grade from feeder schools), students who are entering the School System from home schooling, and parents or court-appointed guardians who do not have the required proof of residency (see Proof of Residency for requirements) must obtain assignment letters from a St. Tammany Parish School Board Annex in their area. Contact the Covington Annex at (985) 898-3370 or the Slidell Annex at (985) 646-4917 for additional information. The Child Welfare and Attendance offices are located at 406 East Boston Street in Covington and 980 Ninth Street in Slidell.

Custody Papers. Parents or guardians granted custodial rights of a student must present at registration the custody papers granted through a court system.

All public schools in St. Tammany Parish will open Monday, August 9, 2010.

PRE-KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Pre-kindergarten classes are being offered at 21 school sites during the 2010-11 school year for four-year-old children who meet program criteria. Registration for all classes will be held at the school the child will attend. The schools and registration dates are as follows:

Prekindergarten Registration Schedule

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bonne Ecole Elementary
Fifth Ward Jr. High
Lyon Elementary
Madisonville Elementary
Woodlake Elementary

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Abney Elementary
Brock Elementary
Folsom Elementary
Lee Road Jr. High
Little Pearl Elementary
Mandeville Elementary
Sixth Ward Elementary
Whispering Forest Elementary

Friday, July 30, 2010

Abita Springs Elementary
Alton Elementary
Bayou Woods Elementary
Chahta-Ima Elementary
Covington Elementary
Florida Avenue Elementary
Marigny Elementary
Pontchartrain Elementary

To qualify for any regular education Pre-Kindergarten class, a child must meet the following criteria: (1) has reached four years of age (48 months) before October 1, 2010; (2) resides within the attendance area served by the school site; and (3) has a family who agrees to participate in activities associated with the program and who will sign a contract stating that agreement.

In addition to the other documents required for registration, Pre-Kindergarten applicants must provide income verification, using at least one of following documents: Food Stamp Card, TANF eligibility, McKinney Vinto eligibility, most current W-2 form, or two most recent pay stubs.

Other criteria must be met for some Pre-Kindergarten programs. For specific information about student eligibility, placement or the screening process call the St. Tammany Parish Pre-Kindergarten Office at 898-6483, ext. 208. Families who do not meet income eligibility may be charged $400 tuition per month for their child to attend a Pre-Kindergarten class.


Teachers of the Year Selected

(06-03-2010)
Three St. Tammany Parish Public School System teachers have been chosen as District Teachers of the Year. Kelly Whitehead of Riverside Elementary School won in the Elementary Division (Grades K-4); Candice Gianelloni of Mandeville Middle School was named in the Middle/Junior High Division (Grades 5 -8); and Tiffini King of Mandeville High School was selected from the High School Division (Grades 9 - 12).

In the annual Teacher of the Year Program, a teacher is chosen from each school each year for their outstanding performance in the classroom and public service contributions to the community. From those teachers, three are chosen to represent the District in regional Teacher of the Year competition.

Ms. King is an Allied Health and Science instructor at Mandeville High. She earned a B.S.Degree in Biology in 1992, with an M.S. Degree in 1998, and a Master’s Degree plus 30 in 2005. She taught at Northshore High School from 1992 to 1993 and Pearl River High School from 1993 to 2000. She is active in Emergency Medical Services professional associations and Search and Rescue groups.

Ms. Gianelloni is a Fifth Grade language arts, math, and social studies teacher. She earned a B. A. Degree in Elementary Education in May, 2001, and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in December of 2008. Her community volunteerism includes work with the Nature Conservancy.

Ms. Whitehead teaches fourth grade and has been in education for seven years. She received a B.A. Degree in Elementary Education in 2004 and a M.Ed. Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010. She started her work career in the field of printing, but was drawn to education as a way to make a difference in her community and the lives of others.

Teachers of the Year for 2010-2011 from each individual school are as follows: Abita Springs Elementary, Dawn Raymer; Abita Springs Middle, Erin Mormino; Abney Elementary, Tessa Lee Brunson-Heiss; Alton Elementary, Nicole Hayes; Bayou Lacombe Middle, Kay Narcisse; Bayou Woods Elementary, Sharmaine Donald; Bonne Ecole Elementary, Kathryn Bordes; Boyet Junior High, Kelly Gillpatrick; Brock Elementary, Barbara Hogan; Carolyn Park Middle, Chris Robert; Chahta-Ima Elementary, Denise LaBella; and Clearwood Junior High, Kimberly LaCoste.

Teachers of the Year also include the following: Covington Elementary, Mary Welch; Covington High, Patricia Edmiston; Covington Pathways, John Jordan; Creekside Junior High, Karen Flowers; Cypress Cove Elementary, Mary Christopher; Fifth Ward Junior High, Jo Ann Smith; Florida Ave. Elementary, Susan Indest; Folsom Elementary, Stephanie Alexius; Folsom Junior High, Judith Nettles; Fontainebleau High, Cliff Delouche; Fontainebleau Junior High, Jewel Perrett; Honey Island Elementary, Angela McGee; and Lake Harbor Middle, Tammy Benton.

Also Lakeshore High School, Judith Achary; Lee Road Junior High, Jennifer Beason; Little Oak Middle, Terry Barrilleaux; Little Pearl Elementary, Cami Dahmer; Lyon Elementary, Victoria Jennings; Madisonville Elementary, Donna Fritscher; Madisonville Junior High, Kathryn Saltamachia; Magnolia Trace Elementary, Maleen Dickinson; Mandeville Elementary, Amy Frederick; Mandeville High, Tiffini King; Mandeville Junior High, Lisa Chotto; Mandeville Middle, Candice Gianelloni; Marigny Elementary, Jean Marrione Duke; Monteleone Junior High, Melissa Bier; Northshore High, Kenta Paretti; and Operation Jumpstart, Cherie Warren.

Other Teachers of the Year from schools are Lisa Schneider of Pearl River High, JoAnne Williams of Pine View Middle, Paul Morlier of Pitcher Junior High, Jennifer Ronquillo of Pontchartrain Elementary, Kelly Whitehead of Riverside Elementary, Ruth Navarre of St. Tammany Junior High, Saudah Blackman-Stokes of Salmen High, Perry Keyes of Sixth Ward Elementary, Mary Ann Haynie of Slidell High, and William Decker of Slidell Junior High.

Also Rita Storey with Slidell Pathways, Mary Susan Riche' with Tchefuncte Middle, Michele Stockstill Boyd with Whispering Forest Elementary, and Amy Gagnon with Woodlake Elementary.

 


 

Robotics Teams Recognized by School Board

(05-28-2010)
The robotics teams from Northshore High School and Mandeville High School were recognized before the School Board at its May meeting for their outstanding work during the year that led to wins at regional competitions and participation in the national and world competitions.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie introduced the teacher mentors, sponsors, and team members from both schools at the meeting, saying that Northshore and Mandeville had won several awards in regional competition in Westwego, then went on to the world championships in Atlanta, GA.

Both teams ranked well among the field of 86 teams in Atlanta. The Board was thanked for its support of the programs, along with the many sponsors who made the efforts financially possible.

“Robotics competition is a unique varsity sport designed to help high school students discover how interesting and rewarding the lives of engineers and researches can be,” Mrs. Arabie explained. “It combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology.”

High school students in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools have participated in robotics programs for several years. The competitions call for strict limitations of time and resources, with teams of 25 students working together to raise funds, design, build and program robots to perform assigned tasks. “It is as close to real-world engineering that a student can get,” Mrs. Arabie stated.

 


 

Monteleone Technology Award Given To Shelly Bogran

(05-27-2010)
The 2009-2010 Monteleone Technology Award was presented to Shelly Bogran, a teacher at Carolyn Park Middle School, at the May meeting of the St. Tammany Parish School Board. This is the second winner in the past four years to come from Carolyn Park.

Technology Supervisor Julie Matte introduced Ms. Bogran to the Board, saying that she teaches technology to all Carolyn Park fourth, fifth and sixth graders, especially in the use of camcorders and digital cameras. She was accompanied to the podium by her Principal Tony Esposito.

Matte explained how Ms. Bogran designed a class activity called “Eagle Tube,” a video communications project in which students learn how to communicate a story by combining words, pictures, and music using computer software. She plans to use her $1000 in award money to purchase additional cameras.

Her name will be added to the Monteleone Technology Award Plaque located at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

The award is named after the late Lenny Monteleone, Superintendent of Schools between 1995 and 2003.

 

 


 

Graduations Report Given

(05-25-2010)
Superintendent Gayle Sloan reported to the School Board at its May meeting that 2371 students had received their high school diplomas during the eight separate graduations held earlier in the month.

Among the graduates in the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools Class of 2010 were 13 National Merit finalists.

The total amount of TOPS money the graduates qualified for came to $14,955,720. The amount of college scholarship money offered to the members of the graduating classes totaled $27,992,902.

Added together, the total came to $42,948,622 in college funding.

 


 

Superintendent’s Character and Citizenship Award Winner Named

(05-21-2010)
A student service organization at Fontainebleau High School won the 2009-2010 Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Character and Citizenship. Twenty-two nominations for the award were submitted this year.

Superintendent Gayle Sloan introduced this year’s winner at the May 20 School Board meeting, saying that in reviewing the nominations from across the School System she was reminded of the many extraordinary contributions made by students, teachers, and administrators in service to the community throughout the year.

The “Bulldog Buddies” group at Fontainebleau encourages friendships with students who have disabilities, the mission being to integrate students with special needs into school activities and the community. Through the buddy process, students are paired up and stay in contact through emails, phone calls, handwritten notes and personal visits.

Superintendent Sloan presented the award to the group's leaders and Club Sponsor Monique Hebert. David Blasini of Capital One Bank then gave the student organization a cash award of $1000.

This past year, one of the Bulldog Buddies students with disabilities was named Homecoming Queen. During the year, the group holds tailgate parties, a Sweetheart social, a Fall Festival, bowling parties, and is involved with the local Special Olympics. Other events include the Spring Scavenger Hunt and a Senior “Send Off” party complete with scrapbooks and a slide show. The Bulldog Buddies club has grown from an informal group of ten members three years ago to a membership of over 100 students.

The motto of the group is “Friendship Beyond Differences.” Superintendent Sloan commended them for serving as role models and working together to build social and communication skills through ongoing interaction. “This is authentic inclusion,” she said.

Finalist honors in this year’s Superintendent’s Award program went to Cody Hosch, a second grade student at Mandeville Elementary School. He and his Principal Elizabeth Laine were recognized before the School Board, with Superintendent Sloan congratulating him for his efforts to help the homeless. He was nominated for the award by School Counselor Pat Palmisano.

His project involved selling Christmas ornaments to raise money so he could put together “care packages” for the homeless. Along the way, people learning of his efforts began donating money so even more packages could be given away. Businesses began donating goods, and others began donating clothing.

A video was shown illustrating the items that were placed in special backpacks, each one containing a set of personal items, a blanket, socks, gloves, hat, snacks, a sandwich, and a bottle of water, along with a personal note from the children. At the end of the project, the seven-year-old and his friends brought 45 backpacks and 33 grocery bags full of goods to a homeless shelter in New Orleans. Each backpack was personally delivered to a homeless person.

The Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Character and Citizenship was established in 2003 to give the School System an opportunity to spotlight the many outstanding acts of character and/or citizenship by individuals and groups. The program aims to encourage and recognize the value of teaching and modeling good character and citizenship among the educators, staff, students, and groups within the System. Winners are chosen based on criteria such as respect, responsibility, caring, trustworthiness, fairness, citizenship, and decision-making.

 


 

School Board Appoints Trey Folse As Superintendent

(05-20-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish School Board unanimously appointed Trey Folse Superintendent of Schools at its May 20 meeting. He will take office July 1 following the retirement of Superintendent Gayle Sloan.

After his selection, he was congratulated by scores of people who were attending the standing-room only meeting. Folse said that in the past two weeks he had received a great outpouring of support from community leaders, teachers, parents and colleagues.

“Everyone knows that parental involvement in St. Tammany Parish is second to none.” he said, “and with that involvement comes expectations. We will work to continue to meet those high expectations."

Folse says he looks forward to working together with the School Board and School System employees, gathering input from across the parish to remain aware of challenges and try to stay ahead of the curve. "We have always been a proactive System, establishing programs before anyone else. We want to make sure that we continue to be on that cutting edge."

Folse gave special recognition to his parents and grandparents for his success, with help from a long line of fellow teachers, administrators, supervisors, and Superintendent Sloan.

Folse currently serves as Deputy Superintendent with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Prior to that, he was Assistant Superintendent of Administration, an Administrative Supervisor, an Assistant Personnel Director, an Assistant Principal, and a teacher. He has worked in education for 25 years.

The School Board met in special session May 6 and interviewed four candidates being considered for the position of Superintendent.



 

School Session Ends May 21

(05-14-2010)
The 2009-2010 School Year ends on Friday, May 21, with students reporting to school for only half a day in the morning.

Teachers will attend Teacher’s Day at their individual schools on May 24 and, if necessary, the Teachers Professional Make Up Day on May 25 for in-service workshops.

The next school session begins on August 9, 2010. For information on summer school classes, visit the Summer School Information Page. For information on summer camp opportunities, visit the Summer Camps Webpage.


 

School Library Named In Honor of Former Principal

(05-06-2010)
The library at Pine View Middle School in Covington was recently dedicated in honor of the late Franklin Owens, principal from 1966 to 1987. The event gave tribute to Owens’ dedication and 37 years of service to the educational community, 21 of those at Pine View. A plaque naming the library in his honor was unveiled on the outside of the library by his niece and great niece.

The event included remarks by several of his friends and family, with a welcome by Superintendent Gayle Sloan and the reading of a special School Board resolution by Board Member Michael Dirmann. Former principal Cynthia Russell told of working with Owens as librarian, and she commended his success in teaching math and inspiring scholarship.

The program was emceed by current Pine View Principal Janis Daviston. Invited guests included several community leaders, former and current school administrators, teachers, and students. Several School Board members, Deputy Superintendent Trey Folse and Assistant Superintendent Pete Jabbia were also in attendance. Many of those in the audience were students and teachers at Pine View during Owens’ principalship.

Owens was the first principal to serve the school after it was built in 1965, and he helped oversee the school’s progress during critical years in Covington’s growth. While he served as top administrator, the school went from being a high school to a junior high with an all-girl enrollment, and then Pine View Middle School.

In the School Board resolution, Dirmann stated that Owens had been a positive influence on thousands of our community’s young people and personally told his students that he had high hopes for each and every one of them. He also served as a mentor to many of his teachers and fellow administrators, encouraging them to further their education and to continuously work to improve their teaching and administrative skills. After his retirement, he continued to serve the school and the community around him through his church and volunteer positions.

Students from the Covington High School Broadcasting Class were on hand to interview participants at the event to record their recollections of Owens and his impact on the school and community. Channel 13 videotaped the program.


Graduation Ceremonies Held For Class of 2010

(05-05-2010)
Graduation ceremonies were recently held for thousands of high school seniors across St. Tammany Parish.

Pearl River High School held its graduation ceremonies at the Northshore Harbor Center on Friday, May 14, and Fontainebleau High School conducted its graduation event on Saturday, May 15, at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center Arena.

Northshore High School held its graduation ceremonies Saturday, May 8, at the University Center Arena, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. Salmen High School handed out diplomas on Monday, May 10, at the Northshore Harbor Center south of Slidell, and Mandeville High School distributed diplomas to its seniors on May 11, at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center Arena.

Covington High School held its graduation ceremonies on Wednesday, May 12, at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center Arena. Slidell High School graduated its Class of 2010 on Thursday, May 13, at the stadium at Slidell High.

Channel 13 video-taped the graduation ceremonies.

The St. Tammany Parish School Board Adult Education Program will hold its 25th Annual Graduation Ceremony for General Educational Development (GED®) recipients on Tuesday, May 18, 2010, at 7:00 p.m., at Journey Fellowship Church, 30042 N. Dixie Ranch Road in Lacombe.

Those students who have earned a GED® diploma during the 2009-2010 school year are invited to attend, along with their families and friends.


Board Interviews Superintendent Candidates

(05-04-2010)
The School Board met in special session May 6 and interviewed the four candidates being considered for the position of Superintendent. The interview sessions were open to the public.

Board members asked each applicant a series of questions to determine their capabilities and expertise in everything from state funding to community relations, individual leadership styles and classroom accountability methods.

Appearing before the Board were Donald Carlisle of New York; Samuel DePaul of North Carolina; Trey Folse of Slidell; and Cole Pugh of Texas. Prior to the Board meeting, the applicants were given time to visit around the area, stop in at a school, and meet School System leaders.

Superintendent Gayle Sloan will retire on June 30 after seven years in the position. All four candidates for the post commended her accomplishments and team-building successes, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Mrs. Sloan's successor may be chosen at the School Board’s regular meeting on May 20 after Board members have had time to read the information packets submitted by the candidates and consider their interview responses.


State Changes Number of Days Allowed for Absences

(05-04-2010)

State Department of Education guidelines for how many days a student may be absent have changed for the 2010-2011 school year and parents should review how those changes will affect excused and unexcused absences.

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) revised several attendance policies. While previously students were allowed 20 absences each school year, beginning in August, High School students will be allowed five absences per semester, and Elementary through Junior High students will be allowed ten absences each school year.

A letter explaining the changes was sent to St. Tammany Parish parents and caregivers last spring. It is important that parents understand the new rules governing absences up front, particularly as they make travel plans for next year so that they use school holidays rather than taking students out of school.

The new rules state that absences of two or fewer consecutive school days attributed to personal illness or serious illness in the family may be validated by a parent or caregiver by a written excuse note. The excuse note will allow a student to make up any missed work, but the absence will still count against the cumulative absences allowed under the new policy. If a student is absent for three or more consecutive days, a student must present a note from a physician, nurse practitioner, or dentist to be excused. This type of absence will not count against the cumulative absence days.

The new guidelines will not allow students to be excused for vacations or other family trips. As a result, parents should schedule vacations and necessary appointments during school breaks. The 2010-2011 School calendar includes ample breaks for travel plans.

Extenuating circumstances will be considered but must be approved by the Supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance. The circumstances must be verified by a physician, nurse practitioner, or dentist in order to be considered as an official excuse from the attendance regulation. State law also allows exceptions based on the observance of special and recognized holidays of a student’s faith.

The only other exception to the law will be absences that are verified by the principal for the purposes of school system approved travel for education, a death in the family, or a natural catastrophe or disaster. Students who are participating in school-approved field trips and other instructional activities such as College Spring Testing and approved college visits will be considered present at school.

 


High School Student of the Year Named Presidential Scholar

(05-03-2010)
Marjorie E. Bateman, a student at Mandeville High School, has been named a Presidential Scholar for 2010, one of 141 students selected nationwide by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.

On May 3, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the selection of the outstanding high school seniors. The students were chosen for demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service, and contribution to school and community. U.S. Presidential Scholars will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 19-22.

"These student leaders and scholars show that setting high expectations and striving for excellence pays off," Duncan said. "Their academic and artistic achievements reflect a sense of purpose that we should seek to instill in all students to prepare them for college, careers, civic responsibilities, and the challenges of today's job market."

Miss Bateman was honored last month by the School Board for her selection as High School Division winner of the annual Student of the Year recognition program.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars appointed by the President selected the scholars based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was created in 1964 to honor academic achievement. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts.


Oil Spill Odor Raises Air Quality Concerns

(04-30-2010)
School System officials are working with Parish emergency officials to carefully monitor the oil spill threatening the southern Louisiana coast and particularly its possible adverse effects on air quality in the region.

School principals may take special precautions with any student with known respiratory ailments who could be affected by the odors from the oil spill that are being brought in by winds from the south. Students may be kept indoors as a result.

This is an ongoing situation that School System officials will continue to monitor.


Supply Lists for 2010-2011 Now Available

(04-29-2010)
The 2010-2011 School Supply Lists are now available by going to the School Directory Page and clicking on the Supply List link provided next to the school.

Each school submits a list of supplies needed by each type of class and grade level so parents and/or guardians may purchase the items prior to the start of school. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the PDF file.


Four Apply For Superintendent Position

(04-28-2010)
Four individuals have submitted applications to the School Board asking to be considered for the Superintendent’s position when Superintendent Gayle Sloan retires at the end of June.

Candidates for the position are Donald Carlisle of Harrison, New York; Samuel DePaul of Stanfield, North Carolina; Trey Folse of Slidell; and Cole Pugh of Fort Worth, Texas.

Interviews with the four will be held on Thursday, May 6, following the Committee As A Whole meeting and will be open to the public. Each interview is expected to be 30 minutes long. An appointment may be made at the School Board’s regular meeting on May 20.

Carlisle currently serves as Superintendent for the Port Chester-Rye School District in New York. Prior to that, he was Superintendent of the Miller Place, New York, School System; Superintendent with the Hudson City, New York, School District; Superintendent for the Union 96 School District in East Sullivan, Maine; a principal; and a teacher. He has worked in education for 34 years.

DePaul is presently Superintendent of Schools in Albemarle, North Carolina. Prior to that, he was Superintendent of the Penn Hills School District in Pittsburg, PA; Superintendent of the Ambridge Area School District, also in Pennsylvania; Superintendent of the Rochester Area School District in Rochester, PA; an Assistant Superintendent; a principal; and a teacher. He has worked in education for 37 years.

Folse currently serves as Deputy Superintendent with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Prior to that, he was Assistant Superintendent of Administration, an Administrative Supervisor, an Assistant Personnel Director, an Assistant Principal, and a teacher. He has worked in education for 25 years.

Pugh is presently Superintendent of the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw Independent School District (ISD) in Texas. Prior to that he served as Superintendent for the San Angelo, Texas, ISD; Superintendent of the Columbia - Brazoria (TX) ISD; Superintendent with the Sinton (TX) ISD; Superintendent for the Hawkins (TX) ISD; Superintendent for the Coldspring-Oakhurst (TX) CISD; Superintendent of the Wells (TX) ISD; a principal; a teacher; and a coach. He has worked in education for 37 years.


Graduation Ceremonies Begin May 8

(04-21-2010)
The end of the 2009-2010 School Year is approaching, and high school seniors across the parish are looking forward to graduation ceremonies that take place throughout the month of May. Also, the Adult Education Program has scheduled its annual GED Graduation near the end of the month.

Northshore High School holds its graduation ceremonies at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 8, at the University Center Arena, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond.

Salmen High School has scheduled it graduation for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 10, at the Northshore Harbor Center south of Slidell, and Mandeville High School will distribute diplomas to its seniors at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11, at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center Arena.

Covington High School set its graduation ceremonies to begin at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12, also at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center Arena, and Slidell High School will graduate its Class of 2010 beginning at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, at the stadium at Slidell High.

On Friday, May 14, at 7:00 p.m., Pearl River High School will hold its graduation ceremonies at the Northshore Harbor Center, and Fontainebleau High School has scheduled its graduation event at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 15, at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center Arena.

The St. Tammany Parish School Board Adult Education Program will hold its 25th Annual Graduation Ceremony for General Educational Development (GED®) recipients on Tuesday, May 18, 2010, at 7:00 p.m., at Journey Fellowship Church, 30042 N. Dixie Ranch Road in Lacombe.

Those students who have earned a GED® diploma during the 2009-2010 school year are invited to attend, along with their families and friends. For more information on the GED graduation procedures, click here.


Graduation Ceremony Scheduled for GED Students

(04-21-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish School Board Adult Education Program will hold its 25th Annual Graduation Ceremony for General Educational Development (GED®) recipients on Tuesday, May 18, 2010, at 7:00 p.m., at Journey Fellowship Church, 30042 N. Dixie Ranch Road in Lacombe.

Those students who have earned a GED® diploma during the 2009-2010 school year are invited to attend, along with their families and friends.

The GED® is an equivalency diploma, which is earned by passing a rigorous national examination. Students must gain proficiency in math, English, reading, science and social studies for graduation. Graduates range in age from late teens to senior citizens.

Graduating students must register for the graduation event and pay a graduation fee of $37 (money order only) for their cap, gown and tassel. They may also purchase invitations at time of registration. Proper identification and a copy of diploma or GED® scores should be brought at the time of registration.

The following is a list of places, dates and, times for graduates to register for participation in the 2009-2010 GED® cap and gown graduation ceremony.

Harrison Curriculum Center, Adult Education Classroom, 706 W. 28th Ave., Covington, LA (985) 892-7626. April 26, 2010 – May 12, 2010 (Monday thru Thursday) 8:30 A.M. – 10:30 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Slidell Church of Christ, Adult Education Classroom, 994 Old Spanish Trail, Slidell, LA. (985) 646-4924. April 26, 2010 – May 112, 2009 (Monday thru Thursday) 8:30 A.M. – 10:30 A.M. and 12:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M.


St. Tammany School Nurses Honored By State Organization

(04-20-2010)
Two school nurses from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System were honored April 15 by the Louisiana School Nurses Organization (LSNO). Kim Kirby was named the Louisiana State School Nurse of the Year, and Dell Volz received an “Award of Distinction” from the group.

Administrative Supervisor Cathy Aime, who coordinates the service, praised the nurses for their dedication, leadership skills and ability to stay current with the latest health information. She said they work with each other to provide and continually improve services to children and also help with conducting the employee health fairs. “Ms. Kirby and Ms. Volz are a never-ending source of professional expertise,” Aime said. “They are truly experts in their field.”

A school nurse for over 19 years, Ms. Kirby was thrilled with her honor. The LSNO chose her School Nurse of the Year for her dedication, organizational skills, nurturing attitude and her “unending love for children and their needs.”

Ms. Kirby is based at the Covington Annex, and her school assignments include Madisonville Elementary and Fontainebleau High. She earned her nursing degree at McNeese State University and worked as a hospital nurse for two years in Breaux Bridge before becoming a public health nurse in St. Martin Parish. When she and her husband moved to St. Tammany Parish in 1991, she became a nurse for the school system. Overall, she has been a nurse for 33 years.

Ms. Volz has worked as a school nurse since 1979 and is based in Slidell, serving Little Pearl Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, and Whispering Forest Elementary. She was quite surprised when it was announced that she had won the Award of Distinction, but she felt that all the school nurses deserved the recognition. Originally from New Orleans, she said her experiences with Hurricane Katrina were quite memorable.

Ms. Kirby recalled how school nurses faced a considerable challenge after Katrina when so many new children came into the public schools, many of them without vaccination records which had been lost in the storm. That brought about a remarkable team effort to work together with children, parents, and School System officials to get the students back in school as quickly as possible after the hurricane.

The School System currently has 27 school nurses. To better serve students in St. Tammany, each nurse, in addition to her general duties, is asked to keep up with and do research on a specific area (such as tuberculosis, diabetes, or chicken pox) so they can then serve as a resource to the other nurses. They all meet regularly to discuss what is going on in the schools and share with their colleagues the research they have done in their particular area. As an example of their efforts, many school nurses took part in the H1N1 vaccination program in the schools earlier this year, working with the Office of Public Health in making the Swine Flu shots available to students, parents, and the general public.


 

Kindergarten, First Grade Registration Underway

(04-19-2010)
Spring registration for the 2010-2011 school year began Monday, April 19, 2010, for students entering kindergarten and first grade for the first time in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. Parents may check the schedule in this article to see which day each school will register students.

Any child born before October 1, 2004, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2005, will be eligible for kindergarten.

Registration for the 2010-2011 pre-kindergarten classes will be held later, with specific registration dates and times to be announced for each school in local newspapers and on the School System Web site.

Every child, as a prerequisite to enrollment in any first grade of a public school, shall meet one of the following criteria: have attended a full-day public or private kindergarten for a full academic year; or have satisfactorily passed academic readiness screening at the time of enrollment for first grade. Students who have completed kindergarten at an accredited private school must furnish proof of attendance.

Registration for kindergarten and first grade students entering the St. Tammany Parish public schools for the first time will be held at the school the student will attend. Students who attended and completed a public school kindergarten during the 2009-2010 school year will not be required to register again for the first grade.

Hours of registration will be 9:00 a.m. until noon at the following locations.

REGISTRATION SCHEDULE

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cypress Cove Elementary
Folsom Elementary
Whispering Forest Elementary
Woodlake Elementary

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abita Springs Elementary
Bonne Ecole Elementary
Brock Elementary
Florida Avenue Elementary
Little Pearl Elementary
Lyon Elementary
Madisonville Elementary
Mandeville Elementary
Marigny Elementary
Pontchartrain Elementary
Riverside Elementary

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Abney Elementary
Alton Elementary
Bayou Woods Elementary
Chahta-Ima Elementary
Covington Elementary
Fifth Ward Junior High
Lee Road Junior High
Sixth Ward Elementary

The following items are required for student registration:

1. State Certified Birth Certificate;
2. Health Record of Required Immunization;
3. Proof of Residency;
4. Social Security Card;
5. Custody Papers (if applicable).

State Certified Birth Certificate: Those who do not have a birth certificate may contact a St. Tammany Parish School Board Annex in their area for information on how to obtain one. Contact the Covington Annex at 985-898-3370 or the Slidell Annex at 985-646-4917.

Health Record: State Law requires that all children attending school in the State of Louisiana have the following immunizations. This requirement includes students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Included are students who are coming into the St. Tammany Parish Public School System from another parish, state or nonpublic school.

1. DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis or Whooping Cough) – A minimum of four (4) doses is required. The last DTP or a booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.

2. Polio – A minimum of three (3) doses is required. The last polio or booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.

3. MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) - One (1) dose is required at twelve to fifteen months of age. A second MMR is required before entry to school.

4. Hepatitis B – Three (3) doses are required for first time enrollees into Louisiana public schools.

5. HIB – Four (4) doses or proof of at least one dose after fifteen (15) months of age are required for pre-kindergarten and noncategorical students to enter school.

6. Varicella (Chickenpox) – Two (2) doses or a history of the disease is required for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

7. MCV4 (Meningococcal Conjugate) – Required for all students entering grade 6 or eleven (11) years old in any other grade. These students must also have proof of booster doses of Tdap and Chickenpox.

Dates of the above required immunizations must be recorded on an official immunization form and presented to the school at the time of registration. Contact the Slidell Health Unit at (985) 646-6445, the Covington Community Wellness Center at (985) 871-6030 or the Greater New Orleans (GNO) Immunization Network Mobile Unit at (504) 733-3268 for immunization information.

The immunization policy of the St. Tammany Parish School Board dictates that no child be allowed to enter school without proof of immunizations.

Proof of Residency: Proof of residency must be established using at least three of the documents listed below. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required. All documents must be the most current available.

Documentation may consist of a current utility bill (butane, electric, gas, water, cable or satellite), the current year W-2 form, the most recent federal or state income tax return, a vehicle insurance print-out from the parent’s or legal guardian’s insurance company, a signed residential building contract, a signed real estate lease agreement or signed mortgage loan documentation.

All documents must show the name of the parent or legal guardian, the street or road address of residence or the utility service address (if using utility bills). Lease agreements must show street or road location and must be from a real estate office, apartment complex or mobile home property, not from an individual.

U. S. Post Office box numbers, printed checks or drivers’ licenses are NOT considered proof of residency.

Social Security Card: The Social Security number serves as the student’s identification number on all records. The Social Security number written on a piece of paper cannot be accepted.

Custody Papers: Parents or guardians granted custodial rights of a student must present at registration the custody papers granted through a court system.


 

Board Adopts Map 4 For Mayfield Elementary School Boundaries

(04-16-2010)
At its April 15 regular meeting, the St. Tammany Parish School Board adopted Proposed Map 4 as the Attendance Boundaries for the new Mayfield Elementary School west of Slidell. When opened for the 2011-2012 School Year, the new school will serve a portion of the area now being covered by Bayou Woods Elementary and Carolyn Park Middle School.

The Board approved the map recommended by its Committee As A Whole, based on comments from parents in the area and a report by the new school’s Boundary Committee.

The new school, located on U. S. 190 between Lacombe and Slidell, will serve the western portion of the existing attendance district of Bayou Woods Elementary and Carolyn Park Middle Schools. Construction on the school began last year.

The Board also agreed the existing Assistant Principal position should remain at Carolyn Park Middle School when the new school opens.


Board Appoints Roanne Tipton to District Six Seat

(04-15-2010)
Meeting in special session April 14, the St. Tammany Parish School Board appointed Roanne V. Tipton to fill the vacant District Six seat for the rest of the unexpired term of Donald Villere. She took her Oath of Office at the beginning of the Board's regular monthly meeting on April 15.

Six persons wanting to be considered for the School Board interim appointment submitted letters of interest and spoke to the Board at the April 14 meeting, answering a variety of questions.

Ms. Tipton cited over 15 years of experience as a parent volunteer in the schools, PTA committee member, manager of a boys Soccer team, booster club member, Project Graduation worker, and participant in the Fontainebleau Junior High boundary committee. Her career includes working with oil exploration and production companies as an exploration manager, landman, and senior division order analyst.


School Board Presented Magna Award Grand Prize At Convention

(04-12-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System received a grand prize Magna Award presented in April by the American School Board Journal at the National School Boards Association conference in Chicago. The School System won in the category of districts with over 20,000 enrollment.

The recognition came as a result of the School System’s successful Energy Management and Conservation Program, in a presentation entitled “A Win-Win Formula: Curriculum Funding and Energy Management.”

Board Member Jack Loup received the award and a check for $4000 in scholarship money on behalf of the School Board.

The Magna Awards recognize districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools. The 2010 winners are highlighted in a supplement to the April issue of ASBJ and were formally recognized on Monday, April 12, at the School Leaders Luncheon which is part of NSBA’s 70th Annual Conference.

In 2006, when faced with rapidly-escalating energy costs, the School Board established a comprehensive energy management program with the goal of reducing energy usage 10 percent district-wide. After launching an awareness campaign, partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency to identify areas of further progress and creating a departmental energy management team, District schools have reduced energy usage by 20 percent. The energy costs avoided resulted in more funds for instructional purposes.

“I am so pleased that the St. Tammany Parish School Board is being recognized for its strong support of the Energy Stars program. This award highlights the hard work and dedication that have led to energy cost avoidance of more than five million dollars for our School System” said Superintendent Gayle Sloan.

Marilee Rist, the publisher of the American School Board Journal and an associate executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), explained, “As school districts face unprecedented financial challenges, the Magna Awards are an opportunity to showcase innovation and the bold steps that school leaders take every day. This year’s entries reflect the hard work of school boards, superintendents, and staffs who strive to meet their communities’ changing needs in creative and innovative ways.”

American School Board Journal initiated the Magna Awards in 1995 to recognize school boards for taking bold and innovative steps to improve their educational programs. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected winners from more than 330 submissions. This year’s applicants came from more than 40 states plus Canada and the Mariana Islands.


 

School Board Seeks Citizens Interested In District Six Appointment

(04-08-2010)
Meeting in special session April 8, the St. Tammany Parish School Board declared a vacancy for the District Six seat and reviewed the procedure necessary for appointing a person to serve the remainder of Board Member Donald Villere’s unexpired term until the next election is held.

Villere recently won election as Mayor of the City of Mandeville and resigned his position on the School Board April 6.

Persons interested in being considered for the School Board interim appointment will have to meet certain qualifications of the office to fill the District Six vacancy. The actual appointment may be made on the evening of Wednesday, April 14, at a special meeting of the Board.

Citizens seeking the appointment were asked to send a letter of interest to the Board President John Lamarque to be received by noon on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. The letter needed to state the person’s age, current primary address within District Six, how long he or she has been living in District Six, and how long he or she has been living in the State of Louisiana.

The letter should have contained any other supporting information to assist Board Members in assessing the credentials and experience of the candidate for the appointment, as well as contact information.

The letter needed to be received at the reception station of the C.J. Schoen Administrative Complex, located at 321 N. Theard Street, Covington, Louisiana, 70433, by noon (Central Daylight Savings Time) on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, either delivered by hand, U.S. Mail or by facsimile at fax number 985-898-3281. Letters received will only be included if the letter arrives in time to be date stamped by personnel at the reception station in the St. Tammany Parish School Board office.

Candidates who submitted letters in a timely manner may appear before the School Board when it meets in special session at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14, 2010, at its regular meeting room at the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington. While it is not necessary to appear before the Board to be considered, candidates in attendance at the meeting will have the opportunity to address the School Board about their interest in and abilities to hold the position.

The Board is expected to make a decision on the appointment at the April 14 meeting, and the person selected should be prepared to take the oath of office to begin the position immediately upon being appointed by vote of the Board.


Special Meeting Held To Declare Vacancy

(04-07-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish School Board held a special meeting April 8 to declare a vacancy in Board District Six.

Board Member Donald Villere resigned from the School Board on April 6 after being elected Mayor of Mandeville. He was sworn into the new position on Tuesday morning.

The School Board special meeting began at 6:45 p.m. at the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex at 321 North Theard Street in Covington. Once the vacancy was declared, Board members were be briefed on the procedures by which a new person is appointed to fill the seat. Since Villere was chairman of the Committee As A Whole which dealt with matters of Business Affairs and Administration, the School Board also appointed Ray Alfred as the new chairman for that group.


 

Guidelines Released for Distributing Information at Schools

(04-06-2010)
Persons and organizations wishing to communicate with faculty and students in public schools about commercial businesses, fund-raising opportunities, or community events are being asked to follow specific guidelines required by the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

The requirements deal with the distribution of information about scholarships, camps, clinics, business services, conferences, jobs, fundraisers, organization memberships, recreational opportunities outside of school, etc.

A “Letter of Introduction” application needs to be filled out and submitted to the School System Central Office for consideration of any such requests. Applications must be renewed annually, with one completed application packet for all events in one school year.

Applicants are reminded that the School System does not promote one business over another, and permission to distribute information may be revoked by the Superintendent or her designee at any time. To download the application form and instructions, click here for Adobe Acrobat PDF File.


 

Pupil Progression Plan Scheduled for Updates

(04-05-2010)
A public hearing to review proposed changes to next year's Pupil Progression Plan was held Tuesday, April 6, at Boyet Junior High School in Slidell. A committee of school administrators, teachers, and parents meets annually to review the plan and submit recommendations to the School Board for consideration.

The plan establishes placement, promotion, retention, and grading policies for students within the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Administrators met on March 10 to give their input and ideas, and the Pupil Progression Plan Advisory Committee met on March 17 for discussion of any changes proposed by the administrators. The proposed Plan updates will be presented to the St. Tammany Parish School Board for its consideration at the June 3, 2010, Committee As A Whole meeting and again at the June 10, 2010, School Board meeting at the C.J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington.


 

St. Tammany School Nurse Named Louisiana School Nurse of the Year

(03-30-2010)
Kim Kirby, a school nurse with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, has been named the Louisiana State School Nurse of the Year by the Louisiana School Nurses Organization (LSNO).

A school nurse for over 19 years, Ms. Kirby was thrilled with the announcement of her selection, as were her fellow school nurses who have been congratulating her this week. The LSNO chose her for her dedication, organizational skills, nurturing attitude and her “unending love for children and their needs.”

She will be honored at an April 15 banquet in Baton Rouge during the annual school nurse state convention.

Superintendent Gayle Sloan said, “We join in congratulating Kim for receiving this outstanding recognition. Kim is an excellent example of the dedication and hard work that goes hand-in-hand with the nursing profession, especially those who serve in our schools. We know that all our school nurses are honored by her selection.”

Ms. Kirby is based at the Covington Annex, and her school assignments include Madisonville Elementary and Fontainebleau High. She earned her nursing degree at McNeese State University and worked as a hospital nurse for two years in Breaux Bridge before becoming a public health nurse in St. Martin Parish. When she and her husband moved to St. Tammany Parish in 1991, she became a nurse for the school system. Overall, she has been a nurse for 33 years.

In the beginning there were only a few school nurses, she said, but as the enrollment increased, the number of nurses increased as well. The School System currently has 27 school nurses.

Nursing has changed quite a bit during the past three decades, she recalled, and that has resulted in a continuing effort to stay abreast of the special medical needs of students and broader responsibilities being given to nurses today.

To better serve students in St. Tammany, each nurse, in addition to her general duties, is asked to keep up with and do research on a specific area (such as tuberculosis, diabetes, or chicken pox) so they can then serve as a resource to the other nurses. They all meet regularly to discuss what is going on in the schools and share with their colleagues the research they have done in their particular area. This enables the entire group to stay up with many different concerns, said Supervisor of Administration Cathy Aime, who works with the school nurses parishwide.

As an example of their efforts, many school nurses took part in the H1N1 vaccination program in the schools earlier this year, working with the Office of Public Health in making the Swine Flu shots available to students, parents, and the general public. The school nurses also help report statistics to the state Department of Health and Human Resources so they can better track instances of specific diseases.

Ms. Kirby recalled how school nurses faced a considerable challenge after Hurricane Katrina when so many new children came into the public schools, many of them without vaccination records which had been lost in the storm. That brought about a remarkable team effort to work together with children, parents, and School System officials to get the students back in school as quickly as possible after the hurricane. They also helped ensure that each School System worker got a tetanus shot that was recommended during the clean-up of storm debris.


 

School System Wins Magna Awards Grand Prize

(03-29-2010)
The American School Board Journal has announced that the St. Tammany Parish Public School System was recently selected as the grand prize winner in the publication’s 16th annual Magna Awards program. The recognition came as a result of the School System’s successful Energy Management Program, in a presentation entitled “A Win-Win Formula: Curriculum Funding and Energy Management.”

Chosen for the honor from among school districts with over 20,000 students, St. Tammany will receive $4,000 in scholarship money during a special presentation at the National School Boards Association’s annual conference in Chicago in early April.

The Magna Awards recognize districts across the country for outstanding programs that advance student learning and encourage community involvement in schools.

In 2006, when faced with rapidly-escalating energy costs, the School Board established a comprehensive energy management program with the goal of reducing energy usage 10 percent district-wide. After launching an awareness campaign, partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency to identify areas of further progress and creating a departmental energy management team, District schools have reduced energy usage by 20 percent. The energy costs avoided resulted in more funds for instructional purposes.

“I am so pleased that the St. Tammany Parish School Board is being recognized for its strong support of the Energy Stars program. This award highlights the hard work and dedication that have led to energy cost avoidance of more than five million dollars for our School System” said Superintendent Gayle Sloan.

Marilee Rist, the publisher of the American School Board Journal and an associate executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), explained, “As school districts face unprecedented financial challenges, the Magna Awards are an opportunity to showcase innovation and the bold steps that school leaders take every day. This year’s entries reflect the hard work of school boards, superintendents, and staffs who strive to meet their communities’ changing needs in creative and innovative ways.”

American School Board Journal initiated the Magna Awards in 1995 to recognize school boards for taking bold and innovative steps to improve their educational programs. An independent panel of school board members, administrators, and other educators selected winners from more than 330 submissions. This year’s applicants came from more than 40 states plus Canada and the Mariana Islands.

The 2010 winners are highlighted in a supplement to the April issue of ASBJ and will be formally recognized on Monday, April 12, at the School Leaders Luncheon which is part of NSBA’s 70th Annual Conference.

 


Spring Break Begins With Fun Activities and Community Service Projects

(03-28-2010)
Each year students and faculty look forward to the Easter/Spring Break, and a variety of programs are held on the last day of school before the week-long vacation. The fun events range from Easter eggs hunts to community service projects.

Mandeville High held its Annual Egg Drop Day on Friday, March 26, and Chahta-Ima Elementary celebrated with PBS (Positive Behavior Support) Fun Friday, complete with Spring parties and the PTA birthday recognition program. The students at Little Pearl Elementary School held their “Buddies Breakfast” that day as well.

Over at Fontainebleau High, the “Bulldog Buddies” organization enjoyed its big annual outdoor event with a gathering near the football field. It was a beautiful Spring day, highlighted by a pizza lunch followed by an Easter egg hunt. Several dozen students took part.

The Bulldog Buddies group at Fontainebleau encourages friendships with students who have disabilities, the mission being to integrate students with special needs into school activities and the community. Through the buddy process, students are paired up and stay in contact through emails, phone calls, handwritten notes and personal visits.

During the year, the group holds tailgate parties, a Sweetheart social, a Fall Festival, bowling parties, and is involved with the local Special Olympics. Other events include the Spring Scavenger Hunt and a Senior “Send Off” party complete with scrapbooks and a slide show. For Christmas, the organization sent gift packages to soldiers in Iraq, and members are becoming involved in a community effort to build an assisted living and vocational center for citizens with special needs.

The Bulldog Buddies has grown from an informal group of ten members three years ago to a current membership of over 100 students. Members include students with Down Syndrome, cheerleaders, band members, students with Autism, football and basketball players, theater students, students with multiple handicaps, soccer players, Junior ROTC members, students with epilepsy, student council members, and students with hearing and visual impairments. The motto of the group is “Friendship Beyond Differences,” and at the Easter Egg hunt many members were wearing shirts with the motto printed on them in bright colors.

The group exemplifies many characteristics of good citizenship, said Club Sponsor Monique Hebert, including respect, responsibility, and trustworthiness. “Students are given the opportunity to practice compassion, patience, and acceptance of those with special needs on a daily basis,” she said. “Club members are acting as ambassadors for the message that all students deserve friendships and inclusion to social events and activities.”

The impact of the Bulldog Buddies is spreading throughout the student body, Ms. Hebert noted.

 


Kindergarten, First Grade Registration Dates Announced

(03-26-2010)
Spring registration for the 2010-2011 school year will begin April 19, 2010, for students entering kindergarten and first grade for the first time in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Any child born before October 1, 2004, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2005, will be eligible for kindergarten.

Registration for the 2010-2011 pre-kindergarten classes will be held later, with specific registration dates and times to be announced for each school in local newspapers and on the School System Web site.

Every child, as a prerequisite to enrollment in any first grade of a public school, shall meet one of the following criteria: have attended a full-day public or private kindergarten for a full academic year; or have satisfactorily passed academic readiness screening at the time of enrollment for first grade. Students who have completed kindergarten at an accredited private school must furnish proof of attendance.

Registration for kindergarten and first grade students entering the St. Tammany Parish public schools for the first time will be held at the school the student will attend. Students who attended and completed a public school kindergarten during the 2009-2010 school year will not be required to register again for the first grade.

Hours of registration will be 9:00 a.m. until noon at the following locations.

REGISTRATION SCHEDULE

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cypress Cove Elementary
Folsom Elementary
Whispering Forest Elementary
Woodlake Elementary

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abita Springs Elementary
Bonne Ecole Elementary
Brock Elementary
Florida Avenue Elementary
Little Pearl Elementary
Lyon Elementary
Madisonville Elementary
Mandeville Elementary
Marigny Elementary
Pontchartrain Elementary
Riverside Elementary

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Abney Elementary
Alton Elementary
Bayou Woods Elementary
Chahta-Ima Elementary
Covington Elementary
Fifth Ward Junior High
Lee Road Junior High
Sixth Ward Elementary

The following items are required for student registration:

1. State Certified Birth Certificate;
2. Health Record of Required Immunization;
3. Proof of Residency;
4. Social Security Card;
5. Custody Papers (if applicable).

State Certified Birth Certificate: Those who do not have a birth certificate may contact a St. Tammany Parish School Board Annex in their area for information on how to obtain one. Contact the Covington Annex at 985-898-3370 or the Slidell Annex at 985-646-4917.Health Record: State Law requires that all children attending school in the State of Louisiana have the following immunizations. This requirement includes students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Included are students who are coming into the St. Tammany Parish Public School System from another parish, state or nonpublic school.

1. DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis or Whooping Cough) – A minimum of four (4) doses is required. The last DTP or a booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.

2. Polio – A minimum of three (3) doses is required. The last polio or booster is to be given after the fourth birthday.

3. MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) - One (1) dose is required at twelve to fifteen months of age. A second MMR is required before entry to school.

4. Hepatitis B – Three (3) doses are required for first time enrollees into Louisiana public schools.

5. HIB – Four (4) doses or proof of at least one dose after fifteen (15) months of age are required for pre-kindergarten and noncategorical students to enter school.

6. Varicella (Chickenpox) – Two (2) doses or a history of the disease is required for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

7. MCV4 (Meningococcal Conjugate) – Required for all students entering grade 6 or eleven (11) years old in any other grade. These students must also have proof of booster doses of Tdap and Chickenpox.

Dates of the above required immunizations must be recorded on an official immunization form and presented to the school at the time of registration. Contact the Slidell Health Unit at (985) 646-6445, the Covington Community Wellness Center at (985) 871-6030 or the Greater New Orleans (GNO) Immunization Network Mobile Unit at (504) 733-3268 for immunization information.The immunization policy of the St. Tammany Parish School Board dictates that no child be allowed to enter school without proof of immunizations.Proof of Residency: Proof of residency must be established using at least three of the documents listed below. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required. All documents must be the most current available.

Documentation may consist of a current utility bill (butane, electric, gas, water, cable or satellite), the current year W-2 form, the most recent federal or state income tax return, a vehicle insurance print-out from the parent’s or legal guardian’s insurance company, a signed residential building contract, a signed real estate lease agreement or signed mortgage loan documentation.

All documents must show the name of the parent or legal guardian, the street or road address of residence or the utility service address (if using utility bills). Lease agreements must show street or road location and must be from a real estate office, apartment complex or mobile home property, not from an individual.

U. S. Post Office box numbers, printed checks or drivers’ licenses are NOT considered proof of residency.

Social Security Card: The Social Security number serves as the student’s identification number on all records. The Social Security number written on a piece of paper cannot be accepted.

Custody Papers: Parents or guardians granted custodial rights of a student must present at registration the custody papers granted through a court system.


 

Summer Camps at Public Schools Listed

(03-26-2010)
A variety of summer camps will be offered at selected St. Tammany Parish Public Schools starting in June, and a new web page listing many of those has been added to this web site.

Some camps will focus on specific areas of interest, while others will offer general activities and enrichment programs. Information on other camps will be added as it becomes available. The web page listing may not be complete, therefore students and parents may wish to contact their schools for additional summer camp opportunities.

The new web page is located at http://www.stpsb.org/SummerCamps/summercamps.htm.


 

Spring/Easter Break Begins

(03-23-2010)
A week-long break for St. Tammany Parish Public School students began on Monday, March 29. Students will not be attending school through Monday, April 5. Classes resume on April 6.

School Board support offices will be closed Friday, April 2, and Monday, April 5, and will re-open on April 6.


 

Calendar For 2010-2011 School Year Announced

(03-19-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish School Board adopted the Calendar for the 2010-2011 School Year Thursday night, after a vote by employees between two proposed calendars.

The school calendar for the next school year is available here in PDF format. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the file.

On the new calendar, school opens on Monday, August 9, and the first semester ends before the Winter/Christmas break. The last day of school is on Friday, May 20, 2011.

Election Day on Tuesday, November 2, 2010, is a holiday since many schools are used as polling places.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Pete Jabbia reported to the Board that after a committee had narrowed down suggested calendars to two versions, they were sent out for a vote. A total of 3215 employees responded to the survey, with 87 percent voting for the winning calendar.

The only differences between the two were the number of holidays in Mardi Gras week. The adopted calendar gives five days off, where the rejected calendar gave three days off.

 


Finance Park Helps Students Learn Budgeting Skills

(03-19-2010)
Hundreds of St. Tammany Parish Public School students took part in an innovative learning program in March that taught them how to figure household finances and budget their monthly income and expenses.

The Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park returned to Slidell Junior High for the second year, offering a mobile learning lab where eighth graders from across the parish participated in a simulation of day-to-day living by becoming aware of the costs of housing, furniture, and utilities, while making sometimes difficult choices on cars, entertainment, and investments.

The students attended four and a half hour sessions where they learned the challenges of balancing income with expenses, keeping calculators busy as they tracked their household budgets. Volunteers from Capital One Bank helped them as they worked through the exercise. From 50 to 150 students were brought in by bus each day for the event.

Developed by Junior Achievement and sponsored by Capital One, the Finance Park uses state-of-the-art simulation technology arranged in separate work stations to introduce students to different aspects of budgeting, credit and spending choices. Essentially, they became “adults for a day,” having to learn how to make ends meet.

Among the junior highs participating were Clearwood Junior High, Creekside Junior High, Fifth Ward Junior High, Folsom Junior High, Lee Road Junior High, Pitcher Junior High, Slidell Junior High, and St. Tammany Junior High.

The students’ visit to the Finance Park was preceded at the schools by specialized curriculum instruction provided by Junior Achievement so teachers could lead up to the schools’ participation at the event.

The Park session assigns various tasks for the student to complete, emphasizing careful record-keeping along the way. A sample check register is included in the package given each student.

When the students first arrived, they were assigned a “life situation” that guided their spending decisions. As a result, some students portrayed adults who were single with good jobs, and others wound up budgeting finances from a middle income job with a spouse and three kids. The students were also introduced to the steps of borrowing money for a home improvement project, and since they didn't have the cash for it, they had to figure out the monthly payment plan for the credit to go forward with the project.

Also pointed out were the dangers of credit cards for those who may not know how to handle them.

Worksheets on each household expense helped students understand the options available for each living expense, from health care to tv cable service to utilities. The health care options got as complicated as they are in real life, in-network, out-of-network, deductibles, service levels and prescription drug benefits. The dining out options offered prices for different appetizers, sandwiches, entrees and desserts. The entertainment options ranged from movie theaters to athletic contests and from golf to festivals. Each choice affected the student’s household budget and how much money, if any, they had left at the "end of the month."

Overall, the Finance Park helped students “get the message” about financial responsibility. After the Finance Park experience, many parents and teachers reported that the students are very affected by what they have learned. Afterwards, students were heard talking among themselves about how the variety of household expenses cost different amounts for different families.

“It was truly a meaningful learning activity,” one principal said. “They discover how difficult it can be when you only have a certain amount of money to spend. I heard one student say that he can now better understand his mother when she says she doesn’t have the money to spend on some items.“

The Finance Park was set up in the old gymnasium at Slidell Junior High. The equipment will now travel to other parts of the country for use in different school systems where local sponsors are available.

On March 24, four directors of non-profit organizations from Kazakhstan were scheduled to tour the Finance Park learning lab to see how the project works and to observe students participating in the educational activity. According to the local Junior Achievement Director of Education, by showcasing this effort the Citizen Diplomacy Council aimed to help the foreign visitors learn more about the successful management of organizations that provide youth services and to exchange ideas about best practices in the field.



Tech Center Named In Honor of Dave Treen

(03-18-2010)
The School Board renamed the Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville in honor of the late David C. Treen on Thursday, March 18. Members of the Treen family attended the special ceremony, as well as many area visitors, School System administrators, supervisors, and children from Woodlake Elementary School.

Deputy Superintendent Trey Folse emceed the event, and Superintendent Gayle Sloan and Supervisor of Technology Julie Matte gave an overview of the history of the location. A video by Channel 13 portrayed Treen's life and accomplishments, and his grandson Jason Neville voiced the family's appreciation for the honor.

Governor of Louisiana between 1980 and 1984 and a resident of the Mandeville area for many years, Treen died last October. The Board voted in November to honor him for his service to the state and community and his many contributions to public education.

He was instrumental in establishing the state's Professional Improvement Program for teachers, which gave thousands of teachers additional incentives to take part in professional development activities. Almost 77 percent of Louisiana’s teachers took the opportunity to enhance their teaching capabilities. Treen also helped establish the Louisiana School For Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches. In addition, Treen served as a Congressman between 1973 and 1980.

After leaving the governor’s office, Treen was a frequent visitor to St. Tammany schools and worked with other governors to maintain educational funding in the state. The Board acknowledged that the entire Northshore community benefitted from Treen’s personal involvement over the years, and he left a legacy of public service locally as well as across the state.

The Instructional Technology Center, located at 2024 Livingston Street in Mandeville, is a 24,000-square-foot office and instructional building that houses approximately 20 full-time employees. The facility contains four computer training labs, a professional development center, a distance learning classroom (with satellite, internet, cable TV, and compressed video conferencing), a cable television station, a conference center, and administrative offices and workspaces.

Each year, the St. Tammany Parish School Board's (STPSB's) Instructional Technology Center hosts over 450 educational and professional development workshops for more than 15,000 students, teachers, administrators, and school staff members.

The facility is one of the first four Teaching, Learning, and Technology Centers (TLTC) established in the state in December of 1998. As a TLTC, the tech center serves as an extension of the Division of Leadership and Technology and provides technology training services to educators in 11 surrounding parishes as well as three city school districts.

The site of the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center was the original location of Mandeville High School, and today’s auditorium was the gymnasium in the early days. The current building was constructed in 1986 as an elementary school and kindergarten center. It was renovated in 2001 to its current configuration as the Instructional Technology Center.

In 2005, the complex joined the EPA's ENERGY STAR program and is known for its outstanding energy management program and for showcasing the tools and resources necessary to achieve superior energy performance in the district's 69 school campuses and administrative buildings.



 

Mandeville Junior High Student Named State Student of the Year

(03-18-2010)
An eighth grade student from Mandeville Junior High School has been named Louisiana State Student of the Year for the Middle School/Junior High School Level.

Aaron Zachary Reed, 14, won District Student of the Year honors earlier this year, then moved up to become a Regional Student of the Year. On March 17, in a special State Department of Education ceremony at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge, he was chosen as Louisiana’s top student in the Grades 6 through 8 category.

Reed is a member of several clubs at his school, the student council and honor society, as well as a drum major. He is also active in area sports and musical performances with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, particularly jazz piano. A native of Baton Rouge, he and his family moved to Mandeville in 2002.

“We are always proud to have our students do well in their endeavors, but we are especially pleased to have Aaron named Student of the Year for the entire state,” said Gayle Sloan, Superintendent. “He has shown that persistence in academic studies, willingness to lend a hand in community service projects, and dedication to developing his outstanding musical talents can be very rewarding.”

Principal Mary Ann Cucchiara congratulated Reed for his selection and said he was an outstanding student, always going above and beyond whatever is expected. “He is a true asset to our school, volunteering when extra help is needed,” she said. His social studies teacher Karen Griggs said he was an amazing young man in many ways, not only excelling academically and musically, but a leader who is well-liked and respected by his teachers and fellow students.

Student of the Year participants competed at the school, district and regional level, judged on several criteria, including academic achievement, leadership skills, character and service to their schools and communities. Prior to selecting the three state winners, the state selection committee conducted interviews Wednesday, as well reviewed writing samples from each of the finalists.

All public schools, including charter schools, as well as approved non-public schools, were asked to submit one candidate from their student body.



Hornets Set April 9 as St. Tammany Schools Night

(03-18-2010)
The New Orleans Hornets professional basketball team will celebrate Friday, April 9, as “St. Tammany Parish School Night at the Hive,” an annual event in which several activities are planned involving St. Tammany Parish public school students and teachers.

The Hornets will play the Utah Jazz that night beginning at 7:00 p.m. with a number of audience-participation contests scheduled at the New Orleans Arena. Activities include the ROTC flag presentation and opportunities to serve as high five kids, tunnel kids, and ball boys.For more information, call 504-593-4741.



LEAP Testing Began March 23

(03-16-2010)
The Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) tests are scheduled to be administered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to students in grades 4 and 8 in two sessions, the first phase being given on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, and the second phase scheduled for Monday, April 12, and Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

Parents are reminded that if a student DOES NOT participate in Phase 1, then he/she must wait until summer to take the LEAP assessment allowing only one opportunity for the student to pass.

Students whose parents currently reside in Louisiana and who wish to enroll in St. Tammany Parish public schools in the fifth or ninth grades for the 2010-2011 school year must have passed the fourth and/or eighth grade LEAP test.

According to the LEAP High Stakes Testing Policy, a student may not be promoted to the 5th or 9th grade until he/she has scored at or above the Basic achievement level on either the English Language Arts or Mathematics component on the 4th or 8th grade of LEAP and at the Approaching Basic achievement level on the other; officially referred to as the Basic/Approaching Basic combination.

The LEAP High Stakes Testing Policy can be found on the Louisiana Department of Education website at http://www.louisianaschools.net/.

Parents of Home Study and nonpublic school students may request LEAP testing for their children according to the following procedures: (1) Requests for applications for testing are to be made no later than March 1, 2010; (2) Applications must be returned for processing by March 12, 2010; and (3) All testing will take place at a parish school site.

Administration of these tests for Home Study and nonpublic school students will follow the same instructions and conditions as provided public school students. Make-up tests, other than what is provided for public school students, cannot be given if a test appointment is missed.

As provided by state regulations, a fee of $35 will be charged for each test. Checks should be paid to the order of “St. Tammany Parish Schools” and must accompany the returned application. This fee is refundable when the Home Study or nonpublic school students begin attendance in St. Tammany public schools.

Home Study students, at the discretion of parents, also may take the iLEAP test during spring testing. This test will be given the week of April 12- 16, 2010.

Parents must contact the district test coordinator to register. For further details or for an application, call 898-6481. An Adobe Acrobat PDF file of the application is available for download by clicking here.


 

Superintendent Announces Retirement

(03-12-2010)
Superintendent Gayle Sloan has announced her intention to retire at the end of the current school year. In a letter to the School Board members, Sloan expressed her desire to step down effective June 30, 2010.

“Serving as Superintendent for St. Tammany’s public schools has been a privilege for me, as I grew up here, graduated from one of our fine public high schools, lived almost my entire life in this community, and came up through the ranks of dedicated employees. This has been much more than a job to me. It has been a labor of love,” Sloan said in her letter. “It is time for me to move on to the next opportunity in my life and maybe slow down a little bit,” she told School Board Members.

Sloan graduated from Mandeville High School before attending Louisiana State University, where she earned her teaching degree. Her first eight years as a teacher were spent in the Jefferson Parish Public Schools, before returning home to work briefly at Chahta-Ima Elementary School and then Mandeville Middle School, where she served as a classroom teacher, Resource Helping Teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal before moving to the Central Office. Mrs. Sloan was an instructional supervisor, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and became Superintendent in 2003, following the death of former Superintendent Leonard P. Monteleone.

School Board President John Lamarque expressed the Board’s high regard for Mrs. Sloan and the job she has done of moving the School System forward during the last several years. “The Board has great respect and trust for Mrs. Sloan and realizes how fortunate our School System has been to have had her at the helm during some challenging times that required critical decisions.”

The announcement comes the week after the School System’s successful completion of a district wide accreditation review in which the visiting committee specifically pointed to the strong leadership and vision of the Superintendent as a major reason for the significant progress of the School System during the last five years since the original accreditation review recommended the School System to become one of the first school systems in the nation to receive district wide accreditation.

The School Board President will work with the administration and Board members to complete the necessary steps to advertise the vacancy, accept applications, and complete the appointment process so that a new Superintendent will be in place in time to prepare for the 2010-2011 school year.


Schools Close Friday for Record-Keeping and Workshops

(03-11-2010)
Public school students in St. Tammany Parish did not report to school on Friday, March 12, to allow a day for teachers to finish record-keeping duties for the end of the third grading period and take part in various in-service professional development workshops.

The third grading period for the 2009-2010 School Year ended Thursday, following a week of exams for students in the higher grades.

Classes will resume on Monday, March 15.


 

Mayfield Elementary Attendance Meeting Scheduled

(03-11-2010)
The third public meeting by a special committee setting up an attendance district for the new Henry Mayfield Elementary School will take place on Tuesday, March 16, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Bayou Woods Elementary in Slidell.

Participants will be able to discuss four proposed attendance district maps now under consideration. While Map 3 was favored by many at the second meeting of the group, the committee was asked to add a fourth map to take in both sides of Airport Road north of Interstate 12 so across the street neighbors can to go to the same school.

All four maps may be reviewed onthis web page. Information on student demographics for each map is also included. Copies of the maps are also on display in the lobby of the School Board Central Office in Covington and at Bayou Woods Elementary School and Carolyn Park Middle School. Parents, teachers, and administrators have been reviewing the existing attendance boundaries of both of those schools to determine the most appropriate area for the new school to serve.

The new school, located on U. S. 190 between Lacombe and Slidell, will serve the western portion of the existing attendance district of the two schools above. Construction on the school began last year, and the facility will not be ready until the 2011-2012 School Year. The school is scheduled to serve kindergarten through sixth grade.

The 11-member committee hopes to come to the School Board sometime this Spring with a recommended attendance area for the new school. The Board will make the final decision. To comment on the issue or any of the proposed maps, click here to send an email to the committee.

The decision to name the school in honor of Henry L. Mayfield was made by the School Board following a request from several retired educators.


 

Energy Conservation Program Wins Additional Award

(03-11-2010)
The School System’s Energy Management Program continues to earn recognition from national and state agencies for reducing energy usage.

Dr. John Swang, director of the program, reported this month that the School System had reduced its energy usage by more than 20 percent, leading to an energy cost avoidance of $5,375,487 over the past five years, and earning additional accolades from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. The latest is called the “Leaders 20% Improvement” designation.

“We’ve had a very successful year,” Dr. Swang said. The School System received three national awards in the past year, the “Energy Milestone Award” from SEE (Schools for Energy Efficiency), an Energy Star-Leader Certificate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and an Energy Star Label for the Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville.

In the first year of the effort, the School System saved seven percent on its energy usage. In 2008, that went to 15 percent, then to 19 percent in 2009, and wound up at 20 percent this year.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s distinguished ENERGY STAR Label went to the Tech Center for the School System’s efforts to protect the environment through superior energy performance. The Tech Center was the first school district facility in the State of Louisiana to receive the designation, Dr. Swang stated.

Gayle Sloan, Schools Superintendent, said, “We are committed to creating an energy efficient environment. Through this project we have lowered our overall energy costs and this benefits our entire School System.”

The EPA awarded the School System the Energy Star-Leader Award for its leadership in improving its average energy performance rating and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through superior energy management. “We were the first School District in the State of Louisiana to receive this honor, and one of only 42 school districts in the entire nation so designated,” Dr. Swang reported.

In 2008, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources awarded the School Board its Environmental Stewardship Award, in recognition of outstanding leadership in adopting and implementing energy efficiency measures. The award certificate states that students and faculty will enjoy the benefits of the School Board’s fiscally-prudent and environmentally beneficial energy management practices in protecting the environment, managing natural resources and benefitting the community.

Dr. Swang commended the students, teachers and staff throughout the parish for changing behavior patterns and taking part in the effort to turn off unneeded lights, switching off computers and monitors when not in use, and overall thermostat monitoring to save energy.

The St. Tammany Parish School Board implemented its Energy Management Program in December 2005, emphasizing energy-saving strategies that sought to raise awareness through employee training. In addition to asking staff and students to turn off electrical equipment when not in use, the School System also optimized the maintenance of all electrical equipment to ensure efficient performance. Savings are expected to increase as more schools have NOVAR control systems installed.

An energy conservation website was launched last year by the department, offering a variety of information on how to save money through energy management, changes in routine behavior, and appropriate technology. The program also helped schools save thousands of dollars by monitoring energy charges for possible errors in utility billing.

Each school is provided with a “customized energy management plan” which suggests improvements based on specific site characteristics.

In November of 2008, The Bureau of Governmental Research (BGR) honored Deputy Superintendent Trey Folse with a Capital One Bank Keller Award for Innovation, which recognizes persons who have used innovative solutions to solve pressing problems. Superintendent Gayle Sloan commented that Mr. Folse had provided strong vision and leadership in developing the energy conservation program.


 

Mayfield Boundary Committee Goes With Map 3

(03-11-2010)
The committee setting up an attendance district for the new Henry Mayfield Elementary School met March 16 and voted that Proposed Boundary Map Three be recommended for School Board adoption.

In the past two months, the group has held three public meetings at Bayou Woods Elementary in Slidell. After reviewing four proposed attendance district maps, the group agreed that the new school, located on U. S. 190 between Lacombe and Slidell, should serve the attendance areas of Bayou Woods and Carolyn Park Middle Schools as drawn in Map 3.

Parents attending the meetings discussed various concerns and were provided with detailed student demographic information for each map of the four maps proposed. Copies of the maps were on display in the lobby of the School Board Central Office in Covington and at Bayou Woods Elementary School and Carolyn Park Middle School.

The School Board will consider the recommended attendance map at its April 8 Committee As A Whole meeting. It will have the final vote on the boundary map chosen.

The committee also voted March 16 to start the school off as preKindergarten through 5th grade and then add 6th grade the following year.

Construction on the school began last year, and the facility will not be ready until the 2011-2012 School Year. The school is scheduled to serve kindergarten through sixth grade.

The decision to name the school in honor of Henry L. Mayfield was made by the School Board following a request from several retired educators.


 

St. Tammany Student Wins State Poetry Out Loud Competition

(03-09-2010)
Talented Arts Program Theatre student Maria Hefte' placed first in the Louisiana State Poetry Out Loud Competition held in Baton Rouge March 6. A sophomore at Covington High School, she won $200 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. in late April to compete in the National Competition.
She also will receive a $500 stipend for the Covington High School library to purchase poetry books.

The National Championship will be held at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium in Washington with semifinal rounds April 26 and finals being held April 27. The National Finals will award $50,000 in prizes and school stipends. The national poetry recitation contest was created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Ms. Hefte’s Talented Art Program Theater Teacher at Covington High School is Gary Mendoza, who worked with Gifted English Teacher Eugenie Martin on helping her get ready for the contest. Mendoza said, “This competition has been an interesting experience for our students. All of my theatre kids as well as all of Mrs. Martin’s gifted English students had to participate. It became more difficult than we all thought it would be, especially for my theatre students. They had to act without acting, which is much trickier than it sounds. Maria has worked extremely hard on this.”

Of the three St. Tammany students chosen February 9 at Mandeville High School to represent the parish at the state level, two were chosen in the top six finalists for the state. St. Tammany TAP theatre student Stanley Ameriski of Salmen High School was in the semi finals, and Jade Grantham of Covington High advanced to the final round of six in the competition.

Ms. Martin is also Grantham’s Gifted English Teacher, and Meghan Shea is Ameriski’s Talented Theater Teacher at Salmen High.

The Poetry Out Loud competition is designed to help students build public speaking skills, self confidence and foster the appreciation of poetry as both literature and art. The program encourages young people to learn about great poetry and promotes poetry in both the classroom and the community.

Eighteen high school students from throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System took part in the St. Tammany Parish Poetry Out Loud Competition sponsored by the St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs.


 

Tech Center To Be Named In Honor of Dave Treen

(03-08-2010)
The School Board will rename the Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville in honor of the late David C. Treen in ceremonies on Thursday, March 18. The program begins at 10:00 a.m., and the public is invited to attend.

Governor of Louisiana between 1980 and 1984 and a resident of the Mandeville area for many years, Treen died last October. The Board voted in November to honor him for his service to the state and community and his many contributions to public education.

He was instrumental in establishing the state's Professional Improvement Program for teachers, which gave thousands of teachers additional incentives to take part in professional development activities. Almost 77 percent of Louisiana’s teachers took the opportunity to enhance their teaching capabilities. Treen also helped establish the Louisiana School For Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches. In addition, Treen served as a Congressman between 1973 and 1980.

After leaving the governor’s office, Treen was a frequent visitor to St. Tammany schools and worked with other governors to maintain educational funding in the state. The Board acknowledged that the entire Northshore community benefitted from Treen’s personal involvement over the years, and he left a legacy of public service locally as well as across the state.

The Instructional Technology Center, located at 2024 Livingston Street in Mandeville, is a 24,000-square-foot office and instructional building that houses approximately 20 full-time employees. The facility contains four computer training labs, a professional development center, a distance learning classroom (with satellite, internet, cable TV, and compressed video conferencing), a cable television station, a conference center, and administrative offices and workspaces.

Each year, the St. Tammany Parish School Board's (STPSB's) Instructional Technology Center hosts over 450 educational and professional development workshops for more than 15,000 students, teachers, administrators, and school staff members.

The facility is one of four Teaching, Learning, and Technology Centers (TLTC) established in the state in December of 1998. As a TLTC, the tech center serves as an extension of the Division of Leadership and Technology and provides technology training services to educators in 11 surrounding parishes as well as three city school districts.

The site of the David C. Treen Instructional Technology Center was the original location of Mandeville High School, and today’s auditorium was the gymnasium in the early days. The current building was constructed in 1986 as an elementary school and kindergarten center. It was renovated in 2001 to its current configuration as the Instructional Technology Center.

In 2005, the complex joined the EPA's ENERGY STAR program and is known for its outstanding energy management program and for showcasing the tools and resources necessary to achieve superior energy performance in the district's 69 school campuses and administrative buildings.


 

Schools Close Friday for Record-Keeping and Workshops

(03-05-2010)
Public school students in St. Tammany Parish will not report to school on Friday, March 12, to allow a day for teachers to finish record-keeping duties for the end of the third grading period and take part in various in-service professional development workshops.

The third grading period for the 2009-2010 School Year ends Thursday, following a week of exams for students in the higher grades.

Classes will resume on Monday, March 15.


 

Public Input Sought On Pupil Progression Plan Updates

(03-04-2010)
A public hearing to review proposed changes to next year's Pupil Progression Plan will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. at Boyet Junior High School in Slidell. A committee of school administrators, teachers, and parents meets annually to review the plan and submit recommendations to the School Board for consideration.

The plan establishes placement, promotion, retention, and grading policies for students within the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Administrators will meet on March 10 to give their input and ideas, and the Pupil Progression Plan Advisory Committee will meet on March 17 for discussion of any changes proposed by the administrators. Following the Public Input meeting on April 6, the proposed Plan will be presented to the St. Tammany Parish School Board for its consideration at the June 3, 2010, Committee As A Whole meeting and again at the June 10, 2010, School Board meeting at the C.J. Schoen Administrative Complex in Covington.


 

District Accreditation Continued For School System

(03-04-2010)
At a special School Board meeting Wednesday afternoon, the School System learned that continued District Accreditation for the School System would be recommended by a team of experts from the AdvancED accreditation organization.

For the previous three days, the ten-member team of accreditation professionals met with administrators, teachers, students, and parents to assess the School Systems’ success in continuing to meet District Accreditation standards and also review the effectiveness of the district’s continuous improvement process. The School System progress is evaluated every five years by an external review team.

In reporting on its findings, the review team described the School System’s several strengths as well as the challenges it faces, and then made recommendations for continued improvement. Dr. Donna James, team chairman, said the School System could be proud of the responses from the hundreds of persons interviewed by the team which included 13 Board Members, 99 administrators, 88 teachers, 47 support staff, 75 students, and 99 parents, business partners, and community leaders.

“You are one of the first Districts this year to earn re-accreditation,” she told the Board.

Dr. James pointed out that St. Tammany’s improvements were truly “systemwide,” meaning opportunities across the parish for all students. She commended Superintendent Sloan and her fellow administrators as people with vision for leading the System towards being a great School System. The team reported finding sound stewardship of fiscal resources as well as a community legacy of educational support.

Special recognition was given to the School System’s efforts to infuse technology throughout the schools and provide for the safety and security of its students and staff.

District accreditation was first granted to the St. Tammany Parish School System five years ago by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement. (SACS/CASI).

The accreditation renewal process began with presentations by Superintendent Gayle Sloan and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie detailing the many programs and accomplishments of the School System. The team then interviewed Superintendent Sloan and also spoke with a number of Central Office employees about the System’s goals and challenges. The group also visited a number of individual school sites.

District accreditation is a rigorous process that relies on data, documentation, observation, and dialogue to arrive at a district perspective, including its vision, mission, and beliefs. “District accreditation demonstrates to our students, parents, and community that we are focused on raising student achievement, providing safe and enriching learning environments, and maintaining efficient and effective operations staffed by highly qualified educators,” Mrs. Sloan said.

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System was one of the first School Systems in the state to apply for and earn district accreditation in 2005. As a result, all schools in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System have earned accreditation.

School systems pursuit of District Accreditation is voluntary. The procedure was developed as a response to requests from superintendents whose systems were already engaged in quality strategic planning and who wanted to align more meaningfully their efforts, state and federal accountability requirements, and local school accreditation.


Math Teacher Receives Award For Advanced Placement Classes

(03-02-2010)
Fan Disher, a gifted math teacher at Mandeville High School, is the Louisiana recipient of the 2009-2010 Siemens Foundation Award for Advanced Placement for her exceptional teaching and dedication in the area of math and science. Mrs. Disher is the one teacher selected from Louisiana and one of only 50 teachers selected nationally.

She has taught for more than 35 years, mostly advanced math courses to 11th and 12th grade students. In association with the award, the school will receive a grant for $1000 to use toward math and science education.

She strives to make her math classroom a place where students can develop their own individual problem-solving skills and learn self-confidence in their math abilities. Over the years, she has tried to make calculus a “memorable” hands-on experience, not just symbolic manipulations of numbers. “Not much has changed in calculus over the past three decades, even though the advent of handheld calculators did change the way we were doing some things,” she said. Ms. Disher serves as sponsor for the school’s math honor society and encourages her students to enter math competitions offered by national mathematics associations.

During the summers, Ms. Disher grades Advanced Placement tests for the College Board in Kansas, where she networks with hundreds of other math teachers from around the country. “Grading those tests and meeting with those other teachers helps make me a better calculus teacher,” she said.

She has even received a banner proclaiming her recognition as Siemens Award winner for the state. “Being recognized in this way helps the students trust you more,” she noted. “They know that you know what you are doing, and that is essential because understanding math is so important in many fields, especially engineering and business.”

She was named Outstanding High School Mathematics Teacher by the Louisiana Association of Teachers of Mathematics last year, as well as Educator of Distinction for the State of Louisiana by the Louisiana Parent, Teacher, Students Association in 2003, and Secondary Teacher of the Year in 2000 by the Louisiana Computer Using Educators group. At Mandeville High, she has helped advance technology use in the classroom in many ways.

Advanced Placement courses at the high school level enable students to earn college credits in their chosen field, giving them a headstart in college that will save their parents tuition money. “Every credit they can get in high school is a course their parents don’t have to pay tuition for in college,” she explained.

Ms. Disher continues taking part in many professional development courses and is a member of a dozen state, regional and national professional associations. She has presented workshop sessions at numerous conferences and institutes and received several grants and awards. She is also active in the local community performing arts society.

Last year Mandeville High School received a Siemens Award for its overall performance in offering Advanced Placement classes. Richard Burvant, General Manager of Siemens Building Technologies, New Orleans branch, made the presentation to Principal Bruce Bundy at a School Board meeting, focusing on the school’s Advanced Placement program that provides enhanced learning opportunities in science, technology, and mathematics.

Burvant said that recognizing educational excellence has always been a priority at Siemens. “If we are going to continue to create cutting-edge innovations and high-paying jobs, then it is important to recognize that we honor teachers instrumental in student achievement and schools such as Mandeville High School for educating the next generation of scientists who will advance tomorrow’s technology.”

“We believe the teachers honored by Siemens embody the best of American education by inspiring students in the classroom while instilling a love for learning that continues to influence them for a lifetime,” said Diane Tsukamaki, Director, National Recognition and Scholarship Programs.

Established in 1998, the Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement strives to expand and strengthen the pool of math, science and technology talent that will be needed for the continued growth of business and industry in the United States and globally. The Siemens Foundation also honors individual high school students with these awards.


 

District Accreditation Review Finalized

(03-01-2010)
This week, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System hosted a System review team from AdvancEd, a national accreditation organization, to seek the continuance of district accreditation that was granted five years ago by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement. (SACS/CASI).

At a special School Board meeting Wednesday afternoon, the group presented its findings after dozens of interviews, several school visits, and extensive classroom observation. In that report, the review team described the School System’s strengths and the challenges it faces, and then made recommendations for continued improvement. At the end, the group announced that it will recommend the St. Tammany Parish Public School System be granted continued District Accreditation.

For the past three days, a ten-member team of trained professionals met with administrators, teachers, students, and parents to assess the School Systems’ success in continuing to meet District Accreditation standards and assess the effectiveness of the district’s continuous improvement process. The School System progress is evaluated every five years by an external review team.

On Monday, the process began with presentations by Superintendent Gayle Sloan and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie detailing the many programs and accomplishments of the School System. The visting team members then interviewed Superintendent Sloan and also spoke with a number of Central Office employees about the System’s goals and challenges.

On Tuesday, the group visited Madisonville Elementary, Madisonville Junior High, Lee Road Junior High,Covington Elementary, Fontainebleau High, Lake Harbor Middle, Lakeshore High, Monteleone Junior High, Bonne Ecole Elementary and Alton Elementary.

District accreditation is a rigorous process that relies on data, documentation, observation, and dialogue to arrive at a district perspective, including its vision, mission, and beliefs. “District accreditation demonstrates to our students, parents, and community that we are focused on raising student achievement, providing safe and enriching learning environments, and maintaining efficient and effective operations staffed by highly qualified educators,” Mrs. Sloan said.

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System was one of the first School Systems in the state to apply for and earn district accreditation in 2005. As a result, all schools in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System have earned accreditation.

The pursuit of District Accreditation by a School System is voluntary. The procedure was developed as a response to requests from superintendents whose systems were already engaged in quality strategic planning and who wanted to align more meaningfully their efforts, state and federal accountability requirements, and local school accreditation.


 

Details Given on Non-Public / Homeschool LEAP Testing

(02-24-2010)
The Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) tests will be administered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to students in grades 4 and 8 in two sessions, the first phase being given on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, and the second phase scheduled for Monday, April 12, and Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

Parents are reminded that if a student DOES NOT participate in Phase 1, then he/she must wait until summer to take the LEAP assessment allowing only one opportunity for the student to pass.

Students whose parents currently reside in Louisiana and who wish to enroll in St. Tammany Parish public schools in the fifth or ninth grades for the 2010-2011 school year must have passed the fourth and/or eighth grade LEAP test.

According to the LEAP High Stakes Testing Policy, a student may not be promoted to the 5th or 9th grade until he/she has scored at or above the Basic achievement level on either the English Language Arts or Mathematics component on the 4th or 8th grade of LEAP and at the Approaching Basic achievement level on the other; officially referred to as the Basic/Approaching Basic combination.

The LEAP High Stakes Testing Policy can be found on the Louisiana Department of Education website at http://www.louisianaschools.net/.

Parents of Home Study and nonpublic school students may request LEAP testing for their children according to the following procedures: (1) Requests for applications for testing are to be made no later than March 1, 2010; (2) Applications must be returned for processing by March 12, 2010; and (3) All testing will take place at a parish school site.

Administration of these tests for Home Study and nonpublic school students will follow the same instructions and conditions as provided public school students. Make-up tests, other than what is provided for public school students, cannot be given if a test appointment is missed.

As provided by state regulations, a fee of $35 will be charged for each test. Checks should be paid to the order of “St. Tammany Parish Schools” and must accompany the returned application. This fee is refundable when the Home Study or nonpublic school students begin attendance in St. Tammany public schools.

Home Study students, at the discretion of parents, also may take the iLEAP test during spring testing. This test will be given the week of April 12- 16, 2010.

Parents must contact the district test coordinator to register. For further details or for an application, call 898-6481. An Adobe Acrobat PDF file of the application is available for download by clicking here.


 

College and Career Quest Event For Junior High Students Planned

(02-19-2010)
The 2010 College and Career Quest, an event hosted by the College Counseling Center for junior high students, will be held on Tuesday, February 23, at Castine Center in Pelican Park and Thursday, February 25, at Slidell City Auditorium. Students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 are invited to attend, along with their parents, to hear from a number of college and career representatives.

The events begin at 6:00 p.m., with the Slidell location focusing on students who will attend Northshore High, Pearl River High, Salmen High, and Slidell High and the Mandeville location focusing on students who will attend Covington High, Fontainebleau High, Mandeville High, and Lakeshore High School.

More than 36 exhibitors will have tables offering a variety of printed information and representatives on hand to answer questions pertaining to colleges and universities, career and technical training and military options.

Thousands of students are expected to visit the two informational meetings.

The list of participants expected to attend the one or both events include Emergency Medical Training services, a3 Virtual Academy, Covington High School, Delgado Community College, Fontainebleau High School, Huntington Learning Center, Lakeshore High School, Louisiana College, Louisiana Education Loan Authority, Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (TOPS), Louisiana State University Financial Aid Office, Louisiana State University, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Technical College - Slidell, Louisiana Virtual School, Mark Anthony Institute, and McNeese State University.

Also planning to be present are representatives from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Nicholls State University, Northshore High School, Northwestern State University of LA, Nunez Community College, Our Lady of Holy Cross College, Pearl River High School, Salmen High School, Slidell High School, Southeast Louisiana Building and Construction Trades, Southeastern Louisiana University, Southeastern Louisiana University Zoom Into Careers, Southeastern Louisiana University St. Tammany Center, St. Tammany Healthcare Alliance, Tulane University, and the United States Air Force Academy.

Representatives are also planning to be on hand from the United States Military Academy at West Point, United States Air Force ROTC, University of Louisiana - Lafayette, Mandeville High School, and the University of New Orleans.


 

Poetry Competition Held at Mandeville High

(02-19-2010)
Eighteen high school students from throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System took part in the St. Tammany Parish Poetry Out Loud Competition held February 9 at Mandeville High School.

The Poetry Out Loud competition is designed to help students build public speaking skills, self confidence and foster the appreciation of poetry as both literature and art.

Judges for the event were St. Tammany Parish Councilmen Marty Dean and R. Reid Falconer, President of the North Star Theater Lori Bennett, and Thomas Beale, Assistant Public Information Officer for the St. Tammany Parish Government.

The local winner received a gift certificate from Barnes and Noble Bookstore and will go on to compete in the state championship in Baton Rouge. All state winners from across the country will then compete for the National Poetry Out Loud Championship.The project was presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and Poetry Foundation through the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs. The Talented Arts Program for St. Tammany public schools assisted in bringing the program to the School System.

The program encourages young people to learn about great poetry and promotes poetry in both the classroom and the community.


 

Attendance Boundaries For Mayfield Elementary To Be Discussed

(02-17-2010)
The second public meeting by a special committee setting up an attendance district for the new Henry Mayfield Elementary School will be held on Monday, February 22, at 7 p.m. Supervisor Amiee Woessner, chairman of the boundary selection committee, will coordinate the meeting at Bayou Woods Elementary School.

Three maps, each with different proposed attendance boundaries, were presented at the first meeting and may be reviewed on this web page. Information on student demographics for each map is also included.
Copies of the maps are also on display in the lobby of the School Board Central Office in Covington and at Bayou Woods Elementary School and Carolyn Park Middle School.

The new school, located on U. S. 190 between Lacombe and Slidell, will serve the western portion of the existing attendance district of the two schools above.
Construction on the school began last year, and the facility will not be ready until the 2011-2012 School Year. The school is scheduled to serve kindergarten through sixth grade.

The newly appointed committee of parents, teachers, and administrators is reviewing the existing attendance boundaries of both Carolyn Park Middle School and Bayou Woods Elementary to determine the most appropriate area for the new school to serve. To comment on the issue or any of the proposed maps, click here to send an email to the committee.

The 11-member committee hopes to come to the School Board sometime this Spring with a recommended attendance area for the new school. The Board will make the final decision.

To comment on the issue or any of the proposed maps, click here to send an email to the committee.

The decision to name the school in honor Henry L. Mayfield was made by the School Board following a request from several retired educators. Mr. Mayfield was known as an academic leader in the parish. He began his career in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System in July, 1926, serving as a teacher for one year and as principal of Slidell Grammar School for eight years. He was appointed the System’s first instructional supervisor in the Central Office in January, 1935.

He served as a Supervisor of Instruction for 31 years and was an Assistant Superintendent from April, 1965, until his retirement in June, 1968.


 

Schools Are Closed February 15-19 For Mardi Gras Holidays

(02-13-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools are closed Monday, February 15, through Friday, February 19, for a one-week vacation beginning with the Mardi Gras holidays.

Classes resume Monday, February 22.

School board support offices were closed Monday and Tuesday (Mardi Gras), February 15 and 16, and reopened on Wednesday, February 17.


 

Schools and School Offices Closed February 12 Due to Winter Weather

(02-12-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and offices were closed Friday, February 12, due to sleet and snow conditions. Snowflakes began falling in Covington around 9:30 a.m., after several hours of sleet during the night.

A number of events scheduled for Thursday night and Friday were postponed due to the weather. They include the following:

Boyet Junior High School postponed its Knowledge Quest night, rescheduling it for February 25.
Mandeville Middle School postponed its play scheduled for Thursday night. It will be rescheduled in the next two weeks.
Lake Harbor Middle School's Beginner Band Concert scheduled for Thursday night was cancelled.
Pearl River High School rescheduled Scheduling Night for next year's sophomores to February 23. A spaghetti dinner fund raiser for the Freshmen class was rescheduled for after the Mardi Gras Holidays.


School Board Sells $25 Million In Construction Bonds

(02-11-2010)
Meeting in special session on Thursday morning, the St. Tammany Parish School Board accepted a bid of 3.46 percent on the sale of $25 million in bonds for financing future school construction and renovation projects.

Bond Counsel Grant Schluter told the Board that the bond sale had attracted nine bidders, the highest number he had ever seen in Louisiana for many years. “It’s incredible how many bids came from all over the nation. This is as good as it gets,” he said.

The low bid was submitted by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. The other eight bond bids ranged in interest rates from 3.51 percent to 3.80 percent. The lower the interest rate on the bonds, the less the School System has to pay in interest on borrowing the money, and this results in considerable tax savings for St. Tammany Parish property owners, Schluter said.

The Board met at 11 a.m. at Schluter’s request, since greater participation from bidders results from daytime bid openings, giving a better chance to obtain more favorable interest rates.

Schluter said that the School System’s current financial position together with an admirable fund reserve balance level helped maintain a AA bond rating with the firm Standard and Poor’s, and that bond rating resulted in more competition among bidders.

Last year’s bid bond sale of $20 million came in at 3.81 percent interest with four bids, and the year before that the bond sale interest rate for $67 million came in with a 4.40 percent interest rate with four bids submitted.


 

School Officials Monitoring Weather Situation

(02-10-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public School System officials are working with the National Weather Service and the local Emergency Operations Center to monitor weather conditions.

A weather briefing is scheduled for this afternoon to discuss the possibility of snow and sleet overnight in St. Tammany Parish. The School System will make a decision about possible school closures following this briefing. Please continue to monitor this website, Channel 13, and local news stations for updates.

A text message and call alert will be sent out in the event of a cancellation. If you would like to sign up for emergency text messages or call alerts, please click here.


 

Events Rescheduled Due To Early Dismissal

(02-08-2010)
Several events planned for Tuesday, February 9, were rescheduled due to schools being dismissed two hours earlier than usual that day. They included the following:Covington High Girls and Boys Basketball games vs Hammond High scheduled for Tuesday night were re-scheduled for Wednesday night.

Basketball Game - Mandeville High vs Fontainebleau High, Tuesday night games were moved to Wednesday night.


 

Former Astronaut Visits Classrooms of NASA Teacher Fellows Program

(02-05-2010)
Former astronaut Jan Davis visited two St. Tammany Parish schools, Mandeville High School and Fontainebleau Junior High School, on January 28, classrooms of teachers who had been named NASA/LaSPACE Michoud Education Fellows for 2009-2010.

Dr. Davis spoke to the students of Physical Science and Chemistry teacher Dr. Mark Hazlett at Mandeville High School and Donna Frank and Margaret Piazza, teachers of Earth Science and Life Science respectively, at Fontainebleau Junior High School.

All three teachers are participating in the year long MEF-2 NASA Fellows Program that began in an intensive two week internship at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans last summer and will culminate in a Final Briefing in May.

Dr. Davis became an astronaut in 1987, and has logged over 673 hours in space, flying on three Space Shuttle missions. She currently serves as vice president and deputy general manager of Jacobs Technology operations at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Dr. Davis talked about her experiences during her three space flights and answered students’ questions about life in space.

“Getting students excited about math and science is important to me. I enjoy telling young folks about the opportunities related to space exploration,” said Davis.

She also presented, to Dr. Paulette Perrin, Secondary Science Curriculum Specialist, and the three NASA Fellows, framed pictures signed by the STS-125 crew, the astronauts that the teachers met and were photographed with during the summer internship at Michoud when the astronauts had just returned from their flight in space aboard the shuttle Atlantis to repair the Hubble Telescope.

This program is part of the efforts of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to encourage students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), which are embedded in the MEF NASA Fellows Program. This visit from Dr. Jan Davis helps support those initiatives
The Michoud Education Fellow Program began in 2008 when several School System educators took part in the inaugural session.

Those participating the first year were Dr. Perrin and teachers Ruth Hill, Monteleone Junior High School; Crystal Drake, St. Tammany Junior High School; Joanne Hobson, Slidell Junior High School; Paul Chandler, Slidell High School, and Deborah Nunez, Covington High School.

The internship program is the result of collaboration among St. Tammany Parish Schools, Louisiana State University/Louisiana Space Consortium, and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center/Michoud Assembly Facility. The program encourages educators to communicate the information, experiences, and lessons learned to their students during the school year.

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System was invited to help develop the education program for teachers that could be duplicated with other parishes in southeast Louisiana.

During the event, educators were welcomed into the Michoud family and even designed their own “mission patch.”

Dr. Perrin said the program offers a working model of what educators want their students to be able to do in a real world setting. “Teachers seldom have the opportunity to study the final product of education, the workplace,“ she said. “Teachers in this program see in action the skills we want our graduates to take with them when they leave our School System.”


 

Haiti Fund Raising Project Held Again In Support of Saints at Super Bowl

(02-04-2010)
Students and School System employees wore Black and Gold Saints attire again on February 5, as the St. Tammany Parish Public School System again collected donations for Haiti earthquake relief.

The first parishwide effort to raise funds for Haiti earthquake victims met with outstanding success on January 22 with a total of $85,000 collected for the American Red Cross. Donations were made by students and faculty giving a dollar or more each to wear black and gold, hats, and jeans that day in support of the New Orleans Saints Football Team playoff bid.

From elementary schools through high schools, students and employees on Friday made additional donations in showing their support of the New Orleans Saints Football Team as it prepares to win the Super Bowl. This time the School System donations will go towards rebuilding schools for the victims of the tragic earthquake that hit the capital city of Haiti.

Click here for a multimedia slide show of the Saints Day participants. (Quicktime Movie File) A photo album of Saints Day Photos is located here.

Similar fund-raising drives in the past have collected donations by giving students the opportunity to wear a favorite hat or shirt. Blue jeans were also popular among many students and employees taking part in past fund-raising drives.


 

Schools and School Board Offices Close Two Hours Early on Feb. 9 For Saints Parade

(02-04-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and offices closed two hours early on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, so that students and employees could help the New Orleans Saints celebrate their Super Bowl victory.

After care programs were encouraged to continue as scheduled however, parents needed to check with their individual schools for specific details. The decision on whether to hold all other after school activities were handled at the school level.

“We are extremely proud of the Saints, and we wanted to give our students and employees the chance to attend the Super Bowl Celebration Parade in New Orleans,” said Superintendent Gayle Sloan.

Schools and school board offices opened at regular times on Wednesday morning.


 

Schools Remained Open As Scheduled On Monday After Super Bowl

(02-02-2010)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools were open as normally scheduled the day after the Saints win in the Super Bowl.

While the School System firmly supports the Saints and their journey to the Super Bowl, the education of students must remain a top priority.

Understandably, some families had Super Bowl plans that took them out of town or kept them out late on Super Bowl Sunday. Students who missed school on Monday were counted as absent but schools will work closely with students to allow them to make up any missed work or assignments.


 

Attendance Boundaries Being Drawn For Mayfield Elementary

(02-01-2010)
The first public meeting to begin considering attendance boundaries for the new Henry Mayfield Elementary School was held February 2 at Bayou Woods Elementary School. Approximately 25 people attended. Elementary Supervisor Amiee Woessner, chairman of the boundary selection committee, coordinated the meeting, and Superintendent Gayle Sloan explained the timetable for the attendance area selection process.

Three maps, each with different proposed attendance boundaries, were shown to begin discussion. The proposed maps are “starting points” and may be changed as public comments are received and considered. Click here to view the maps. Information on student demographics for each map is also included. Copies of the maps will also be on display at Bayou Woods Elementary School and Carolyn Park Middle School.

The new school, located on U. S. 190 between Lacombe and Slidell, will serve the western portion of the existing attendance district of the two schools above. Questions from the audience at the February 2 meeting involved projected class sizes, number of classrooms per grade at the new school, and the demographics of the student body at the new school. The school is scheduled to serve kindergarten through sixth grade.

The next committee meeting will be held on Monday, February 22, at 7 p.m. at Bayou Woods Elementary School.

Construction on the school began just a few months ago, and the facility will not be ready until the 2011-2012 School Year. The newly appointed committee of parents, teachers, and administrators is reviewing the existing attendance boundaries of both Carolyn Park Middle School and Bayou Woods Elementary to determine the best area for the new school to serve. The 11-member committee hopes to come to the School Board sometime this Spring with a recommended attendance area for the new school. The Board will make the final decision.

To comment on the issue or any of the proposed maps, click here to send an email to the committee.

The name for the school was selected by the School Board following a request made by several retired educators to name a building to honor Henry L. Mayfield.

Mr. Mayfield was known as an academic leader in the parish. He began his career in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System in July, 1926, serving as a teacher for one year and as principal of Slidell Grammar School for eight years. He was appointed the System’s first instructional supervisor in the Central Office in January, 1935.

He served as a Supervisor of Instruction for 31 years and was an Assistant Superintendent from April, 1965, until his retirement in June, 1968.

Mr. Mayfield also taught at Tulane University for more than ten years. According to former colleague Henri Ferrer, Mayfield worked as a “behind the scenes” leader whose expertise, dedication, and broad range of work helped make the St. Tammany System a leading school system. Mr. Ferrer noted that Mr. Mayfield was recognized throughout Louisiana for his work in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and in the field of education. He was a frequent speaker at education conferences.



 

After School Art Group Holds Exhibit

(01-29-2010)
Carolyn Park Middle School's Afterschool Program “Inspiring Students in Art & Business” is showing its young participants that Art can be a rewarding career choice. Now in its second year, the program is supported with a grant through the Louisiana Division of the Arts as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

In a report at the January Board meeting about the special Arts Grant project at Carolyn Park, School Board Member Bob Womack told the story about the success of the afterschool arts instruction program.

In his “Growing the Cultural Economy” presentation, Womack explained how the arts class produced dozens of beautiful works of art to create a first class gallery exhibit in Slidell recently. He introduced several of the students who took part, and they held up their artworks for display to the audience. “The principal and assistant principal at Carolyn Park did a magnificent job with this program,” he said.

Chantelle O’Meallie, assistant principal, said the after-school program is inspiring young people to become artists and learn the business skills that give the community the opportunity to see and buy their work. “It cultivates their creativity while helping them realize that Art can be a lifelong passion,” she said, “and end up as a career.” The Junior Achievement activity brought local artists in to help the children create marketable products, ending with 45 of the students giving an art show which 160 people attended.

The students first learned how to produce artwork for showing in a gallery and then went through the procedures of putting their pieces up for sale and even paying a commission to the gallery. The opening reception for the art show was open to the entire community.

Visitors to the show purchased many of the pieces of art, and one student was even commissioned to produce a work of art. Total sales for the event came to $417.

The Carolyn Park Middle School Strings Ensemble provided music for the art show throughout the evening. “The program helped these students realize their potential as artists and entrepreneurs, all to make our community a more beautiful and successful place,” Ms. O’Meallie stated.

Womack noted that these children are “our future architects, our future draftsmen, and even a future Van Gogh. They will be designing and decorating the buildings yet to come in St. Tammany Parish.” He said he was very proud of their accomplishments.

Art Assistants and Junior Achievement members taking part in the program include Cheryl Martinez, Geri Winzy, and Nicole Burgess, with Phil Galatas of Moondancer Studio serving as Master Artist for the program. If funds continue, the program will be offered again next year.


 

Schools Raise $85,000 In Donations For Haiti Relief

(01-27-2010)
The students and employees of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System raised a total of $85,000 for Haiti earthquake victims in a parishwide campaign on January 22. Donations were made by students and faculty giving a dollar or more each to wear black and gold, hats, and jeans that day in support of the New Orleans Saints Football Team playoff bid on January 24.

The money raised by St. Tammany public schools will be given to the American Red Cross for its work during recovery efforts in Haiti. The school that makes the largest collection of money per student population will present the donation on behalf of the entire School System at a special ceremony.

Similar fund-raising drives in the past have collected donations by giving students the opportunity to wear a favorite hat or shirt. Blue jeans were also popular among many students and employees taking part in the fund-raising drive.

Click here for a photo slide show of the Saints Day participants. (Windows Media Player Video File). A photo album of Saints Day Photos is located here.


 

Boundary Lines To Be Drawn for New Mayfield Elementary School

(01-25-2010)
The first public meeting to begin considering attendance boundaries for the new Henry Mayfield Elementary School west of Slidell will be held on Tuesday, February 2. The meeting will take place at Bayou Woods Elementary School beginning at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

While construction on the school began just a few months ago and the facility will not be ready until the 2011-2012 School Year, the process for setting the boundary lines for the Pre K through 6th Grade school has begun with the naming of a committee to review the existing attendance boundaries of both Bayou Woods Elementary School and Carolyn Park Middle School. These two schools, which now have a total of 1411 students, will contribute some of their enrollment to the new school’s student body.

The principals of the two schools helped establish the committee made up of parents, teachers, and administration. Elementary Supervisor Amiee Woessner was named chairman of the committee, and Administrative Supervisor John Cousin will serve as staff liaison working with the committee. Ms. Woessner will report to Superintendent Gayle Sloan and the School Board on the progress being made as the redistricting process moves forward.

The committee hopes to come to Board sometime this Spring with a recommended attendance area for the new school. “Starting now gives us more than enough time to take care of the process,” said Superintendent Sloan at the January 21 Board meeting.

Also now under construction, the Joseph B. Lancaster Elementary School west of Madisonville will not require redistricting of attendance boundaries. It will receive students by reorganizing grade levels within Madisonville Elementary, Madisonville Junior High, and Lancaster Elementary and sharing the existing attendance boundary lines for those schools.


 

Financial Reporting Awards Given To School Board

(01-24-2010)
For the 21st year in a row, the St. Tammany Parish School Board has been awarded two annual recognitions for excellence in financial reporting.

The honors come following detailed reviews by experts from two organizations for financial reporting professionals. Ms. Joy Irwin, Director of Advisory Services for the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office, explained the process at the January School Board meeting and presented a Certificate of Excellence from the Government Finance Officers Association of Louisiana (GFOA) for the financial reporting work done in 2008.

“The St. Tammany Parish School System had to jump through a lot of hoops to earn this certificate,” she said, adding that the Board also had to commit the right resources and the right staff to the job to achieve the award.

“This honor shows a high level of competence by your staff and a continuing commitment by the Board,” said Joey Richard, III, Managing Director of Postlewaite and Netterville, APAC, in presenting the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the American School Board Officials International (ASBO).

Chief Accountant and Acting Director of Business Affairs Terri Fortenberry and her staff were commended for their annual Financial Report and work in financial reporting for the School System.

The GFOA certificate recognition program is more than 50 years old, and organizations which are singled out for recognition have to meet very stringent criteria. Since 1945, the program has become widely known as the premier indicator of excellence in governmental accounting.

ASBOIntl established the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Program in 1972 to encourage and recognize excellence in school system comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFR). The primary objective of the program is to promote high-quality school system financial reporting through the preparation of a CAFR, using the guidelines of the certificate program.

The purpose of the financial statements is to report on and provide an overview of the financial position and operations of the school system (including its component units). The CAFR enables school business officials to educate the school board and the public about the status of a school system's finances.


 

Students Donate to Haiti Relief While Supporting Saints

(01-22-2010)
A parishwide effort to raise funds for Haiti earthquake victims by giving students a chance to wear Saints football shirts and hats met with outstanding success January 22 across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Schools offered students a chance to wear black and gold caps, jerseys, and other Saints memorabilia if they would donate $1 to the relief fund for Haiti. Similar drives in the past have raised funds by encouraging donations in return for a free pass to wear a favorite hat or shirt. Blue jeans were also popular among many students and employees taking part in the fund-raising drive.

Youngsters from elementary to high schools took the opportunity to show their support of the New Orleans Saints Football Team and at the same time help the victims of the tragic earthquake that hit the capital city of Haiti.

Click here for a photo slide show of the Saints Day participants. (Windows Media Player Video File)

Superintendent Gayle Sloan created the fundraising campaign which took place at all schools and office locations as well. Mrs. Sloan likened the devastation in Haiti to that caused in the local area by Hurricane Katrina, to which many people around the country sent help to Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The money raised by St. Tammany public schools will be sent to the American Red Cross for its work during the rescue and recovery efforts in Haiti. The school that makes the largest collection of money per student population will make the donation on behalf of the entire School System at a special ceremony.


 

Grant Sought For 21st Century Learning Centers

(01-19-2010)
The 21st Century Community Learning Center is applying for funding through the 21st CCLC program. The request is to finance the program from June 1, 2010 through December 31, 2013.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center After School programs provide extended opportunities for learning in a safe and secure environment offering participants homework help and tutoring the certified teachers, computer skills, music, cooking, art, drama, academic games, sports, recreation and a nutritional snack.

At the 21st Century Community Learning Center Summer Camp children engage in the Playbooks Literacy Program, Houghton-Mifflin’s Math Club, recreation and culturally enriching activities, cooking, arts and crafts, and water safety lessons. The camp culminates with an all-day field trip.

The 21st CCLC serves approximately 800 students per year with Centers at Brock Elementary School 259 Brakefield, Slidell; Chahta-Ima Elementary School, 27488 Pichon Road, Lacombe; Creekside Jr. High, 65434 Highway 41, Pearl River; and Pine View Middle School, 1200 W. 27th Avenue, Covington.

The proposal for the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant will be available for review after February 5, 2010, at the St. Tammany Parish School Board Office, 321 N. Theard Street., Covington, LA 70434.



Awards Given For Successful United Way Campaign

(01-20-2010)
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System has once again contributed significantly to the local United Way community fund raising campaign.

Senior Administrative Supervisor Bill Brady reported to the School Board at its January meeting that the students and employees have again shown they are the most caring School System in the area, if not the entire state. “Our recent United Way campaign was very successful,” he said, “with our employees and students raising almost $138,000 for the United Way.”

Over the past five annual United Way campaigns, the School System has raised over $625,000, Brady told the Board. He announced a number of awards to schools and support sites that went “above and beyond” what they were asked to do.

Special recognition awards for 100% Participation, where everyone at a site takes part in the campaign, went to Bayou Lacombe Middle School, Bayou Woods Elementary School, Florida Avenue Elementary School, Honey Island Elementary School, Lyon Elementary School, Mandeville Elementary School (16 years in a row at 100%), Woodlake Elementary School, and Marigny Elementary School, a new school that gave 100% in its first year. Also winning recognition as 100% participation sites were support offices Covington Annex, Covington Educational Center, Energy Management Office (for two years in a row), Slidell Annex, and Student Health Services.

The school with the most student dollars raised was Fifth Ward Junior High School with $2,697.70 donated this year. Fifth Ward has achieved the honor for three years in a row.

The school that raised the most employee donations was Bayou Woods Elementary School with a total collected of $4,376. The support site that raised the most employee dollars was the St.Tammany Parish School Board central office with $8,894.00 donated.

Four awards were given to schools and sites with the best United Way drives, each in a separate grade range category. The Information Technology Office won top honors in the support site category, Covington High School won in the upper grades category, and Bayou Lacombe Middle School won in the middle grades category. The winner in the elementary school category was Marigny Elementary School.

Brady credited much of the campaign success to the local school and office United Way coordinators appointed by each site administrator.


 

H1N1 Vaccinations Program Held

(01-18-2010)
The free Swine Flu vaccination program being offered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System ended on Saturday, January 23, at Pearl River High School. A total of 275 vaccinations were administered.

Saturday was the last opportunity to receive free Swine Flu shots from the School System program. Flu shots and nasal mist vaccinations may still be available at private health care providers, retail pharmacies giving the H1N1 vaccination, the Health Unit and the Community Wellness Center.

On January 9, a total of 398 vaccinations was given to students, employees, and the general public at Covington High School, and on January 16, a total of 491 was given at Fontainebleau High School. Overall, the number of vaccinations given in the program over December and January came to 2560.

The Centers for Disease Control is continuing to highlight the importance of influenza vaccination, stating that while H1N1 is likely to continue to spread, the demand for vaccine usually drops significantly after the holiday season. "Though this has been an unprecedented year in terms of the number of people who have received flu vaccinations, most people still have not gotten the 2009 H1N1 vaccine," the agency noted. "There is still room for improvement among every age and risk group. Influenza is unpredictable, and we do not know the likelihood of a future wave of 2009 H1N1 influenza, but we do know that vaccination is the single best way to reduce the health impact of influenza."

The School System worked in conjunction with the Louisiana Office of Public Health to make the H1N1 (Swine Flu) shots and nasal mist vaccinations available in December and January.The School System provided this service as a convenience for parents who chose to have their children vaccinated.

For more information about the flu vaccine, click on the following links:
Flu Shot Information Sheet (PDF File)
Flu Nasal Mist Information Sheet (PDF File)

The vaccination campaign was put together in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, and the Louisiana Department of Education.



 

State VFW Names Linda Jenkins Citizen Teacher of the Year

(01-15-2010)
Linda S. Jenkins, a first grade teacher at Abita Springs Elementary School, has won the Louisiana State “Citizen Teacher of the Year” award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

The honor was given to her for the many class projects she has organized over the past three years to support the men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in other countries. She will be going to Alexandria on January 30 to receive her award, after which she will advance to the National competition for Citizen Teacher of the Year.

She was nominated by her principal Rebecca Stogner, and the entire faculty is proud of her accomplishment. “She certainly deserved this honor,” Mrs. Stogner said.

“I am deeply honored to receive the award. I was surprised to be nominated and really didn't expect to win,” Mrs. Jenkins stated. “The projects all began because my son joined the Marines, and I wanted to do everything a mother could do to support that effort. It just grew from that very simple desire.”

“As my husband and I visited our son in boot camp, we became aware of the immense need for support that went much farther than our son,” Mrs. Jenkins explained. “The boot camp experience is very intense and very emotional, and at the end of each day, the recruits look forward to mail call for encouraging letters from back home. Some of the recruits didn’t get any mail, and I said, well, I can do something about that!”

That began Operation Pen Pal, which involved students writing letters and sending them to the recruits. The response was tremendous. That effort expanded to writing letters and cards to servicemen deployed on ships and overseas, leading to other teachers, parents and community members becoming involved. Mrs. Jenkins began using the Internet and her Promethean Board to keep track of what the recruits were doing at boot camp and what life was like aboard one of the warships, and this helped her students learn what their pen pals were doing day by day.

Projects have ranged from writing cards and letters to troops stationed overseas to providing them with a variety of items from eye drops and mouth wash to potato chips and granola bars. Shipping boxes are filled with donations from students and parents and then sent to specific servicemen related to people working at the school, with extra items to be shared with his or her fellow servicemen.

The impact on her students taking part in the projects has been quite remarkable. “It is almost indescribable. These projects bring patriotism to the most intimate level for the children. They have been able to learn about our military and meet some of the men who have served our country. They have learned how to write encouraging letters and how important the power of their words are.”

Students at Abita Springs Middle School began participating and did “an awesome” job on the effort. Donations started coming in from local residents, visitors to town, and library branches from Mandeville to Folsom. Donation barrels were placed at area dollar stores.

Then, local Marines coming back home would visit the classrooms and tell the students how much they appreciated the cards and letters and boxes full of donated items.

“The teachers have been great, also,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “They jump into each project with their students and collect all kinds of donations we can send to the Marines. They said the meetings with the servicemen were a powerful experience. All of the projects have mushroomed to the point where our parents and teachers expect our school to be doing something each year, and they come to me for instructions,” she said. “I now feel responsible to keep things going, and I am happy to do it because we have all found that doing this is really important.”

The “Snack Attack” project this past year sent 18 large boxes containing over 1000 items to men and women serving in Iraq. The year before, Mrs. Jenkins coordinated a project that filled 385 Christmas stockings that were shipped to Marines deployed overseas. “It was the most amazing display of love I have ever seen,” Mrs. Jenkins said. She thanked all those who took part for letting their classes be part of something wonderful.

One project involved giving a long distance “baby shower” to a couple from Covington who had been transferred to Okinawa, Japan. Donations from throughout the school were shipped to the couple at their new home for their new baby. “There were eight boxes of gifts for the baby, clothes, bedding, all kinds of things,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “We got a really great letter from the mother thanking us and saying that she had no idea that it was being done. She cried when her husband told her about it and started showing her all the stuff we had sent.”

Mrs. Jenkins has been communicating with other parents around the country on Internet bulletin boards, sharing her ideas for the various projects. One teacher in Pennsylvania wrote back that the ideas would never work in her School District because the economy was so bad and people didn’t have anything to donate. Mrs. Jenkins encouraged her to bring up the idea anyway at her local school board meeting, and the lady agreed to do so. To her surprise, her school board liked the idea, kicked off their version of the project, and it was a tremendous success. “She couldn’t believe the response,” Mrs. Jenkins said of the Pennsylvania project. “You don’t realize how much people want to help others until you give them the opportunity to do so.”

A National Board Certified Teacher, Mrs. Jenkins has been in education for 40 years, beginning to teach in 1970 and coming to Abita Springs Elementary in 1989. She is also active in hosting foreign exchange students, and working in her community and church.

Each year the VFW's National Citizenship Education Teachers' Award recognizes the nation's top elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics regularly and promote America's history and traditions. Teachers are nominated for consideration by the local VFW posts, which then send the local winner to state competition.

For the national award, nearly 1,000 teachers are nominated, coming from every state, the District of Columbia and overseas. The national citizenship education teacher honors include a $1,000 cash award for professional development to a teacher in three separate grade level categories, $1,000 award for each winning teacher's school; and plaques for both the winning teacher and school.

Last year VFW Louisiana winners included Kelly M. Stomps, a teacher at Woodlake Elementary School and Martin Golden, a teacher at Monteleone Jr. High School.


 

H1N1 Vaccinations Available Saturday

(01-14-2010)
The free Swine Flu vaccination program being offered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System was held again on Saturday, January 16, at Fontainebleau High School. A total of 492 vaccinations was given. On Saturday, January 23, the vaccinations will be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pearl River High School. The shots and nasal mist vaccinations will be offered again to students, employees, and members of the general public. Saturday will be the last opportunity to receive free Swine Flu shots from the School System program.

Flu shots and nasal mist vaccinations may still be available at private health care providers, retail pharmacies giving the H1N1 vaccination, the Health Unit and the Community Wellness Center. On January 9, a total of 398 vaccinations was given to students, employees, and the general public at Covington High School. The Centers for Disease Control proclaimed January 10-16 as "National Influenza Vaccination Week" to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination, as well as fostering greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season. The CDC stated that since H1N1 is likely to continue to spread, the special week was an opportunity to increase the number of people who get the vaccine at a time when demand for vaccine usually drops significantly.

"Though this has been an unprecedented year in terms of the number of people who have received flu vaccinations, most people still have not gotten the 2009 H1N1 vaccine," the agency noted. "There is still room for improvement among every age and risk group. Influenza is unpredictable, and we do not know the likelihood of a future wave of 2009 H1N1 influenza, but we do know that vaccination is the single best way to reduce the health impact of influenza." The School System, working in conjunction with the Louisiana Office of Public Health, gave several hundred H1N1 (Swine Flu) shots and nasal mist vaccinations on two Saturdays in December. Local health officials recommend that children under nine years of age who were vaccinated in December should get a second booster shot 28 days later in January.

The School System is providing this service as a convenience for parents who choose to have their children vaccinated. Parents may wish to review information available about H1N1 and the vaccine before deciding whether to participate in this program. Students receiving the shots need to be accompanied by their parents.

A completed consent form for the vaccination will be required. A PDF file of the consent form is available for download at the following link: Consent Form . (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view PDF Files.)

The vaccination campaign was put together in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, and the Louisiana Department of Education.

For more information about the flu vaccine, click on the following links:
Flu Shot Information Sheet (PDF File)
Flu Nasal Mist Information Sheet (PDF File)


 

Arbor Day Activities Held

(01-14-2010)
A variety of programs to observe Arbor Day and the importance of preserving the environment took place all across St. Tammany Parish Friday and Saturday as schools took part in traditional tree planting ceremonies.

A number of schools held programs in conjunction with community garden clubs.

The Arbor Day Celebration at Pontchartrain Elementary School involved third grade students telling about the importance of trees, followed with comments by Mandeville City Councilman Jerry Coogan, Ms. Jenny Ronquillo and Principal Kim Thomas. The students then lined up to help plant a Cypress Tree in front of the school. The bald cypress is the Louisiana State Tree.

At Sixth Ward Elementary, students held an Arbor Day ceremony to plant a magnolia tree donated by the Magnolia Forest Garden Club. The local Cub Scout troop was asked to help plant the tree.

Lesa Bodnar, principal at Folsom Elementary School, said that students and teachers planted a tree in front of the Pre-K building on Friday in memory of Mrs. Karen Falanga who had served as one of the Pre-K teachers.


 

Retired Teacher Bryan Gowland Honored With Parish Arts Award

(01-12-2010)
Bryan Gowland taught history and social studies in St. Tammany Parish public schools for 33 years, working to instill in his students an appreciation for local cultural heritage. He retired in 2002, but he has continued and even expanded upon those efforts through the development of local musical programs that promote a sense of community pride.

This year he was chosen to receive the President’s Special Award from Parish President Kevin Davis during the 2010 St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs Arts Awards program on January 15 at Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital in Lacombe. Davis recognized Gowland for his “tireless promotion of the musical excellence which exists throughout St. Tammany.”

While he also served as the mayor of the Town of Abita Springs from 1990 to 2002, Gowland is now known nationally as host of the Abita Springs Opry, a musical program at Abita Springs Town Hall that six times a year features area musicians performing traditional Louisiana songs. It is the successor to the Piney Woods Opry which began in the early 1990’s to showcase area musical traditions.

“I’m grateful for the recognition,” Gowland said of the award, “but it’s really not just for me. It is for all the musicians from throughout the area who take part , and the Opry board of directors who have worked so hard.” But the star of the show is the music itself. “Louisiana culture is magic, and Louisiana music is magic,” he explains. “People come from all over the world to Louisiana to experience it first-hand.”

“The response has been phenomenal. It’s all about keeping it real, presenting the music for the sake of the music,” he stated. While the original effort was to perpetuate the musical culture of the state, its success as an entertainment program has made it even more fun, Gowland said.

The Opry work is an outgrowth of what he was doing in the classroom, he said, teaching students an awareness of Louisiana culture and what could be done to preserve it. After retirement, he took part in a special effort to bring the Smithsonian Museum’s “New Harmonies- American Roots Music” exhibit into local schools.

The Opry continues to reach out to involve young musicians and put them on stage to perform, all the while video-taping the programs and sending them out to public access channels across the nation.

“We send the tapes out on request to Virginia, North Carolina, Minnesota, California, Colorado, and even Las Vegas,” Gowland stated. “They watch them over and over again. We have a very loyal audience in Las Vegas. They’ve even come here to Abita Springs to see the show in person.”
Locally the show is seen on government access television and the SLU Channel in Hammond. As a result, Gowland is recognized wherever he goes as the emcee of the popular program. It has encouraged him to learn to play the guitar himself, and he has even built a guitar from a kit.

In addition to the Opry performance, the organization also provides free concerts at the Abita Springs Trailhead. People now contact him to ask for help in finding musicians for their own festivals. “So it’s getting our musicians some work at other events,” he said.

The President’s Arts Awards honor artists and arts patrons who have contributed to cultural efforts in St. Tammany Parish. Also chosen for awards this year were Ronnie Kole (Lifetime Achievement in the Arts); Alan Flattmann (Visual Artist of the Year); Shane Gorringe (Culinary Artist of the Year); Lori Murphy (Arts Patron of the Year); Allen Little (Performing Artist of the Year); and Brian Stoltz (Musical Artist of the Year). “All have made a significant contribution and commitment to the development of the arts in St. Tammany Parish,” said Davis.


Schools Close January 18 for Martin Luther King Holiday

(01-11-2010)
Public schools in St. Tammany Parish were closed on Monday, January 18, for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday.

Classes resumed on Tuesday, January 19.

School System support offices were closed on Monday, January 18, in observance of the traditional holiday. Support offices re-opened on January 19.


 

Schools Close Friday Due To Winter Weather Concerns

(01-07-2010)
Due to extreme winter weather conditions, St. Tammany Parish Public Schools and support offices will be closed Friday, January 8, 2010.

All before and after-care is cancelled. Parents and students should check with their individual school about any scheduled after-school activities or sporting events. If the weather forecast remains on target, schools will resume as scheduled on Monday.

A number of events scheduled for Thursday night and Friday have been cancelled or postponed due to threatening weather conditions. Those events that have been cancelled or postponed are as follows:

The School Board Committee As A Whole Meeting has been cancelled.

Abita Springs Middle School: The PTA meeting for Thursday night was cancelled and will be rescheduled.

Clearwood Jr. High School: The basketball game for Thursday night was cancelled celled; will reschedule next week.

Folsom Elementary School: The Pre-K field trip for Friday has been rescheduled.

Folsom Junior High School: The basketball game for Thursday night was cancelled and will be rescheduled next week.

Fontainebleau Jr. High School: Girls soccer practice for Thursday night was cancelled, and soccer game for Thursday night was cancelled.

Fontainebleau High School: The Girls Junior Varsity soccer game for Thursday night was cancelled .

Lyon Elementary School: The third grade field trip to Stennis Space Center has been cancelled.

Mandeville Jr. High School: The dance scheduled for Friday night has been cancelled, and soccer game for Thursday night was cancelled .

Monteleone Jr. High School: The boys soccer game scheduled to be played at Lakeshore High Thursday night was cancelled .

Northshore High School: The soccer games scheduled for Friday night have been moved to earlier starting times.

Covington High School: Thursday''s Boys Soccer JV vs. Lakeshore is cancelled and re-scheduled for Monday at Lakeshore at 5:30; The Girls and Boys Soccer vs. Ponchatoula set for Friday is cancelled and re-scheduled for Wednesday, January 13. Girls and Boys Basketball at Ponchatoula High School for Friday is cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Pearl River High School: The boys' and girls' soccer games for Thursday afternoon with Riverdale High was cancelled. They will be rescheduled. The boys' basketball game on Friday with Holy Cross has been cancelled.

Little Oak Middle School: The Boy Scouts meeting that was to be held Thursday night at 7:00 P.M. in the library has been cancelled.

Boyet Junior High School: All Boyet basketball games have been cancelled for Thursday night.

Salmen High School: Thursday night athletic events cancelled - Girls and boys basketball, Girls and boys soccer. Saturday detention cancelled.

Covington Pathways: After school activities including Boys and Girls Club and CRD are cancelled.

Pitcher Junior High: The boys’ soccer game and the Band Boosters meeting for Thursday night was cancelled.

Instructional Technology Center: The Podcasting Class for Thursday night has been cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Creekside Junior High School: The basketball game against St. Tammany Junior at Creekside Junior set for Thursday night was cancelled.

Tchefuncte Middle School: Saturday detention has been cancelled.


 

Swine Flu Shots Offered To Public Saturday, January 9

(01-06-2010)
The free Swine Flu vaccination program being offered students and employees of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will resume on Saturday, January 9, with the service being expanded to the general public and first responders.

The School System, working in conjunction with the Louisiana Office of Public Health, gave several hundred H1N1 shots and nasal mist vaccinations on two Saturdays in December, and will resume the program next Saturday and again on January 16 and 23, with emergency response personnel and the general public being offered an opportunity to receive the free vaccinations.

This Saturday, the vaccinations will be available again from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Covington High School, and then on January 16 at Fontainebleau High School, and on January 23 at Pearl River High School at the same time period.

Local health officials recommend that children under nine years of age who were vaccinated in December should get a second booster shot 28 days later in January.

The School System is providing this service as a convenience for parents who choose to have their children vaccinated. Parents may wish to review information available about H1N1 and the vaccine before deciding whether to participate in this program.

A completed consent form for the vaccination will be required. A PDF file of the consent form is available for download at the following link: Consent Form . (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view PDF Files.)

To receive the vaccinations, students and employees may visit any location most convenient to them, regardless of the school they attend. Students receiving the shots need to be accompanied by their parents.

The vaccination campaign was put together in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, and the Louisiana Department of Education.

For more information about the flu vaccine, click on the following links:
Flu Shot Information Sheet (PDF File)
Flu Nasal Mist Information Sheet (PDF File)


Schools To Close January 18 for Martin Luther King Holiday ::..
Public schools in St. Tammany Parish will be closed on Monday, January 18, for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday.


 

Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 19.

School System support offices will also be closed on Monday, January 18, in observance of the traditional holiday. Support offices will re-open on January 19.

 

Hurricane Katrina News Archives: 2005 - Page 2