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12/19/2011

St. Tammany Teachers Star in Teaching Channel Videos
Four educators with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System are being featured in videos posted on TeachingChannel.Org, a website that shares lesson plan ideas with teachers around the country and the world.

Angela Montgomery and Stacey Hoover of Lee Road Junior High School, and Sandi Sibernagel and Keri McAllister of Bonne Ecole Elementary School, all contributed ideas for classroom activities that have been proven to enhance learning among their own students.

Those ideas were video-taped on-site and are being made available by the Teaching Channel, a national non-profit organization that showcases inspiring videos on effective teaching practices and great Common Core lesson ideas, both through its online website and on television. “Our mission is to highlight and celebrate exceptional teaching, and serve as a resource for teachers across America,” a spokesman with the website stated.

Ms. Montgomery and Ms. Hoover are featured in a video entitled “Monster Match,” Ms. Sibernagel’s video is called “The Wraparound Learning Experience,” and Ms. McAllister is featured in a video entitled “Poetry Workstations.”

Among other things, the Teaching Channel website provides custom webpages for each participating teacher, complete with their picture that links to their video, a promotional flyer for each teacher’s contribution, and resource links to Teaching Channel. The service works in cooperation with the Public Broadcasting System and other outlets to give the videos as wide an audience as possible.



12/15/2011

Holiday Break Underway, Classes Resume January 3


The two-week Winter Holidays/Christmas break for students began Monday, December 19. Classes resume and the third grading period starts on Tuesday, January 3, 2011.

School board support offices will be open Monday and Tuesday, December 19 and 20, and Wednesday morning, December 21, until noon. Offices will be closed for the Christmas holidays from noon on Wednesday through Monday, December 26, for Christmas. Offices will re-open on Tuesday, December 27.

Offices will close again for the New Year’s holiday break at noon on Wednesday, December 28, and remain closed through Monday, January 2, re-opening on Tuesday, January 3.


Bonneval Named Louisiana Player of the Year

12/14/2011
Volleyball player Haley Bonneval of Fontainebleau High School has been named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year for Louisiana. Last month, she was chosen by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee as Amateur Athlete of the Month for November.

She led her 44-1 volleyball team to the Division 1 LHSAA state volleyball championship in November and was named the Most Outstanding Player in the state championship game on her 18th birthday. Miss Bonneval played for the West team in the Louisiana Volleyball Coaches Association annual All-Star game and also made honorable mention for the 2011-2012 AVCA Under Armour All American team.

She plans to attend Notre Dame next fall on a full athletic scholarship after graduation.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one award winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction several high school sports, including girls volleyball.

The Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month is chosen by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee to honor outstanding local athletes each month. Each of the monthly award winners are honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Among the five other local student-athletes just behind Miss Bonneval in the balloting was high school football standout Matt Bergeron from Mandeville.

Past St. Tammany parish public school athletes selected as Allstate Sugar Bowl Amateur Athletes of the Month were James Gillum, a football player from Pearl River High School (October of 2009) and Chad Gough-Fortenberry, a baseball player with Northshore High School (May of 2009).

The Gatorade award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence and high standards of academic achievement as well as exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court. Miss Bonneval is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced this month.

Bonneval has maintained a 4.16 weighted GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally at the New Orleans Children's Hospital, on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and as a youth volleyball coach.

"Haley Bonneval may be the best outside hitter from Louisiana in a very long time," said Jimmy Miranda, the director of the New Orleans Volleyball Club. "She is probably the only Louisiana player who can play for a high level Division I team."

Last year Katie Lindelow (2010-11) of Mandeville High School was one of the Gatorade Louisiana Volleyball Players of the Year. She had maintained a 4.4 weighted GPA in the classroom, was a member of the Mandeville High Student Council, and volunteered locally as a youth volleyball coach and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with her church youth group.


Holiday Break Starts December 19, Classes Resume January 3

12/13/2011
Friday, December 16, will be a half day for students in the St. Tammany Public School System as the second grading period for the 2011-2012 School Year comes to a close. Students will report to school in the morning only. The rest of Friday will be for teacher record-keeping duties.

Then on Monday, December 19, the two-week Winter Holidays/Christmas break for students will begin. Classes resume and the third grading period starts on Tuesday, January 3, 2011.

School board support offices will be open Monday and Tuesday, December 19 and 20, and Wednesday morning, December 21, until noon. Offices will be closed for the Christmas holidays from noon on Wednesday through Monday, December 26, for Christmas. Offices will re-open on Tuesday, December 27.

Offices will close again for the New Year’s holiday break at noon on Wednesday, December 28, and remain closed through Monday, January 2, re-opening on Tuesday, January 3.

 


Madisonville Schools Lead the Way in Regional Milk Contest


12/12/2011
Two St. Tammany Parish public schools, both in the Madisonville area, earned top recognition in the October “Black and Gold” milk contest sponsored by Brown’s Dairy and the Southeast Area Dairy Association. Schools from throughout southeast Louisiana took part in the event.

Supervisor of Food Services Pat Farris told the School Board at its December 8 meeting that Madisonville Junior High School won First Place with a 170 percent increase in milk consumption. The achievement earned the school a $5000 Cash Prize, a Vitamix XL Smoothie Blender, and a Pep Rally with a Saints football player. Madisonville Junior High Principal Dwayne Kern was presented with his check and congratulated by Board members for his school’s accomplishment.

Lancaster Elementary School won second place in the regional competition, increasing its milk consumption by 78 percent from September to October. Principal Susannah Welch was presented with a check for $3,000, and will also receive a Vitamix XL Smoothie Blender.

Frank McGoey of Brown’s Dairy and Linda Greco of the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA) were on hand to present the checks to the principals and their staff.

The Southeast United Dairy Industry Association created the Black and Gold milk contest in support of the NFL’s “Fuel Up to Play 60” program that encourages students to fuel up on healthy foods, Ms. Farris said. “The goal of the Black & Gold Milk Contest was to increase milk consumption, with school districts throughout southeast Louisiana competing,” she said.

Extra points were given for the creative campaigns schools came up with to encourage milk drinking. “The schools were very competitive and came up with some very creative activities,” Ms. Farris said.

All St. Tammany schools participated in the contest and had an overall eleven percent increase in milk sales as a result. “In a four-week period, we purchased more than 65,000 more cartons district-wide,” Ms. Farris told the Board. “The results of our participation were very impressive.”

District Two School Board Member Beth Heintz thanked Brown’s Dairy and the Southeast Area Dairy Association for sponsoring the program and noted that both winning schools were from her district, challenging other Board Members to encourage their district schools when next year’s Milk Contest is launched.

Last year’s Moo Dat Milk Contest was won by Madisonville Elementary in first place and Mandeville Junior High in second place.

This year’s milk contest started with a kick-off event at the Superdome which many school Principals, Food Service Supervisors and Cafeteria Managers attended.

 



Broadcast Interns Win LACUE Award

12/09/2011
Three student interns with Channel 13 Educational Television won a Student Video Award from the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LACUE) during the group’s 27th annual conference held in New Orleans in late November. The Social/Civic High School Student Video Award was presented to the Channel 13 Broadcast Internship Program based at the Treen Technology Center in Mandeville.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie announced at the December 8 School Board meeting that the three interns, Kaitlyn Morales, Kristen Althouse, and Amanda Lott, won first place in the high school division of the Student Video competition for their video entitled “Special Jobs/Special People.”

The video highlighted students and teachers participating in the Community-Based Vocational Education (CBVE) program for special needs students. It showed how each student, as they become high school juniors and seniors, gets specialized training in actual business locations to help them get a job after graduation. A presentation by Sharon Hosch, Supervisor of Special Education, was given to the School Board last month to explain how the program partners with community businesses and detailed its continuing successes.

The video showed several teachers and students during the on-site training and spotlighted the confidence and skills learned by the students while taking part in the program.

The Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators annually recognizes educators who have effectively integrated the use of computers and other technology into the educational process.

Mrs. Arabie introduced the teacher of the Broadcast Interns Program, Anne Cardwell, and two of the students who were able to attend. She presented them with the Award Certificate and a $200 check that came with the recognition.

Miss Morales thanked the School Board for supporting the Broadcast Internship Program at Channel 13. “This program means so much to all of us, and we consider it an honor and a privilege to create videos such as this one in such a wonderful facility with such excellent mentors. We are all thrilled with this award, and we know that everything we are learning at Channel 13 will help us enhance our resume’s.”

“The experience we are receiving is truly learning that will last a lifetime,” she concluded.

Dr. Melody Swang, Director of Broadcasting, was on hand to congratulate the students for their recognition and accomplishment. Both Morales and Althouse said they were planning to attend Louisiana State University to further their education in broadcasting production.

 



Cheerleaders and Dance Teams Win State Competitions

12/07/2011
Dance teams and cheerleader squads from three St. Tammany Parish Public High Schools won top honors in this past weekend’s first ever Dance and Cheer State Championships held by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LSHAA).

The Lakeshore High School Dance Team was declared the state champion in the Dance Pom Pom competition, and Fontainebleau High School’s Cheerleading Squad won the state championship title in the “Large Varsity” Cheer competition category.

Lakeshore High also won second place in the Dance Jazz Category competition and second place in the “Super Varsity Category” of the cheerleading competition. Salmen High School’s cheerleaders won third place in the Non-tumbling category in the cheerleading competition.

The Monteleone Junior High Cheerleading team competed in the junior high events December 3 placing second in the Junior High non-tumbling competition. Their win earned the team an automatic bid to the national cheer competition to be held in Orlando, Florida, where the team will compete for a national cheer title February 10 through February 14, 2012.

Taking place in Lake Charles, the first annual event brought together more than 1300 participants. The LSHAA held the event to recognize the artistry and athleticism of the dance and cheer squads throughout Louisiana.

Event Coordinator Becky French said, “These kids put in countless hours of preparation and are skilled athletes and artists in their own right. I’m glad that we’ve had the opportunity to recognize their accomplishments both on and off the athletic fields.”

Ms. French explained, “While this is not a sanctioned sport, the winners will become eligible for national competitions. These athletes have always been an integral part of the high school sporting experience, and it was time to recognize their contributions to their schools, their communities, their commitment to safety and their extraordinary athleticism.”

She added that Louisiana is the only state in the country to have a cheer and dance competition that is also a qualifier for UCA, UDA, NCA, and NDA Nationals competitions.

The LHSAA provides outlets for safety and training classes, along with advanced instruction for those who want to experience dance and cheerleading on the highest competitive levels possible. The LHSAA is a private entity that provides and regulates interscholastic athletic programs that promote fair and equitable competition among its member schools that is in the best interest of the student athlete.

 




Junior High Students Learn From Rachel’s Challenge

12/06/2011
Hundreds of junior high school students from throughout St. Tammany Parish recently experienced an hour-long presentation on the horrible aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings that took place in 1999, with an emphasis on the inspirational lessons left by the first victim of that tragedy.

Most of today’s students were two years old when two Colorado high school students shot 12 students and one teacher in the worst incident of violence in American schools.

Their first victim was Rachel Joy Scott, and it is her story that is the centerpiece of “Rachel’s Challenge.” The goal of the presentation is to promote compassion, empathy and kindness among students.

Rachel’s life message is positively affecting thousands of young people as her story is told in schools across America. Miss Scott left a legacy of generosity, gentleness, and true concern among her fellow students, a legacy showcased by Bill Sanders, a friend of the Scott family, who gave the program. He travels the nation sharing with a new generation of students the words of Rachel and those to whom she gave hope, inspiration, and a sense of awareness of the needs of others.

The multi-media program ranges from personal interviews with friends and family to excerpts from her personal writings. Her “challenge” to the youth of today is fivefold: look for the best in others, treat others the way you wish to be treated, choose positive influences, speak words of kindness, and forgive yourself and others.

The program greatly affected many of the young people in attendance as it focused on the importance of giving others two or more chances to make a “first impression,” never pre-judging others and always looking for the best in people.

Last week, the program spotlighted “Rachel’s Impact,” showing how the people she befriended were changed as she reached out to them in their pain and isolation to just ask “how they were doing.” While some of her efforts were shunned, she still impacted the lives of those who spurned her concern. The program included interviews with people whose lives had been changed for the better just because of the few kind words she spoke to them.

Other interviewees said how helpful she was from day to day, but even those moments made quite an impact as she made the effort to do little things that didn’t seem like a big deal at the time.

Many of the students seeing the presentation realized the importance of avoiding criticism and grudges, and were encouraged to try to be more aware of other’s problems.

The program was shown to students at Boyet Jr. High, St. Tammany Jr. High, Slidell Jr. High, Mandeville Jr. High, and Fontainebleau Jr. High, with two or three sessions at each school.

 



Mandeville High Student Wins HERO Award

12/01/2011
A Mandeville High School senior, Jennifer Boudreaux, has been selected for December’s HERO award by Sophisticated Woman magazine and Charter Business. HERO stands for “Helping Eagerly and Reaching Out," and the award recognizes young leaders in St. Tammany Parish high schools for their accomplishments and community service efforts.

Miss Boudreaux was commended by Principal Bruce Bundy for her willingness to help others in need, which recently led her to coordinate a community fund-raising effort to help Aimee Gold, the wife of MHS Assistant Soccer Coach Mark Gold, in her fight against cancer.

The daughter of Mark and Julie Boudreaux, she was nominated for the award by Sean Esker, one of the school’s counselors. He said she’s a hero because her efforts raised approximately $2000 to help ease the financial burden of Coach and Mrs. Gold who spent two months at a Houston area cancer hospital. “It was great to see one of the members of our soccer family, especially a student, trying to help out another member of the family during that difficult time,” Esker said.

Miss Boudreaux commented, “We asked all the teachers here at the school, members and former members of the girls soccer team, friends and family for donations. It was great to be able to give Coach Gold the money we collected. It was a tough time for him and his family, but he’s back now and we’re glad to see a smile on his face.”

This month’s HERO Award recipient is a senior class officer, a four-year varsity soccer letterman, and a member of the Student Council, and she was recently selected Homecoming Queen for 2011. Because of her love of math and science, she plans to attend LSU to study engineering after graduation.

While being on the varsity soccer team keeps her busy every day, she finds time for the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Spirit Club, Best Buddies, and Paws for a Cause. She also tutors younger children in math and visits nursing homes in connection with her service clubs.

 




Program Helps Students Transition from School To Work

11/23/2011
A St. Tammany Parish Public School System program to help special education students make the transition from the school environment to the work force when they graduate is bringing together teachers, parents, and business partners from throughout the community.

Using a collaborative approach, the “Community Based Vocational Education” program (CBVE) nurtures key relationships between the schools and community businesses, preparing special needs students for getting a job after school by providing specialized job training, both in the classroom and on the jobsite.

The CBVE process extends classroom learning into the business world through community “business partners” so the students can learn specific work-related skills in actual business locations. It also provides the students with the knowledge they need to find employment after they graduate.

In a report before the School Board November 17, Sharon Hosch, Supervisor of Special Education, gave an overview of the program. She thanked Board Members for making the service a part of the mission to serve every child every day. “This is a program that is near and dear to my heart,” she said. “It ensures that when students with special needs reach high school levels, community access and vocational training/employment become key considerations.”

She noted that not only are job skills taught in the vocational curriculum, but also Life Skills. “When one considers all of the skills that go into maintaining a job, it becomes clear that life skills are as important as job skills,” she said. “Prior to going to work, a student must figure out what to wear, wash up, figure out what he might have for lunch, and make sure there is transportation to get to work on time.”

Throughout the educational process, each special needs child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) which is updated annually with the collaboration of parents, teachers, and special education program monitors. When the student reaches 16 years of age, a “transition plan” component is added to the IEP to help the student prepare for becoming part of the workforce after they graduate from high school. Transition services are meant to look at the student’s current assessment, personal interests and how the school, family, agencies, community and student can work together to create a goal for after completion of high school.

CBVE is a two-stage program. During the first two or three years at the high school campus, a student will participate in on-campus vocational training. The student will work through vocational lab materials and software programs in areas such as data entry, culinary, clerical, and assembly. They will explore their own areas of interest and capabilities, as well as developing accuracy and fluency. Part of the on-campus program is to participate in learning general work skills in areas such as the office, library, food service, gardening, student clubs, and sports events. These skills and positions are added to the student’s portfolio.

Students in 11th and 12th grades will then begin to work off campus at local participating businesses up to four days per week with an emphasis in one of seven vocational career areas: (1) agriculture, food and natural resources, (2) business management and administration, (3) education and training, (4) health and science, (5) hospitality and tourism, (6) human science, and (7) marketing, sales and services.

Participating business managers are informed about the CBVE program, its goals and implementation. When a student begins at a worksite, the teacher will work with the business owner to emphasize an individual student’s strengths to maximize the vocational training experience. The students are “shadowed” by job coaches who help them become familiar with the routines, tasks, and work habits that lead to success.

There are 42 business partners now taking part in the Community Based Vocational Services Program, with 145 students involved. Seventy-eight of those are in the on-campus program and 67 students are in the on-site business partner program.

Ms. Christine Lagarde spoke to the School Board about her experiences with the program. A 2011 graduate of Mandeville High School, she is now employed at St. Timothy On The Northshore United Methodist Church Preschool. She told the Board how the CBVE program has helped her after graduation. “I learned how to complete a job application and be interviewed for a job,” she said. “I learned many things that have helped me do a good job.”

She enjoys working with the children at the pre-school, teaching them songs, using musical instruments, and generally helping the teacher of the class.

A Channel 13 video showed both the classroom sessions and the students being trained at various business locations. In the video, Suzie Hughes, Special Educator coordinator, explained how important and effective it was for the students to take the skills learned in the classroom and apply them to real-world situations at one of the off-campus business partner sites.

Dan O’Sullivan, a special education teacher at Northshore High school, said the students can go to a lot of different sites to gain experience in different areas. It helps build an awareness of the various work settings available to them, he said.

The main goal of the program is to teach each student work skills to give them a competitive edge when seeking employment after high school, said Monique Hebert, special education teacher at Fontainebleau High School. “More and more businesses in the community are agreeing to become a work site for the program,” she said.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Development Cheryl Arabie presented Certificates of Recognition and Appreciation to representatives of the business partners who participate in the on-site skill training.

“We applaud each of our business partners for providing natural work environments, typical role models, and real job situations,” said Ms. Hosch, “and we thank you for considering our students for employment upon graduation.”

Among the businesses taking part in the job training program are Pelican Athletic Club, Bed Bath and Beyond, Pizza Hut, GG’s, Northshore Living Center, Bear’s Grill & Spirits, Forest Manor of Covington, Domino’s Pizza, American All Star, Greenbriar Community Care Center, Garden Spot Nursery, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Sam’s Club, Walgreen’s, Rouses Supermarkets, Marco’s Pizza, East St. Tammany Rainbow Child Care, Franco’s Health Club, St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Walmart, Slidell Memorial Hospital, Claiborne Hill Veterinary Clinic, Crossgates Athletic Club, VooDoo BBQ & Grill, Lakeview Regional Medical Center, Winn Dixie, STARC, the City of Slidell, Beau Chene Country Club, Clarion Inn & Suites, Papa Johns Pizza, Premiere Cleaners, Dante’s of Slidell, Bath & Body Works, and the St. Tammany Parish Public Library.

Key staff from the Special Education Department who were recognized at the School Board meeting for the Implementation, Training, and Work Site Obtainment were Suzanne Hughes, Coordinator of the Moderate/Severe Program; Paul Meeker, Coordinator of Transition Programs who works with graduation coaches and district Postsecondary Mentoring Program for students with disabilities and 504 eligibility; George Forrest, Special Education Secondary Coordinator; Jeanne Bower, Assistant Supervisor of Special Education; Gia Baker, IEP Facilitator; and Kim Cochran, IEP Facilitator.

 



Schools Closed This Week for Thanksgiving Holidays

11/18/2011
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools are closed for the Thanksgiving Holidays Monday, November 21, through Friday, November 25. Classes will resume on Monday, November 28.

Also in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, School Board support offices will close at noon on Wednesday, November 23, and all day Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25. Offices will re-open on November 28.




Bayou Lacombe Middle School Launches Organic Garden

11/18/2011
Hundreds of seedlings were transplanted into a new organic garden at Bayou Lacombe Middle School earlier this month, the result of a project by the school's gifted students program and an extensive community effort that included donations from several businesses and hands-on volunteer work by area gardeners. The latest phase in the project follows months of work that began back in May.

Each year, gifted student educator Rebekah Ellis challenges her students to take part in a community service project. The newly completed organic vegetable, fruit and herb gardens are the result of last year’s decision by the students that they wanted a large 14 foot by 20 foot organic garden to supply a Farmer’s Market for the Lacombe community, both in the fall and Spring.

The school’s gifted students partnered with the employees from the local Home Depot and the Louisiana Master Gardener Program to design and establish the organic garden. As an extended community outreach, the students decided to donate all of the proceeds from their Farmer’s Markets (and any remaining produce not sold) to local soup kitchens.

First, the students joined the LSU AgCenter’s School Gardens Project to electronically track their seeds from germination to harvest. They also decided to take part in the Louisiana Junior Master Gardener Program. In May of this year, the students, parents, grandparents and St. Tammany Parish School Board member Willie B. Jeter tilled the land, fertilized the soil and established the foundation for the organic garden.

For two months, the students tended hundreds of seedlings in the garden nursery. Finally, on November 8, the time was right to transplant the seedlings into the garden. With 40 bags of organic soil and mulch brought in by Home Depot employees, the students and volunteers were able to complete the gardens and transplant the seedlings, which included pumpkins, squash, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, celery and green onions.

In addition to the veggie garden, the students worked with Louisiana Master Gardener Linda Franzo to build three raised herb gardens filled with cilantro, lemon balm, rosemary, Swiss chard, mint, aloe, celery, thyme, tarragon, spearmint and dill. Ms. Franzo donated all the herbs going into the herb garden, and The Home Depot Foundation and the PTA provided the funds for the picket fence that surrounds the garden.

The Home Depot Team also provided the students with over 100 planter box building kits for germinating the seeds for the Spring organic garden, which will feature watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, chives, green onions, green beans, lima beans, parsley, rosemary, cilantro and bell peppers.

With the help of Home Depot’s Chas Ebert and other local experts, Ms. Ellis and her students are currently in the process of designing and constructing several portable greenhouses to protect the gardens during the winter months.

Before selling their produce at the Farmer’s Market in December, the students will take part in “Garden to Table” cooking activities with the Louisiana Master Gardeners and Home Depot Garden Team. The “Garden to Table” activities provide the students with the knowledge and skills needed to live nutritionally healthy and environmentally sustainable lives.

The Garden to Table experience provides students with hands-on food education while learning to build and maintain a garden according to organic principles, as well as grow and harvest a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. In that phase of the project, the students will prepare various delicious dishes from the produce they have grown. Thus the garden and kitchen together provide a real-life context for learning, interweaving the theories and practices behind growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing fresh, seasonal foods.

Overall, the organic garden project functions as an “outdoor classroom” challenging the students in all aspects of the curriculum and developing higher order thinking and problem solving skills, Ms. Ellis said. In designing the organic garden, students learned analytical thinking and reasoning skills, using mathematics in diagramming the garden blueprints, calculating the supplies needed for the garden and appropriate transplanting measurements.

The students are also gaining scientific knowledge by learning about the complex interrelationships between plants, insects, soil and people. Language skills are expanded when the students write grant proposals, and visual art skills are advanced as they design and create the Farmer’s Market advertising fliers. In addition, the participants build positive community relationships working with the Farmer’s Market and local soup kitchens.

The entire experience encourages the students to develop and refine their horticultural and environmental skills, expand their knowledge of health and family consumer sciences and study environmental stewardship and sustainable living. “All this while they grow fresh produce and create meals with their own vegetable and herb garden harvest,” Ms. Ellis stated.

 




Three Parish Students Awarded NABSE Scholarships

11/17/2011
Three students from St. Tammany Parish Public Schools were awarded scholarships this week from the National Alliance of Black School Educators during the group’s national four-day conference in New Orleans. Overall six scholarships were awarded.

Amanda Dorsey, a Lakeshore High School student, received a $2,000 scholarship at the Founding Members Luncheon on Friday, November 18, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Angelica Batiste, also a student at Lakeshore High, and Amber Oliver, a Northshore High School student, were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship at the event’s opening session the morning of November 17.

Students submitted application packets to the NABSE scholarship committee and competed with other students in the New Orleans metro area.

Miss Dorsey, a senior, will be in the first graduating class at Lakeshore High School. In the fall of 2012, she plans to attend The University of Southern Mississippi to major in nursing, with the goal of becoming a pediatric nurse. Her career decision was made after she started working in an after-school tutoring program with children in her sophomore year of high school. A resident of Lacombe, she is involved in a number of academic and community activities.

Miss Oliver, a member of the senior class at Northshore High, has a Grade Point Average of 3.7 . She is a member of the Beta club and Step-N club which is an ethnic student togetherness club. A native of New Orleans and now a resident of Slidell, she is planning to attend Louisiana State University and major in Kinesiology. After getting that degree, her goal is to also get a degree in Physical Therapy, and to help in that effort, she currently serves an intern at Oschner Hospital in the physical therapy department.

Miss Batiste grew up in Lacombe, and because she loves helping and caring for people, she plans to become a nurse . Currently a senior at Lakeshore High, she has taken courses which will help prepare her for that career choice.

She is currently a team manager for the girls Basketball team, and she also has a job at a local elementary school where she tutors kids between the ages of 5-7 years old. In her spare time, she loves to volunteer in her community, from painting classrooms at Lacombe Headstart to volunteering as a server at Mandeville Polo Matches.

After graduation next year, she plans to attend college and work towards a Bachelors of Science degree, and as well as a Master's degree.

The National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) is a non-profit organization devoted to furthering the academic success for the nation's children - particularly children of African descent. Founded in 1970, NABSE seeks to improve the educational experiences and accomplishments of African American youth through the development and use of instructional and motivational methods that increase levels of inspiration, attendance and overall achievement.

 




FHS Lady Dawgs Take State Volleyball Championship

11/16/2011
Fontainebleau High School won the state championship in volleyball Saturday night as the Lady Dawgs defeated defending champion Mount Carmel Academy during the 2011 Louisiana High School Athletic Association Division I Volleyball state championship played at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

Head coach Danny Tullis said it was an incredible feeling, winning the state championship. He is in his sixth season with the team, with a 220-36 overall record. “It’s great for the kids, it’s great for the school and it’s great for me and the other coaches to be part of a wonderful thing like being state champs,” Tullis said.

Mount Carmel was the only team to defeat Fontainebleau during regular season play.

 



Loup To Receive LFT “Friend of Education” Award

11/13/2011
Stephen “Jack” Loup , III, President of the St. Tammany Parish School Board, will receive the annual “Friend of Education” award from the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT) during its state convention Monday, November 21, in Bossier City. It is the highest honor bestowed by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers to a non-member of the Union and is presented to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to public education.

Ms. Elsie Burkhalter, president of the St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School Employees, told the School Board at its November 10 meeting in Slidell that Loup had been chosen for the prestigious award for his years as a educator and most recently his work in establishing and promoting the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education, a grassroots organization which gained statewide credibility this past year as a voice for reform in schools around the state.

A vice president of the state LFT organization, Burkhalter said many Federation members were impressed by Loup’s determination when they saw him standing on the Capitol steps in Baton Rouge fighting for public education. It is the first time a School Board member, individually, has won the special designation, she said. “Earning that award is quite an honor,” she said, “and it means that the person has done extraordinary things for education throughout his life.”

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, said, “We congratulate Mr. Loup for being awarded this statewide honor. It is a reflection of his years of dedication to public education.”

Loup began teaching in 1970 at Pine View Junior High School in Covington, served as principal of Madisonville Junior High and C. J. Schoen Middle School, and was Administrative Assistant at Covington High from 1997 to 1998. He was later named Assistant Principal and Principal at the school. After he retired, he was elected to the School Board in January of 2007 and chosen as President of the Board earlier this year.

 



State PTA Recognizes Several Local Educators

11/11/2011
Several members of the St. Tammany Parish PTA were congratulated at the St. Tammany Parish School Board meeting Thursday night for winning top honors in this year’s State PTA Educators of Distinction program as well as the “Outstanding Website Award.” The awards were announced by the Louisiana Parents Teachers Association at its recent state convention.

Supervisor Margaret Sharpe reported that eight St. Tammany teachers won state-level designation as PTA Educators of Distinction after winning at the school and District levels. They were Theresa Braud of Slidell High, Erica Cruthirds of Lake Harbor Middle, Shannon d’Hemecourt of Fontainebleau Junior High, Elizabeth Damare of Carolyn Park Middle, Jerilann Ferrara of Fontainebleau High, Eva Jenkins of Abita Springs Elementary, Kellie Windom of Mandeville Middle, and Ruth Hill of Magnolia Trace Elementary.

Each year every PTA-associated school nominates a PTA Educator of Distinction, and this year St. Tammany had eight out of the ten selected statewide, Mrs. Sharpe said.

Awards of Excellence were also given by the state PTA to two parish schools for maintaining outstanding websites, Lake Harbor Middle School and Mandeville Elementary School.

Lake Harbor Middle School was represented at the meeting by Principal Susan Patin, PTA President Becky Bohm, and PTA Webmaster Suzanne Buras. Mandeville Elementary was represented by Principal Chantelle Smith and PTA President Monica Hernandez.

“Having a strong website is an essential part of communication with your school and your parents and community,” Mrs. Sharpe noted. “We congratulate you for winning this prestigious state award and continuing the degree of excellence that signifies the St. Tammany Parish PTA groups.”

The State PTA encourages local units to use electronic communication services such as websites to provide effective ways to “spread the news” about their meetings, projects, and accomplishments. According to the awards program criteria, PTA websites must connect students, parents, faculty, and community members with its PTA, demonstrate a creative use of tools to build a website that fully represents the school and its PTA, and be well visited to show that it is a valuable communication service.

The websites were judged based on PTA responsiveness to the school, timely updates, PTA content, artistry, and technical ability.

Mrs. Sharpe told the School Board that strong parental support contributes much to the success of each school and the School System as a whole. “Every one of our schools has a PTA or PTSA organization,” she said, “and once again, St. Tammany Parish has the most members of the state PTA with over 16,000 members.”

Sharon Pender, the state PTA president, is a resident of St. Tammany Parish, Mrs. Sharpe reported. “She was formerly the PTA President at Northshore High School as well as the District PTA,” she said.




11/09/2011

Food Services Receives Second Salad Bar Grant
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System's Child Nutrition Program has received a second grant from a national “Let’s Move: Salad Bars To Schools” program sponsored by several food companies in conjunction with childrens’ health initiatives from the White House.

The latest grant is valued at $25,000 and will place salad bars in the following schools: Cypress Cove Elementary, Honey Island Elementary, Folsom Elementary, Lee Road Junior High, Sixth Ward Elementary, Fifth Ward Junior High, Bayou Woods Elementary, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Lyon Elementary and Riverside Elementary.

The grant will provide St. Tammany with ten salad bar set-ups which consist of a portable 72 inch insulated salad bar with five wells. The unit comes with two tray slides, divider bars, two 4-inch deep full pans with covers, four 4-inch deep half pans with covers, and twelve 4-inch deep quarter pans with covers, as well as five buffet chilling pads and 16 serving tongs.

The first grant from the organization provided for nine salad bars and those were placed at Chahta-Ima Elementary, Covington High, Pontchartrain Elementary and Tchefuncte Middle School, Madisonville Elementary, Covington Elementary, Mandeville Middle, Pearl River High, Lake Harbor Middle School and St. Tammany Junior High.

Any Kindergarten through 12th grade school district participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply for the grants. Schools currently awarded with Bronze status or above in the Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) automatically qualify for a salad bar donation, with the stipulation that the school or district desires and can support a salad bar every day in school lunch. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools have earned the USDA Gold Award of Distinction for the past year.

"Let's Move: Salad Bars to Schools" is a comprehensive grassroots public health effort to involve school officials and parents at the local, state and national level to support salad bars in schools, with the vision to increase school cafeteria salad bars until every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables every day at school.

The organization states that both academic research and actual experience in schools across the country demonstrate that school children significantly increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables when given a variety of choices in a school fruit and vegetable salad bar.

The salad bars help children learn to make decisions that carry over outside of school, providing a platform for a lifetime of healthy snack and meal choices.
The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity has endorsed schools using salad bars and upgrading cafeteria equipment to support providing healthier foods to kids.

 



11/09/2011

Veterans Day Programs Being Held
Schools across St. Tammany Parish are holding Veterans Day programs this week, saluting men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces and those veterans who have served their country in years past.

Many schools featured patriotic songs and poems during their ceremonies, with special guest speakers, Color Guards, and red, white, and blue decorations.

The School Board held a reception for Veterans at Brooks Educational Center in Slidell Thursday night an hour prior to its monthly meeting. It adopted a resolution expressing appreciation to the members of all military services for their dedication and commitment.

Assistant Superintendent William Brady was the master of ceremonies at the School Board's program, with the Pearl River High School Army Junior ROTC presenting the colors and Carolyn Park Middle School student Kamaria Clark leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Slidell High School student Gabrielle Ferrari sang the National Anthem, Dejeune Richardson of Folsom Junior High recited the poem "The Bravest Man I Know," and School Board Member Ron Bettencourtt read the resolution honoring all veterans, especially those who work for the School System.

The Fontainebleau Junior High Band, under the direction of Mike Sambola, provided the music for the event, showcasing each branch of the Military Services during its "Armed Forces Salute."

On display at the reception were pieces of artwork created by students of Bayou Woods Elementary School.


 


11/08/2011

Educator Kits For Louisiana Bicentennial Distributed
Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne visited Covington Tuesday morning to launch a statewide distribution of specially-designed Educator Kits for teaching students about the upcoming Louisiana Bicentennial Celebration. St. Tammany Parish Public Schools Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and top School System officials from neighboring parishes participated in the event which took place at the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex.

The Louisiana Statehood Bicentennial Desk Reference program for educators will help teachers in schools across the state incorporate the 200th anniversary of the state into lesson plans, field trips, and a variety of activities across the curriculum. The kit was developed by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission, chaired by retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré.

Dardenne chose to make the initial distribution of the packages at a press conference held at the St. Tammany Parish Public School System’s central office. Click here for audio excerpt from Lt. Governor' Dardenne's speech.

Superintendent Folse welcomed those present to Tuesday’s event, including BESE Board President Penny Dastugue and BESE Board Member James D. Garvey, Jr., visitors from Washington Parish, Orleans, St. Helena, City of Bogalusa, and Tangipahoa Parish School Systems, several St. Tammany School Board members, and members of the press who turned out for the special occasion. “We are excited to be the first in the state to host one of these events for the Lieutenant Governor’s office,” Folse stated.

The educational materials are available in digital form from the Lieutenant Governor’s website at www.crt.state.la.us/education.

“Louisiana 200th year of statehood is a perfect opportunity for our students to learn more about our great state and its history,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said. “I hope teachers will take full advantage of the resources being made available to stimulate student interest and excitement about this milestone in Louisiana’s history.”

Lt. Governor Dardenne is delivering copies of 200 Years in the Making: Bicentennial Desk Reference for Educators to representatives of each Louisiana public school system as well as private schools and home‐school associations. The desk reference includes lesson plans and projects designed for ease of implementation and aligned to state standards. The materials will assist educators in actively engaging students in learning about Louisiana and conforms to the third and eighth grade Louisiana history, American history and English language arts curricula. It also contains family activities and projects that encourage families as well as teachers and students to make Louisiana their favorite learning adventure.

The Bicentennial Commission’s Education Committee is holding teacher workshops throughout the state to help educators integrate the Commission's educational resources in their classrooms. Workshop registration and the 200 Years in the Making: Bicentennial Desk Reference for Educators are available for download at www.crt.state.la.us/education/bicentennial.aspx.

Ms. Memory Seymour, Education Director for the Louisiana State Museum, helped put together the Educator’s Desk Reference for the Louisiana Bicentennial, and she explained the wealth of information that was placed into the educational package. “The Bicentennial Commission research committees identified key points in the history of the state from 1803 to 1824, focusing on the events that contributed to the making of the state,” she said. “The development of the state during that time is very relevant to many things that are happening today.”

The materials highlight geography, culture development, and population growth, and highlight the 1812 election for the first Louisiana governor. This will tie in with current events instruction next year as the Presidential Election takes place. “This material is not just a teacher’s guide for the Bicentennial year, it becomes a useful history education tool for years to come,” Ms. Seymour said. It is hoped that students will take the lessons learned in the classroom home to their families, encouraging family visits to important Louisiana historical sites and key cultural landmarks. It may even prompt greater interest in genealogical research.

The education kit is targeted for use by third graders to eighth graders, but it is flexible enough to be used for groups of all ages, even adults. “We are hoping everyone can find something of interest in these materials,” she concluded.
The lesson plans and projects, designed for ease of implementation and aligned to the state standards and GLE’s (grade level expectations), will include guides to primary source materials, historical essays, and a Web-based interactive Louisiana history timeline.

 



11/07/2011

Fontainebleau High Graduate Creates Fair Poster
Ashley Prescott, 27, created this year’s poster for the St. Tammany Parish Fair, bringing together her natural talent plus her skills developed while in art classes at Fontainebleau High School and Southeastern Louisiana University.

She was asked to draw the poster when one of the fair officials saw her earlier in the year drawing some sketches for a piece of artwork she had been working on. “One thing led to another, and they told me I had to do their poster,” she said. She had been attending the fair every year since a child, so she used the opportunity to produce a poster that showcased what St. Tammany is all about.

She remembered seeing a photograph of a harvest she liked, and she developed that thematic image by adding pine trees in the background, pumpkins on the ground, and other Louisiana-style elements, putting in a Ferris wheel and ending up with a Carnival atmosphere with family festival flair.

She admits her favorite part of the fair is the amusement rides, particularly the Tilt-A-Whirl, although the funnel cake is also a favorite.

She graduated from Southeastern with a degree in “3-D Modeling,” a technique that uses computers to render realistic illustrations and animations for a variety of purposes. “It takes a lot attention to detail,” she stated.

Ms. Prescott is expert at building virtual rooms and populating them with characters and products. Ms. Prescott is currently working with a clothing retail store and is using her skills to help merchandise sales.

In her spare time, she does her own artwork and is preparing a website to sell those online as well as in local bookstores beginning next year. Those pieces of art will deal with family themes, especially expectant mothers, she says.

She enjoyed her art classes at Fontainebleau High and Southeastern, saying that her art instructors did a great job and got her off to a great start in creating and marketing her own artwork. “They were wonderful mentors,” Ms. Prescott said.

Her initial interest in art, particularly animation, was a result of a trip to Disney World, she explained. She took a tour there that showed how animated movies were made, it caught her attention, and her career as a 3-D modeler was launched. “It turned out to be exactly what I wanted to do,” she said, “I knew from that point on that I wanted to be artist.”

 



11/04/2011

Students Explore Teaching Careers at STAR Academy
A one day conference composed of workshops and presentations was held on November 3 for students enrolled in the STAR Academy at their local high school. Teacher of the Year in the High School Division Richard “Vance” Lynch IV was guest speaker for the event.

The 107 students attending the STAR Conference came from parish high school STAR Academy programs, and attendees learned about a variety of subjects, from handheld technology and special education to blogging and digital footprints. Instructors included Keri McAllister, Sandy Scott, and Jan Latino.

STAR stands for “Students Teaching and Reaching.” The STAR Academy provides high school juniors and/or seniors an opportunity to learn about teaching as a career through one-credit courses offered at their high school.

The courses give students a glimpse into the teaching profession and provide an opportunity for hands-on experience in classrooms. Students are provided the means and guidance for self-assessment, learning about others, and diversity in the classroom. Students learn about the history and foundations of education and are given the tools to help pursue a career in education.
Each high school has a STAR program coordinator and a School To Work coordinator.

At the conference, special presentations were given by each high school. The workshop helps young people find out more about career opportunities in education and develop direct links with the district’s human resources department.

 




11/03/2011

Parents, Teachers Reminded To Set Clocks Back an Hour
This Sunday morning, November 6, Daylight Savings Time for 2011 comes to an end at 2 a.m. Parents and teachers are reminded to reset their clocks back an hour to start Monday morning, November 7, on Central Standard Time.

 



11/02/2011

Walter L. Abney Elementary Re-dedicated
Slidell area public officials, School System leaders, and Abney family members were in attendance for ceremonies Wednesday morning re-dedicating Abney Elementary School in honor of community leader and former School Board member Walter L. Abney. A ribbon cutting was held following a student-led program accompanied by songs and presentations.

A newly refinished Wall Plaque was unveiled by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and members of the Abney family, including two who taken part in the school’s original 1970 dedication as children.

Superintendent Folse greeted the visitors, thanking the students and staff for their work in putting the event together. “We all know how important this school is to the south side of Slidell,” he said, recalling the days just after Hurricane Katrina when many parents turned out to help clean up the campus and get it ready for the re-opening of school, even with their own homes still devastated by the storm.

“That kind of commitment speaks a lot about the citizens of south Slidell,” he said. “Mr. Abney was a great individual, and the entire family has always been so supportive of our School System.”

In 1970, when the school was first named in honor of Mr. Abney, the Superintendent at the time Cyprian J. Schoen said, “The Board is indeed happy to have one of our schools named after a member of one of the families closely associated with the progress of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.”

Praise for Mr. Abney was also voiced at the time by W. L. “Bill” Folse, II, the current Superintendent’s father, who was president of the School Board in 1970. He said, “Walter L. Abney’s name will live on through the many thousands of children who will attend this school which we now dedicate in his memory.” Mr. Abney was born in 1891 and died in 1955.

School Board members present included James “Ronnie” Panks, Sr., and Peggy H. Seeley. Administrators on hand included Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie of Curriculum and Instruction, Pete Jabbia of Human Resources, and William “Bill” Brady of Administration.

The school underwent extensive renovations over the past two years, including renovated restrooms, enclosed breezeways and a new entrance and administration area.

Special guests for the re-dedication ceremony included Mayor Freddy Drennan of Slidell, Chief Administrator for the City of Slidell Tim Mathison, Slidell Chief of Police Randy Smith, and Councilmen Lionel Hicks and Sam Abney. Also recognized were Michael Hunley of MSN Architects, architects for the renovations, and Principal Nina Tyner of the Abney Early Childhood Center located adjacent to the campus. Two former principals of Abney Elementary were also present for the occasion, Ms. Ruth Dubuisson and Ms. Jane Freeman.

In his remarks, Principal Robert “Mike” Alford stated that children from south Slidell have begun their education journey at the site of Abney Elementary for nearly 50 years, noting that the school’s 50th anniversary will be in 2014.

“The school began in 1964 as South Side Elementary,” Alford said. “The School Board renamed the school Walter L. Abney Elementary in honor of a great gentleman who spent his life helping the citizens of South Slidell, in particular the young people.” Mr. Abney served 16 years as a School Board member from the late 1920’s to the early 1940’s, in addition to his work as a farmer, grocer, butcher, and landowner.

Thousands of students have attended the school over the past 47 years, Mr. Alford noted, many of them going on to become the area’s most productive adult citizens. “This school has been served by many dedicated administrators, committed teachers, and support staff along with parents and community members who together have worked diligently to meet the needs of every student,” he concluded.

Robert H. Abney Jr., the grandson of Walter L. Abney, said it was quite an honor for himself and his family to have the school named after their grandfather. It memorializes his name and helps people remember those who made such a contribution to education in St. Tammany Parish, he said.

Today the campus serves more than 1150 students.

A large number of students took part in the special re-dedication program, many of them members of the Principal’s Gold Fish Club, the Random Acts of Kindness Club, the chorus, and the Abney Flag Corps.

The program was emceed by Fifth Grader Joseph Bell, with Griffin Fries leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Bell and Syan Mejia told those present what attending Abney had done for them.

“Abney means a lot to me,” said Miss Mejia. “Students and staff all get along and love each other.” She said that almost every student doesn’t want to leave because of what a great school it is. She credited Walter L. Abney for making it possible.

Bell said the newly-renovated facilities mark a fresh beginning for all of them. “The answers to questions, the solutions to problems and the tools for success can all be found here,” he went on to say. “Success has walked the very same halls we walk today. From yesterday’s crayons to tomorrow’s calculus, it all begins here.”

“The knowledge and character that we build here will grow stronger as we move forward,” Bell said in his comments. “We thank everyone who attended today, and the biggest thanks of all goes to Mr. Walter L. Abney. Without his vision and dedication and generosity, our future success would not be possible. We are proud to wear the Abney name on our uniforms, and we hope to make your proud. This school is cool."

Griffin Fries noted that, as a result of the renovations, the school's main entrance looks more modern, and the office area is much bigger. Students are really enjoying the renovated facility, he said.  


 


11/02/2011

Fontainebleau High Student Wins HERO Award For November
Arden Wells, a senior at Fontainebleau High School, was selected for November’s HERO award by Sophisticated Woman magazine and Charter Business.

HERO stands for “Helping Eagerly and Reaching Out," and the award recognizes young leaders in St. Tammany Parish high schools for their accomplishments and community service efforts.

Miss Wells, a native of Mandeville, was presented the award by Sarah Cottrell, Associate Publisher with G&A Publishing, and Shelly King with Charter Business.

She was nominated by her Talented Music Teacher, Lee Coker, who said she is one of the most original people he has met in his teaching experience. “Besides being a talented pianist, she is gifted academically and she is active in her school as well as in her community. Arden always has a creative, innovative, free-spirited and positive attitude. She stands alone in her high school in terms of her uniqueness,” he said.

Miss Wells participates in and has held offices with many clubs and organizations at the school and takes part in a variety of community service projects as well. She is involved in the National Honor Society, the Spanish National Honor Society, the Photography Club, Bulldog Buddies, and a student vegetarian group that holds vegetarian picnics every Thursday in the school courtyard. She also participates with her church youth group.

A National Merit Semi-finalist with a PSAT score of 223, she has achieved a grade point average of 4.6, placing her in the top one percent of her class. She has taken a number of gifted courses from English and Biology to Chemistry and History.

During this past summer she worked at the Advanced Materials Research Institute, University of New Orleans, in its Summer Research Program, where she conducted scientific research on magnetic field induction from alternating currents to cause nanoparticle drug release. “It was a really cool experience, and I think that’s where my passion is, doing research,” she said.

In addition, she started her own hair accessory business last May, selling under the brand name “Arden’s Garden” in area children’s boutiques and at the community market.

She names her mother, Robin Wells, as her chief inspiration. “She is a kind, loving person, and she inspires me a lot,” Arden said. Her mother is an award-winning romance novelist who has authored nine books, so Arden grew up in a creative household. Her older sister is attending LSU majoring in Art.

Arden’s long list of volunteer experiences includes work at the Samaritan Center, tutoring freshmen, serving as a school guide for the Special Olympics event at Fontainebleau High, and organizing local fund raising efforts for World Vision and the St. Tammany Humane Society. Miss Wells has also helped Habitat for Humanity in its house building projects, sorted cans for the Covington Food Bank, and cooked and served dinners for the Salvation Army.

Among her community service projects was teaching a St. Tammany Technology Center computer skills class for the elderly, visits to Fairhaven Children’s Home, and playing the piano at local nursing homes. At Fontainebleau, she even helped paint parking spaces.

Her awards and honors include recognitions at the Louisiana District Literary Rally, the Fontainebleau Talent Show, the “My Louisiana” Essay PTA Competition, as well as musical performances with the District Honor Band, Talented Music Concert, and other community and church music programs.

Arden doesn’t yet know where she will be going to college, but she wants to become a scientist, so she plans to pursue a double major in chemistry and Earth Science. “I want to get a Ph.D. because I really like learning things,” she explained. She may set her sights on becoming a college professor doing research, after her positive experience this past summer at the University of New Orleans.

Sophisticated Woman magazine teamed up with Charter Business earlier this year to launch the HERO award program in an effort to honor high school students in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes who exemplify academic excellence, community involvement, leadership among peers, humanitarianism, sportsmanship, and the ability to overcome extraordinary circumstances.

Each month a selection committee reviews nominations and chooses a recipient. More information about the award can be found at SophisticatedWoman.com.


 




11/01/2011

Northshore High Presented With 2011 College Readiness Award
The Louisiana ACT Council, in conjunction with the American College Testing (ACT) Program, has presented Northshore High School in Slidell with a College Readiness Award for 2011.

The award is in recognition of the school achieving a significant increase in its ACT composite score over the past five years while, at the same time, increasing or maintaining the number of students taking the ACT Assessment. Only 29 high schools in the state were recognized for this superior level of accomplishment this year.

“This has resulted in greater numbers of your students being college ready as a result of your efforts and those of your staff and students,” Karen L. Pennell with the Southwest Region of ACT, Inc., told Principal Dr. Michael Peterson in a recent letter. She explained that the council wanted to recognize those Louisiana high schools that had increased student participation in the tests and made substantial score improvements as well.

“We are proud of our students who take the responsibilities of their academic work seriously, and of the teachers who work diligently to better prepare our students for the rigors of college,” said Dr. Peterson. “We are pleased to receive this recognition as it is evidence of our continued commitment to using our college readiness tools in the most effective manner. Having the Louisiana state ACT council spotlight our efforts in this manner helps our students, parents, and teachers know we are accomplishing what we have set out to do, that is to provide our students with an awareness of the college opportunities before them and the test scores to take advantage of those opportunities.”

"This can only happen as a result of the high school’s faculty and staff efforts and the dedication of Northshore High School students and parents to focus on college readiness, and, as a result, raise the level of college readiness for all students,” Ms. Pennell said. “These outstanding Louisiana high schools should be proud of their faculty, staff, and students.”

The Louisiana ACT Council is made up of secondary and post-secondary educators who advise ACT, Inc., on the use of ACT programs and services in the state. ACT, Inc., is the not-for-profit organization that provides assessment, research, information, and program management services in a number of areas of education and workforce development.

In 2011, more than 95 percent of Louisiana students took the ACT college admissions and readiness achievement test.

 



10/31/2011

Two Interactive Whiteboards Donated to Pontchartrain Elementary
The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children gave two interactive white boards to Pontchartrain Elementary School in Mandeville Monday, and Governor Bobby Jindal’s wife herself demonstrated to students how to use the innovative technology.

Principal Kim Thomas and Technology Supervisor Julie Matte were on hand to greet Mrs. Jindal. The new Promethean whiteboard systems were placed in two special education classrooms and came complete with ActiVote remote response devices, a laptop, a speaker system, and a variety of classroom resources, as well as training for personnel to get the most out of the equipment.

Three representatives from Wal-Mart were also present. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation is in partnership with the Supriya Jindal Foundation in supporting the placement of technology in schools statewide.

With the foundation grant, all of Pontchartrain Elementary’s first and second grade classrooms will have interactive technology among their teaching tools.
Mrs. Supriya Jindal demonstrated the versatility of the technology to more than a dozen students. Her favorite two subjects were math and science, she told the children, encouraging them to study hard and use the new technology to explore their interests in mathematics, science and engineering.

Interactive whiteboards are large white panels that enable teachers and students to interact with projected computer screen images. The whiteboards include access to a variety of learning programs especially designed to be interactive. Mrs. Jindal said the new technology helps teachers in a number of ways.

“Outside the classroom, our children are used to interactive video games and innovative technology,” she said. “We have to bring those highly-engaging techniques into the classroom environment. Interactive whiteboards are something we are beginning to see transform education across the country. With hard work, we have the opportunity to make a lasting and positive difference in education,” she said.

Ken Cartwright, Louisiana Director of Operations for Walmart, said one of the ways the Walmart Foundation tries to serve local communities is through improving education. “We are honored to support the Supriya Jindal Foundation in its efforts to further the education of children in Louisiana by bringing this exciting, leading edge technology to their classroom.”

Ms. Matte said it was wonderful to have the Foundation provide the equipment for the schools. “The kids love the interactive whiteboards, the teachers love them, and the parents love them because they have so much potential,” she said. The interactive systems are upgradable and adaptive, she went on to say, noting that training is ongoing across the parish as teachers learn new ways to implement them in teaching lessons and reaching students.

One of the most useful features Ms. Matte stated is that fact that while using the whiteboards, teachers can “record” their actions and words in the computer, thus storing the lesson and making it available on the internet to the students later for study and reinforcement. “It really is amazing,” she said.

Principal Thomas said the two new whiteboards will enable them to increase the “hands-on learning” in the special ed classrooms. The special education students will greatly benefit from the new technology since it presents information in a variety of ways: visual, audio, and kinesthetic, which helps the kids learn and remember the lesson materials. “We are excited to have it in those classrooms,” Principal Thomas said. “These will help us in our effort to finish up placing these boards in all of our rooms.”

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools have been installing a number of such interactive devices for years, with almost every classroom in the school district having access to one.

Mrs. Jindal is aiming to instill a love of science and math into Louisiana children through her school visits. On behalf of her Foundation, she had earlier delivered six interactive whiteboards to Magnolia Trace Elementary in Mandeville in December of 2009 and another four to Bonne Ecole Elementary in Slidell this past September. The Foundation has awarded a whiteboard system to more than 222 classrooms across Louisiana.

 




10/27/2011

Red Ribbon Week Observed By Schools Across the Parish
Schools throughout St. Tammany Parish and the nation celebrated Red Ribbon Week this week, stressing the importance of a drug-free lifestyle. “Just Say No” programs were held at several schools, highlighted with visits by law enforcement officers and community-based drug abuse prevention organizations.

At its October meeting, the School Board passed a resolution declaring October 24-28, 2011, as “Red Ribbon Week,” a nationally-recognized effort presenting a unified and visible commitment towards creating a Drug Free America. Schools displayed posters and banners, sang songs, and took part in a variety of activities.

Covington Elementary School hosted its largest ever Just Say No Drug-Free Rally, with more than 1400 students from several public and private schools in attendance, including Pitcher Junior High, Lyon Elementary, Pine View Middle, and St. Peters Catholic School. Covington Elementary’s Resource Helping Teacher Laurie Caserta, who has organized the program for the past 23 years, said that it was started by a former Covington Elementary principal Mary Ann Koon 25 years ago after she attended a meeting hosted by former First Lady Nancy Reagan.

“We are really excited about how many students are here today and how many great law enforcement agencies we have turn out for this community event,” Ms. Caserta said. “We are so grateful for all the tremendous amount of care, support and safety they provide our students and all the people of St. Tammany Parish.”

Assistant Superintendent William “Bill” Brady led the pledge of allegiance for the event, which also included guest appearances by Covington Mayor Mike Cooper, School Board President Stephen “Jack” Loup and Board Member Mrs. Elizabeth Heintz.

A parade began at Covington Elementary, wound around William Pitcher Junior High and ended in the Panther football stadium stands just as a helicopter from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Department landed on the playing field.

Several kinds of search and rescue equipment were on display, with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office demonstrating how K-9 police dogs assist deputies, and members of the Covington City Police Department’s Special School Response Team demonstrating how they approach and subdue suspects. The presentation was narrated by Captain Jack West of the Covington Police Department.

David Grantham with United States Customs and Border Patrol spoke to the students about the importance of making correct decisions when faced with drugs. “Once you start making the wrong decisions, life will not be fun anymore,” he said.

Grantham warned that students they would be faced with the situation one day of someone offering drugs to them, and if they made a mistake, that mistake will follow them the rest of their lives. “Doing the right thing is not easy,” he said, “When that time does come, just remember that you can always just say no.”

Every decision, no matter how small, has consequences, said Trooper Nick Manale of the Louisiana State Police, and bad choices result in bad consequences.

Among the agencies participating in the Red Ribbon Week programs were the United States Customs and Border Patrol, the Louisiana State Police, the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office, Covington City Police, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Ponchatoula Canine Group, and Covington Fire Department.

After the program, students descended upon the field to see the various law enforcement vehicles up-close. Units on hand included an amphibious track vehicle, a command post motor home, a hovercraft, jet skis, a Cape Horn powerboat, and the helicopter. The Red Ribbon Week program at Marigny Elementary School also was visited by a helicopter and special guest speaker.

Marigny Elementary had several guests during the week to help students understand how important it is to stay healthy. On Monday Special Agent Scott Arseneaux spoke at Marigny's Morning Meeting about the history and purpose of Red Ribbon Week. On Tuesday Special Agents Arseneaux and John Scudder flew and landed their helicopter at the school and explained how they use the helicopter in the fight against illegal drugs. All the students were able to get an up close look at the helicopter.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office sent members of their K-9 Unit to Chahta-Ima Elementary for a demonstration during Red Ribbon Week.

The School Board resolution for Red Ribbon Week stated that School officials are acutely aware of the life altering consequences associated with the use of alcohol and other illegal drugs, and specifically acknowledged the contributions made by the members of the community organization AMPLIFY Resources, formerly known as PRIDE, in helping prevent drug abuse. “The Board is grateful for this organization’s long standing involvement with our students,” the resolution said.


 


10/26/2011

Football Teams Play Annual Pink Game
The Salmen High School football team again encouraged public awareness of breast cancer by playing their second annual “pink” game Friday night, October 28. To help raise funds, pink balloons were sold for a balloon release prior to the game.

Last year Salmen 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. The event is held to honor loved ones who have fought breast cancer.

The Salmen cheerleaders hosted a cheer camp Wednesday and Thursday, and all participants in the camp cheered the game on Friday wearing pink t-shirts. The cheerleaders also sold pink shirts for the game.

Last year’s project raised more than $300. The event was organized in response to one of the football players losing his mother to cancer the year before. “It is a show of support for all the women that they care about,” Principal Wortmann said of the effort.

In January Salmen’s boys and girls basketball teams held a “Pink Out” game to help support cancer research. Even the fans came dressed in pink.

Other high schools throughout St. Tammany Parish also held similar events. Mandeville High had a “pink out” game against Fontainebleau High football team Friday night, with activities sponsored by members of the Mandeville High School Football Booster Club.

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.

 




10/25/2011

Two Physical Education Teachers To Be Honored at Convention
Two St. Tammany Parish Public School System physical education teachers, Kim Sager from Clearwood Junior High and Terry Thiel from Fontainebleau High, have been named for annual awards by the Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (LAHPERD).

Ms. Sager was named the “LAHPERD Middle School Teacher of the Year.” and Mr. Thiel was selected as “LAHPERD High School Teacher of the Year.” They will be recognized at the group’s upcoming state convention luncheon in Baton Rouge on Friday, November 4, 2011.

They were nominated for the honor by Kay Hursey, Coordinator of Health and Physical Education for the School System, and a special awards committee from LAHPERD choose them as the winners in their categories.

The award is given to physical education instructors who serve as positive role models in health and fitness, use a variety of teaching methods and innovative learning experiences, and pursue professional development opportunities. They must have a minimum of three to six years of experience in their teaching position and show evidence of professional commitment through membership and involvement in local, state, and national organizations. Applications included written essays on the contributions nominees had made to physical education.

Ms. Hursey said she was excited that the state association had recognized the accomplishments of two of her physical education teachers. Their biographies will be included in the convention's printed program.

Founded in 1934, the aim of LAHPERD is to improve the quality of life through health and fitness and recreational activities. Its annual convention gives physical education teachers around the state a chance to attend workshops, view exhibits, and visit with each other to discuss issues and share ideas for enhancing physical education in schools.

 



10/21/2011

In-Service Workshop Presented to Bus Drivers and Attendants
Approximately 700 bus owner/operators, drivers, substitute drivers, and bus attendants attended the first in-service workshop for the entire St. Tammany Parish Public School System Transportation Department October 7 at Castine Center in Mandeville. They heard presentations by a variety of speakers including Sheriff Jack Strain.

Attendees were told that the week of Monday, October 17, through Friday, October 21, is “National School Bus Safety Week,” as well as "School Bus Operator and Bus Attendant Appreciation Week." A special resolution was passed at the October 13 night School Board meeting in Covington encouraging local participation in those events.

Supervisor of Transportation Cathy Aime opened the in-service workshop program, introducing Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, who welcomed those in attendance. He thanked them for the outstanding jobs they do in carrying 25,862 students some 28,938 miles every school day. “I am proud of your safety record,” Folse stated. He thanked them for working with Mrs. Aime in every way they could to continue the School System’s successful student transportation services.

Sheriff Strain was the keynote speaker, telling those present of his days as a school bus driver himself. “I learned more about responsibility when I was driving a bus back in the late 1980’s than anything I’ve learned in my entire law enforcement career,” he told the group.

“There is much in common in the responsibilities of school bus drivers and my deputies: you both drive thousands upon thousands of parish roadways each year,” the Sheriff said. “Just like you, we encounter the headaches, the grid lock, and the traffic nightmares each and every day, dealing with it on a professional basis.”

He went over a list of the most dangerous intersections and roads in St. Tammany, naming how many crashes took place at each one. “We try to educate the public as much as possible about school bus safety, but there will always be people who will get citations for not following the rules,” he said. “We take this very seriously, and the courts are also very serious about school bus safety.”

He reported that he has heard throughout the state how communities are proud of the work school bus drivers accomplish. “No one carries a more precious cargo than you do,” he said.

Superintendent Folse said that Sheriff Strain was one of the biggest supporters of the School System and because of that relationship, many potential problems are avoided. “The School System has a solid working relationship with all of our law enforcement agencies, and we appreciate their efforts. This helps our bus drivers provide safe and efficient student transportation each and every day,” he said.

Also on the stage was Thomas Buell, chairman of the 911 Emergency Communications Board, which outlined ways in which the 911 phone system could be useful for bus drivers in times of emergency.

Others on the agenda were Assistant Superintendent of Administration Bill Brady, Early Childhood Coordinator Mrs. Johnnie Alford, and Supervisor of Administration Kevin Darouse, who talked about the Positive Behavior Support program.

Mrs. Elsie Burkhalter, president of the St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School Employees, was also among scheduled speakers, as was School System Risk Manager Kirt Gaspard. Handouts were given out to help the bus owner/operators follow proper procedures in incident management and reporting, vehicle inspection, and safety practices for students and drivers. The importance of safety drills was also noted.

 



10/19/2011

Food Service Managers, Principals Visit White House
The 25 School cafeteria managers and their principals from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System who earned top honors in a USDA child nutrition program were invited to the White House on October 17 to take part in a recognition program being given by First Lady Michelle Obama. The reception spotlighted school food service programs across the nation which have shown excellence in their child nutrition programs by earning the “Gold Award of Distinction” designation in the USDA “HealthierUS Schools Challenge” program.

The afternoon event took place on the South Lawn of the White House spotlighting those participants most successful in the HealthierUS School Challenge Program, a voluntary national certification program by the USDA that recognizes schools for outstanding food service departments and physical activity programs. In the presentation to the group of several hundred attendees, Mrs. Obama highlighted the accomplishments of school districts throughout the country, mentioning St. Tammany Parish Public Schools by name.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse III, Assistant Superintendent Bill Brady, and Food Services Supervisor Pat Farris also attended the White House event.

“We are very proud of our Food Service Department’s accomplishment,” Brady said, praising the work of recently retired Food Services Supervisor Sylvia Dunn and her successor Pat Farris. “It’s a great day for St. Tammany public schools to once again be recognized for this.”

Some 1600 schools across the nation have received the USDA award certification in one of four levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction. Of the 155 schools with the highest honor, Gold Award of Distinction, St.Tammany Public Schools has the highest number of schools with that designation. Those schools are Abita Springs Elementary School, Abney Elementary School, Alton Elementary School, Bayou Woods Elementary School, Bonne Ecole Elementary School, Brock Elementary School, Chahta-Ima Elementary School, Covington Elementary School, Cypress Cove Elementary School, Fifth Ward Jr. High School, Florida Avenue Elementary School. Folsom Elementary School, Honey Island Elementary School, Lee Road Jr. High School, Little Pearl Elementary School, Lyon Elementary School, Madisonville Elementary School, Magnolia Trace Elementary School, Mandeville Elementary School, Marigny Elementary School, Pontchartrain Elementary School, Riverside Elementary School, Sixth Ward Elementary School, Whispering Forest Elementary and Woodlake Elementary School.

The St. Tammany Public Schools Food Service Program was also highlighted in a recent article in the regional magazine “Inside Northside.”

Mrs. Obama visited Brock Elementary last September to commend the many St. Tammany schools which have earned top USDA child nutrition honors as well as launch the second phase of her “Let’s Move” exercise initiative for young children. She was greeted by hundreds of students at the school with cheers, songs, smiles, hugs, and handshakes.
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady early last year, dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.

During her visit to Brock, she spoke to school food service personnel, School administrators, and community leaders, saying that St. Tammany Parish public schools have shown great progress in taking the steps necessary to reduce childhood obesity. She told school officials they could be proud of having 25 schools winning the top USDA designation. “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 stated.

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.

Cypress Cove’s successful efforts were featured in a half-hour educational television program produced by the National Food Service Management Institute (USDA) for its “Cooks for Kids” series. The “best practices” video showcased the ways in which students at Cypress Cove Elementary School benefitted from the emphasis on healthy cooking, and the television program was nominated for and won a Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications.

 



10/18/2011

Donation Presented for Defibrillators in Covington Schools
The Kiwanis of Greater Covington made a donation to the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to buy three automated external defibrillators for Covington schools. The AED’s will be purchased and placed in Covington Elementary, Lyon Elementary, and Pitcher Junior High. Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse III said, “This is an important project and it is great to see our community coming together to support our schools in this way.”

All St. Tammany Parish Public High Schools have AED’s on campus, but there is now an effort underway to put the devices in all 55 schools. The Jeremy Hebert Defibrillator Fund was established by the Hebert family after losing their son Jeremy, who was a student at Pine View Middle School in Covington. The family says this is a way to honor the young boy’s long struggle with heart disease. Jeremy’s mother, Ann Hebert, attended the check presentation, “Thank you for recognizing the importance of this initiative for our kids. You think of needing AED’s in the high schools because of the athletics but why not have the resources we need in all of our schools in case something happens.” Pine View Middle School has also received donations to purchase an AED.

The Kiwanis of Greater Covington learned about the initiative and raised money to purchase the three AED’s. “We appreciate the opportunity we have to serve children in our community. This is what the Kiwanis is all about,” said Kiwanis of Greater Covington President Ed Murphy.




10/13/2011

Hasslock Re-creates New Orleans Street Name Tiles
A graduate of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, Nicholas Hasslock has blended his artistic capabilities with newly-acquired business skills to establish his own unique business supplying authentic street corner letter tiles to the City of New Orleans.

He is also leaving room for community service projects, having recently completed work on the Hurricane Katrina Memorial and Mural in New Orleans, a fine example of his artistry and community volunteerism.

He’s a poet, an artist, a ceramics engineer, and now, a business owner of the New Orleans Tile Company, which primarily supplies the colorful blue letters on square white tiles that adorn many of the older New Orleans street corners. He’s been in business three and a half years, and he approaches it with an earnestness to do it right. “Everything I do, people see it, and I want it to be the best,” he said.

Now 29 years old, he grew up attending Covington Elementary, Pine View Middle School, and Pitcher Junior High and graduated from Mandeville High, remembering many of the teachers and principals who helped him along the way.

Those in the School System who had the most positive impact on him were his third grade teacher Ms. Julie Fontan, Principal William Brady at Covington Elementary, Principal Cynthia Russell at Pine View, Mr. Chris Blackwell, the science and biology teacher at Pitcher Junior High. “And I’m pretty sure none of my teachers have forgotten me,” he says. It was the science classes he liked most of all during his public school education.

As an artist, he likes to make a statement with his projects such as the Katrina memorial wall. It is located on the front of the Saratoga Building at the corner of Loyola Avenue and Common Street in downtown New Orleans, with 18 columns of names remembering those from New Orleans who died in Hurricane Katrina.

He worked on the project with deep respect for what it represented. As a result, lining the names up and making sure the letters were properly etched was important to him. “This is literally done in stone, so it has to be right,” he said. “It took me six weeks to get the first three columns of names done.” He worked on the project many times through the night, when it was cooler, with less sun glare, and fewer distractions.

The son of Tika and Steve Hasslock of Hasslock Studios, he grew up in the St. Tammany art scene. In 2006, he was approached by a New Orleans city civil engineer who needed high quality ceramic letter tiles to spell out names of the streets for a major construction project. After not being able to refer him to anyone, Nick told him he would be honored to give it a shot. It took him two years of hard work at his studio in the Marigny section of New Orleans to perfect the process, basically discovering the best method to create the long-lasting tiles. Matching the exact colors of the original tiles was a key factor, something that took an artist’s eye. “You just can’t pull any color off the shelf and use it,” he says. The original tiles were made in Alhambra, Spain and installed around the 1920's.

His efforts to re-create the “genuine” letter tiles has paid off, and now that he has fine-tuned the process, he is branching out to produce tiles in other colors, fonts, styles or with custom images. His artwork has become a business, but he has learned to continue to enjoy it. “Whatever the project, I’ve got to have fun with it, and stay true to myself,” he said.

Currently he is keeping his eyes open and his “foot in the door” for any future projects that will require tiles of the type he has become famous for. “I am acquiring new business skills as a result,” he said. Marketing his tiles for custom bathroom renovations is one avenue he is investigating.

His motto has pretty much been, “I don’t have to save the world. I just do the best I can, and try to be an example,” he said.

While working with the historic letter tiles has a low-tech aspect, at the same time he uses modern computers in the design process, and actual production requires an understanding of the properties of ceramics and engineering as well as chemistry. He explains in detail the process for making the tiles, describing the “magnetic soup that looks like gray pancake batter.”

The production procedure is quite complicated. “There’s a lot of stuff going on that you can’t see when you’re making the tiles, but everything has to be right, or it gets brittle,” he states. “I sort of feel like an engineer during the process.” It also calls upon a lot of artistic diligence and the ability to follow an exacting recipe.

He learned the basics of art from his parents, but it was junior high science classes that gave him the edge to making that art come to life in tangible, and commercially-viable ways.

His art and business studio located in the Marigny section of New Orleans has given him a window to the world. “The nearby coffee shop has been a great place to learn,” he said. “You find people there you want to be like, and people you don’t want to be like.” In his neighborhood in New Orleans, there are tons of contrasting viewpoints as well. “It’s huge, beautifully chaotic, and everyone’s allowed to be themselves,” he said. Such a parade of personalities has made him come to better appreciate the quieter lifestyles found back in St. Tammany.

His advice to up and coming young artists is to follow their feelings and be on the lookout for inspiration from wherever it might come. “I’m happy to be able to do what I’ve done,” Hasslock said, proving his own real-life example of how art and business can be successfully blended.

 



10/05/2011

Students Get Day Off Friday For Teacher Workday
Public school students will not attend classes on Friday, October 7, as teachers will be taking part in professional development workshops and carrying out record-keeping duties.

The first grading period of the 2011-2012 School Year ends Thursday, October 6, and teachers will spend Friday attending professional development sessions in the morning and completing end of grading period record-keeping in the afternoon.

Classes for students resume Monday, October 10.

 



10/05/2011

New School Scores Announced
St. Tammany Parish Public School Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse, III and School Board President Stephen J. “Jack” Loup, III are pleased with the overall growth of the School Performance Scores in St. Tammany Parish.

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools are on the State Honor Roll, receiving an overall district score of a ‘B’ with a score of 111.3. This score shows steady academic growth in many areas.

Even with 55 schools, St. Tammany remains near the top in the state. The three districts ranked higher are much smaller school districts and contain some schools with selective enrollment. Every one of St. Tammany Parish Public schools is open enrollment. “This means we take every child who walks through the door, and we do our best to provide them with a high-quality education,” said Superintendent Folse.

Board President Loup said he is proud of the success in St. Tammany, “We applaud all our principals, teachers, staff members and parents who work tirelessly with our children every day so that they may all excel.”

“Although test scores are an important indicator of a successful school, we as a School System realize that many other components must be in place for a school to be truly successful in meeting all of the needs of students,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “The faculty, staff, and administration at each of our schools are committed to educating and caring for all our students each and every day.”

This year the Louisiana Department of Education announced a new accountability system to score school and district educational performance. It involves a different method for symbolizing performance rankings for schools and districts. In the past, schools were given “stars” based on school performance scores. The state will now be assigning letter grades based on those scores. Factors taken into account in determining school performance scores include attendance and standardized test results.

Schools that previously received four or five stars will now receive an ‘A’, three stars will receive a ‘B’, two stars will receive a ‘C’ (and in some cases a ‘D’), all one star schools will receive a ‘D’, and an academically unacceptable school will receive an ‘F’.

St. Tammany Parish is continually putting new programs into place to help transform the School System’s score and bring it to a higher level every year. “We understand there is always room for improvement, and we continue to work with all of our schools to help them reach their full potential,” said Cheryl Arabie, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Instruction.




10/04/2011

Fontainebleau Football Coach Honored By NFL Program
Head Coach Mike Materne of the Fontainebleau High School Bulldogs has been selected by the National Football League as South Louisiana’s “Coach of the Week.”

“I feel very honored to have received this award,” Coach Materne said. “I want to thank the panel for recognizing the hard work and dedication that our players and coaches have put in since January. They are the ones that I am the most proud. They are the real reason for our success thus far. Without their commitment to and hard work for the program, changes could not have occurred.”

As a result of his selection, photographs and video were taken of Coach Materne at Tuesday’s football practice at the school, and he will be featured on an upcoming Sean Payton television show which airs on Fridays at 10:35 p.m. on FOX 8.

The NFL will present a $1000 check to Fontainebleau High in connection with Materne’s recognition. Each week throughout the high school football season in all 32 NFL markets and Los Angeles, a local panel of club personnel, sports media and others select an NFL High School Football Coach of the Week winner.

Honorees receive a grant check on behalf of the NFL team and the NFL Youth Football Fund to help maintain and upgrade their football programs. The program is designed to recognize high school coaches who, through their hard work and dedication to young people, create successful football teams and players, both on and off the field.

Materne was named as the new head coach at Fontainebleau in March of 2009 after serving as an assistant coach beginning in 1997. Materne is a physical education teacher, who has also served as the Lady Bulldogs’ head track coach, while coaching the boys’ shot put, discus, powerlift team and javelin throwers. He has coached for a total of 35 years.

He graduated from Brother Martin in 1971, where he was an All-District guard and played defensive tackle. He attended Tulane University on a football scholarship, but after a knee injury transferred to Nicholls State, where he received his undergraduate degree. He earned his master’s degree in Athletic Management from the University of New Orleans.


 


10/03/2011

Parish Fair Recognizes School System Leaders
The 2011 St. Tammany Parish Fair opened its 102nd annual festivities last week with ceremonies featuring Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, School Board members, and former public school system Director of Public Information Linda Roan, now retired, to whom this year’s fair was dedicated.

Folse thanked the parish fair organization for its commitment to public school students and for providing them with opportunities to learn, participate, and be recognized for excellence in a variety of activities. “The fair has always been important to our School System, and as Superintendent, I am committed to continuing that partnership,” Folse stated. He praised the Covington High School Band for its participation in the parade held earlier in the morning and for providing the music during opening ceremonies.

Present during the morning’s events were School Board President Stephen “Jack” Loup, III; and Board Members Charles Harrell, Michael Dirmann, and Elizabeth Heintz.

Under blue skies and cool breezes, the fair activities began on Thursday with the educational showcase building focusing on exhibits of student work from 55 schools. The exhibits theme was "So Much To See from A to Z," and the school displays featured student work and artistic talents in a wide range of subject matters. Many schools built models of landmarks and gave historical accounts of their communities.

Mrs. Roan rode in one of the lead cars in the fair parade on Friday, and during the opening ceremonies she was commended by Fair President Dennis Glass for her 17 years of work in improving school participation in the fair's educational exhibits. Those exhibits are housed in a building named after former Superintendent C. J. Schoen, he noted.

In her remarks, she said the honor meant even more to her since it comes from a group of such dedicated fair association leaders who continue each year to give much of their time and effort to display the culture and history of St. Tammany Parish through a variety of exhibits and competitions. “The schools see this as a great opportunity to spotlight the great work of students, especially those interested in agriscience,” she said.

Folse added his praise for Mrs. Roan’s work with the fair, which helped to increase community awareness of school accomplishments over the years. “She was a great choice for this honor,” he stated.

 



09/28/2011

Bonne Ecole Elementary Awarded Four Interactive Whiteboards
The Supriya Jindal Foundation for Louisiana’s Children is giving four interactive white boards to Bonne Ecole Elementary School in Slidell, and students were shown Wednesday how to use the innovative technology by Governor Bobby Jindal’s wife herself.

Mrs. Supriya Jindal demonstrated the versatility of the technology to dozens of first and second grade students, saying that it would help their classroom teachers in a number of ways.

She was greeted by Principal Dr. April Owens, Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie. State Senator A. G. Crowe was also on hand to greet Mrs. Jindal at the program.

Interactive whiteboards are large white panels that enable teachers and students to interact with projected computer screen images. The whiteboards include access to a variety of learning programs, ranging from math to science to social studies.

Mrs. Jindal’s lesson helped the students see the importance of math and science in everyday life, from the formulation of the toothpaste they use to the design and manufacture of football helmets. She explained how just the physics involved in the toss of a football was a key factor for successful games by the Saints.

“Outside the classroom, our children are used to interactive video games and innovative technology,” she said. “We have to bring those highly-engaging techniques into the classroom environment."

"Interactive whiteboards are something we are beginning to see transform education across the country,” she went on to say. “In this way, we have the opportunity to make a lasting and positive difference in education. Classrooms that once lacked computers, television, projectors or the Internet will now have all four with this device,” she said.

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools have been installing a number of such interactive devices for years, with almost every classroom in the school district having access to one. “Our elementary students get excited about technology in the classroom, and the interactive whiteboards given by the Foundation will help expand their learning horizons even more,” said Superintendent Folse. “We thank the Supriya Jindal Foundation and our Covington neighbor Chevron for their outstanding support of public education and the vision which will insure even greater opportunities for our children far into the future.”

Special wireless devices called ActivVoters were given out to the children to enable them to give individual feedback when Mrs. Jindal asked questions. The computer brought up internet websites with specially- prepared lessons on a variety of topics. The children then played an educational form of “Jeopardy” with subjects ranging from money and matter to addition and subtraction with a special bonus round on Louisiana questions.

The Foundation is being aided by Chevron, its Gold Member Partner, in bringing more interactive whiteboards to schools across the state. With the technology award Wednesday, all first and second grade classrooms at Bonne Ecole Elementary will have the Promethean whiteboards, a laptop, speaker system, and the interactive student response system.

Warner Williams, Vice President of Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico business unit which is based in Covington, said they were proud to help make the award of the technology possible. “Supplying cutting-edge tools and technology to schools through the Supriya Jindal Foundation not only invests in our youth to realize their full potential, but it also provides our community with a talented pool of individuals who will become the workers of tomorrow.”

Mrs. Jindal is aiming to instill a love of science and math into Louisiana children through her school visits. On behalf of her Foundation, she had earlier delivered six interactive whiteboards to Magnolia Trace Elementary in Mandeville in December of 2009.

The Foundation has awarded a whiteboard system to more than 220 classrooms across Louisiana.

 



09/26/2011

Schools To Close September 30 For Parish Fair Holiday

Students in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will have the day off on Friday, September 30, to visit the annual parish fair and see its variety of horticultural exhibits, livestock competitions, community arts and crafts, home economics displays and examples of excellent local efforts in many other fields.

 

Designated as “School Day” at the parish fair in Covington, the holiday will also give students and their parents the opportunity to visit the many educational exhibits at the fairgrounds. These exhibits feature student work in grade levels kindergarten through 12th grade.

The four day schedule of activities includes many other special events and family-oriented attractions. The fair begins on Thursday, September 29, and runs through Sunday morning, October 1.

School System support offices will also close on Friday. They will re-open and classes will resume on Monday, October 3, 2011.

The School System has partnered with the parish fair association for decades to give students the Friday of the fair 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 more information about the St. Tammany Parish Fair, visit http://www.sttammanyparishfair.info/



09/25/2011

Bayou Lacombe Middle School Holds Ribbon Cutting
Scores of community well-wishers, School Board officials, and administrators visited Bayou Lacombe Middle School Friday morning for a special open house event which ended with the cutting of a ribbon for the school’s major renovation project.

Dozens of students sang and shouted cheers during the program recognizing the history of the school, the completion of its renovations and the many special visitors of the day, including Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III; Assistant Superintendents Pete Jabbia, Cheryl Arabie, and William Brady, who served as principal of the school from 1975 to 1980.

A school wide essay contest was held to give students a chance to say what the school meant to them, particularly the newly-improved facilities. The essay contest winners from the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades read their winning entries, and a video was shown with before and after shots from the renovation.

The ribbon cutting ceremony included School Board Members Peggy Seeley, John Lamarque, and Willie Jeter.

Parents and grandparents of the children also attended the event. Tours of the newly-upgraded classroom wings were taken by School Board officials and other visitors, with refreshments served in the school cafeteria.

Principal Patrick Woods welcomed those present, saying the kids were very excited about the recent renovations. “It was amazing to see what has been done,” he said.

Superintendent Folse said the school had undergone a transformation, especially with the attractive new entrance area. The work involved complete renovation of two classroom wings, new covered walkways, new air conditioning systems, a new generator and sewerage facilities, as well as building of a new entrance canopy oriented towards the corner. Portions of the administrative area were upgraded, and a new paved parking lot was also added.

Visiting administrators included Principal Casey Gleason from Chahta-Ima Elementary School and Principal Anthony Esposito from Carolyn Park Middle School.


 

09/23/2011

Schools Plant Legacy Gardens
The Legacy School Garden project is a collaborative effort of the St. Tammany Public School System, Master Gardeners of the LSU Ag Center, the Boy Scouts, PTA groups, and Jinx Vidrine’s Legacy School Gardens Fund. Seven schools are currently taking part with ten different pilot garden projects.

Dr. Vidrine’s Northshore Community Foundation is providing “seed” grants for establishing the project in elementary schools throughout the parish. The organization’s mission is to partner with the community for the purpose of creating a vegetable garden at the schools, with a long-range vision to connect children to the food they eat, thus leading to better health both for them and the community.

The Legacy School Garden project provides organic soil, vegetable seeds and seedlings, a garden hose and sprinkler, and enough mulch for a four foot by four foot garden area. It includes garden curriculum resources so teachers can provide students with appropriate lessons on gardening and related subjects.
The gardens will be used as an “outdoor classroom” to teach various aspects of science, math, language arts, social studies, art, geography, as well as sustainability.

According to project organizers, students engaged in gardening activities have shown enhanced academic achievement, an awareness of the importance of good health, and a better developed “sense of place.” The project instills in them environmental stewardship and encourages greater community and social development, said Christy Paulsell, science curriculum specialist with the School System.

Thanks to the funding and volunteer efforts of the Legacy School Gardens initiative, pilot school projects have been launched at Lyon Elementary, Bayou Woods Elementary, Cypress Cove Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Abita Springs Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, and Lee Road Junior High.

The ten Legacy School Garden boxes were built and delivered by Eagle Scout Canon Henton. Three schools received two boxes each because two teachers from the school attended the “Legacy School Garden” in-service workshop during the summer with Dr. Kiki Fontenot, Director of School and Community Gardens for the LSU Ag Center.

For more information about the “Rooting the Future- Help Grow A School Garden” program, visit the Northshore Community Foundation website at www.northshorefoundation.org.

 



09/22/2011

Fontainebleau High Student Receives HERO Award
Laurel Upton, a senior student at Fontainebleau High School, is the latest recipient of the HERO Award given by Sophisticated Woman magazine and Charter Business.

HERO stands for Helping Eagerly and Reaching Out," and the award recognizes young leaders in St. Tammany Parish high schools for their accomplishments and community service efforts.

Miss Upton was presented the award September 20 by Sarah Cottrell, Associate Publisher with G&A Publishing; Shelly King with Charter Business; and her principal Johnny Vitrano.

A member of the school's varsity soccer team, she is also active with the National Honor Society, the "Bulldog Buddies" group, and a founder of the Secrets of the YaYa Seniorhood organization. Both the Honor Society and Bulldog Buddies emphasize community service and helping others, she said.

She loves attending Fontainebleau and says it's like one big family. "Even though our senior class is really big, we've really come together this year," she said. "We are trying to accomplish our goals as a class. We do a lot of different things to help the community. It's been a lot of fun." Just last weekend, class members bagged groceries to raise money and collected canned goods for the local Food Drive.

She was nominated for the HERO Award by the Fontainebleau High School To Work Coordinator Devienne F. Theriot, who said Miss Upton had been able to maintain academic excellence with a 4.0 grade point average while having two part time jobs in additional to her involvements with a number of school activities and organizations.

"Outside of school she serves as captain for the Mandeville Soccer Club Premier team, and a member of her church's youth group," said Ms. Theriot. This past summer she went on a mission trip to Chicago and worked with the homeless people there, Miss Upton said.

She was commended by Ms. Theriot for taking college level courses equal to 12 college credits. While planning to attend LSU, she has not yet decided on a major, although her goal is to somehow work in the art industry. Miss Upton has taken Art I through Art IV as well as an Independent Study Art Class, and she is currently taking part in the FHS senior internship program with a five-year plan centering on the arts.

"Laurel is a hard working student whose passion for life sets her apart from others," said Ms. Theriot. "In addition, she is extremely kind and courteous, well mannered and goes out of her way to have a smile on her face while doing what she can for others."

Sophisticated Woman magazine teamed up with Charter Business to launch the HERO award program earlier this year in an effort to honor high school students in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes who exemplify academic excellence, community involvement, leadership among peers, humanitarianism, sportsmanship, and the ability to overcome extraordinary circumstances.

Each month a selection committee reviews nominations and chooses a recipient. More information about the award can be found at SophisticatedWoman.com.

 



09/20/2011

Kickoff Held For October Milk Contest
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools will once again take part in the annual milk contest sponsored by Brown’s Dairy and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA), in conjunction with the NFL’s Play 60 Program.

All during October participating school food service programs will “Fuel Up to Play 60” by competing in the “Black and Gold Milk Contest.”

Last year Madisonville Elementary won first place, Mandeville Junior High won second place, and the St. Tammany Parish Public School System won the top honors among the New Orleans area school districts in the “Moo Dat” contest.

This year’s event kicked off at the Louisiana Superdome September 16 with a number of St. Tammany food service personnel, principals, and cafeteria managers present.

First place winner will win $5000 in cash, a smoothie blender, and a pep rally with a New Orleans Saints football player. Second place will win $3000 cash and a smoothie blender, and third place will win $2000 cash and a smoothie blender.

The purpose of the program is to encourage school districts to promote the consumption of milk by students. Schools throughout St. Tammany are expected to hold a variety of activities celebrating milk, from tailgate parties and story time events to milk mustache photos and parades. All public, private, and parochial school districts in the greater New Orleans area were invited to take part.

Last year, the School System won the Grand Prize of a HOPSports exercise system valued at $10,000. The system is being shared by all the schools’ physical education classes, said Supervisor of School Food Services Pat Farris.

 



09/19/2011

Schools To Take Part in Recycling Rally
Students across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will soon be taking part in a special “Recycle Rally” program teaching the value of recycling used cans, plastic bottles, and cardboard.

The “Dream Machine” Recycle Rally is a Kindergarten through 12th grade program sponsored by Waste Management and PepsiCo that gives schools a chance to earn rewards and compete for contest prizes, all while helping to make the planet a cleaner, greener place, and supporting post-9/11 disabled U.S. veterans.

The program will increase the awareness of recycling among parents and the community, as well as step up participation in a number of recycling projects already underway in a number of St. Tammany schools.

In the Recycle Rally, students will collect soft drink aluminum cans and bottles, scan each item, and place it in a recycling bin. Waste Management will empty the bin once a week on Wednesdays. Any available space left in the container can be used for other recyclable items, such as cardboard boxes and clean food cans from the cafeteria. The program teaches the importance of recycling and establishing it as a routine in the lives of students.

Schools earn points for each acceptable bottle or can, with the points going towards a variety different rewards. Schools will also be eligible for large monetary prizes as well.

The program also provides interactive learning, education opportunities on recycling. Each school applies on the program website, sets up the Recycle Rally program in their school, and after collecting, scanning, and having the bin picked up, they can redeem rewards through the “Greenopolis” rewards program.

Points can be redeemed for a variety of products and purposes, from sporting goods and electronics to educational events and music, books and videos. In April, the schools that have the best recycling programs will compete for a $50,000 Dream Green School Makeover Grand Prize, a $25,000 Quantity Counts Award or fifty other awards. There are also three-month “Trimester” awards for the most successful recycling efforts.

For more information, visit the www.dreammachinerecyclerally.com website.




09/16/2011

Monteleone Junior High Wins Student Health Award
Monteleone Junior High School recently received one of only three School Health Awards (SHA) given by the State Department of Education for the 2010-11 school year, an annual award created to recognize schools with activities that encourage students to develop lifelong healthful eating and physical activity habits. It is part of an ongoing program to address childhood obesity in the nation for which St. Tammany has already been nationally recognized.

Donna Nola-Ganey, Assistant Superintendent for the Louisiana Department of Education, notified Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, of the state award in August, saying, “You and your entire staff are to be commended on a job well done.”

Representatives from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System and Monteleone Junior High School travelled to Baton Rouge to receive the award on September 14 at the 2011 Childhood Obesity Conference held at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge. The school was presented with a certificate as well as a cash award.

The SHA award is sponsored by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) and the Louisiana Department of Education. This year, partners in the SHA are the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Healthy Lifestyle Choices.

“St. Tammany public schools continue to be in the forefront of meeting the challenge of childhood obesity,” said Superintendent Folse. “When our efforts are recognized at both the state and national levels, we can be assured we are making a difference in the lives of children throughout the parish. Our excellent child nutrition program and outstanding physical education activities are providing health benefits to our students that will last a lifetime.”

Coming from throughout the state, more than 475 professionals engaged in public health challenges facing children and youth took part in the fourth annual childhood obesity and public health conference. Its theme was "Reducing Childhood Obesity In Louisiana: Charting the Course for 2020."

Childhood obesity is fast becoming the greatest public health challenge facing America, and St. Tammany Parish Public Schools were recognized last year for their successful efforts in raising awareness of the problem. First Lady Michelle Obama visited Brock Elementary School in Slidell a year ago to launch the second phase of her national campaign to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.

The Baton Rouge public health conference placed special emphasis on physical activity, nutrition and obesity-fighting behaviors. St. Tammany Public Schools were among the first recognized and have the highest number of participants in a national child nutrition “Gold Award” program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In that program, individual school lunchroom programs are recognized for outstanding food service and nutritional information programs.

The 2011 Louisiana Report Card on Physical Activity and Health for Children and Youth will be released in mid-November.

 



09/15/2011

Safe Driving Campaign Focuses On Texting Dangers
A national campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving will be conducted locally by Allstate Penzato Insurance Agency and the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. The effort is being called “Thumbs UP to X the TXT.”

Informational booths will be set up at St. Tammany public school’s homecoming football games over the next two months to explain the program and ask teens and parents to pledge not to send text messages while driving.
Those making the pledge may add their thumbprint to a banner proclaiming the anti-texting message. The banner will then be donated to the school to hang in the commons area so all may see it during Red Ribbon week in late October.

Persons taking the pledge will receive a thumb band with the words “txting kills” to wear as a daily reminder of their commitment. In addition, Family Pledge Cards will be distributed in a further effort to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.

Allstate’s Melissa Penzato of Covington stated that car crashes are the number one killer of teenagers, and statistics show that just reaching for a phone while driving increases an individual’s risk of a crash nine times.

“Texting takes our eyes off the road for an average of five seconds,” she said, “and at 55 miles per hour that’s like driving the length of a football field completely blind.”

The project is being coordinated by the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools “Teen Focus on Safe Driving” committee.

 




09/14/2011

Students Collect Food and Funds for Food Bank
Seven schools across western St. Tammany Parish joined together September 11 to conduct a highly successful food collection and money raising project benefitting the Covington Food Bank. Students collected nearly four tons of food and raised more than $700 in donations for the community organization as part of the 9/11 “National Day of Service” initiative.

Students from Marigny Elementary, Fontainebleau Junior High, Abita Middle School, Covington Elementary, Pine View Middle, William Pitcher Junior High, and Covington High took part in the event. Other schools throughout the School System participated in similar community-service activities.

A group of students who participated in the Covington area's 21st Century Community Learning Center “Junior Corps” spearheaded the community effort to help the food bank under the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Julie Alphonso. The service corps project alone resulted in the collection of more than a ton of food items for the local food bank. Some 48 students, teachers, and parents from Pitcher Junior High participated in the event Sunday at Wal-Mart, Acquistapace’s Supermarket, and the food bank.

In a letter from Manager Paula Souhlas of the Covington Food Bank, Principal Roslyn H. Hanson of Pitcher Junior High was told how much the effort was appreciated. A listing of the schools participating and the items collected was as follows: Marigny Elementary - 238 lbs.; Fontainebleau Junior High - 308 lbs.; Abita Middle School - 1353 lbs.; Covington Elementary - 30 lbs.; Pine View Middle - 538 lbs.; William Pitcher Jr. High - 998 lbs; Junior Corps. 9/11 collections - 2160 lbs.; and Covington High - 2268 lbs.

A total of 7893 pounds of food was collected, and the total amount of cash and checks collected came to $718.94. “Thank you for your tremendous efforts,” said Ms. Souhlas.

“We appreciate the student-initiated efforts to get involved in community service projects, and the 9/11 National Day of Service was such an opportunity for schools to work together for a common cause,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “Students, teachers, and parents working together is a great educational experience, one that not only benefits the community in direct and tangible ways, but builds citizenship and character as well.”

 




09/13/2011

College - Career Fair At SLU Offers Information
The Northshore College & Career Fair took place at the Pennington Center on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond September 13.

The event was held in conjunction with St. Tammany Public Schools, Tangipahoa Schools and Southeastern Louisiana University. Hundreds of high school students seeking information on college opportunities, financial aid, or career alternatives attended.

Representatives from a variety of colleges,universities, military services, training schools, and financial services were on hand to distribute information. Some students from St. Tammany Parish rodes buses to the event, with a large number arriving by cars.




09/12/2011

Patriots Day Observed By Schools Parishwide
Schools throughout St. Tammany Parish took part in a variety of programs held in observance of Patriots Day with special appreciation expressed to law enforcement officers and firefighters for their dedicated service to the community. This year’s event held special significance as it was the tenth anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy in New York.

In keeping with the day’s theme, students made banners, cards, and welcomed visiting police officers and fire district officials on campus throughout the day. The School Board encourages principals at the beginning of the School Year to plan special events in keeping with the significance of the day.

At Fontainebleau Junior High School, several firefighters and first responders from Fire Protection District No. 4 enjoyed lunch in the cafeteria and signed stones that will become part of a special “Remembrance Garden” on the campus. Students in a number of Social Studies classes painted scenes depicting police and firefighters at work throughout the nation. Those scenes will be sealed onto flat rocks that will decorate the garden, along with a water fountain.

Principal Dr. Tim Schneider said he welcomes firefighters and police officers to his school throughout the year in recognition to their continued commitment to the schools and community. “Many of our students were too young to remember that day when it happened, so we try to hold programs to explain how it has affected our country,” he said.

Members of the advanced chorus sang several songs for the visiting firefighters and law enforcement officers, and students gave them handwritten notes thanking them for their efforts to keep the community safe.

Patriots Day was first established to honor the police and emergency personnel who lost their lives in the 9-11 World Trade Center tragedy in 2001.

 



09/09/2011

Employees With Perfect Attendance Recognized
Thursday night the St. Tammany Parish Public School System honored its employees who have not missed a day of work over the past year. Dozens of employees attended the special reception in their honor, with a School Board resolution adopted thanking them for their dedication and accomplishments. Overall 157 employees achieved perfect attendance this year.

Human Resources Supervisor Brandon Clanton emceed the event, with Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, on hand to congratulate the employees.

The resolution was passed later that night at the September regular board meeting. It said the strength of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System is determined in large part by the dedication and hard work of the employees of the system; and exemplary employee attendance is one factor in the foundation of a strong employee work force. “Accountability goes beyond test scores to include a positive work ethic that supports strong academic performance,” the resolution went on to say, noting that employee attendance can be directly linked to student achievement and a positive learning climate.

Board Member Elizabeth Heintz offered it for adoption at the meeting. In the resolution she said that perfect attendance by employees of the School System shows a high degree of commitment to maximizing instructional time and limiting disruptions to learning. “Perfect attendance by employees also serves as an example for students that can encourage improved student attendance and positive work habits that will serve students well through life,” she commented.

Each year in September the School Board acknowledges the commitment of all employees within the School System who have perfect attendance records and commends them for their outstanding diligence and dedication.

Those employees recognized for their perfect attendance this year were Deborah Morvant, Robert Fagan, Courtney C. Melancon, Glen Sanders, Thelma Ducre, Laura Tomes, Sharon Yoli, Nancy Blake, Kecia Hurd, Shantel Richardson, Vanessa Stevens, Patricia Rice, Richard V. Lynch, Donald Mathies, John Flowers, Alicia Fussell, Tyrone Callahan, Tammy Brewer, Priscilla Cyprian, Myra Rainey, Deidre Woodson, Paula Guzman, Richard Anderson, Amy Gates, Sharon Posseno, Ann Bankston, Shelly Boyles, Kerri Reynolds, Louise Zollinger, Sharlene Algaier, Steven Kassing, Diane Darce, Eloisa Da Silva, Jerome Cassidey, and Judy Anderson.

Also, Lillie Burton, Marvin Perry, Mary White, Stephen Aucoin, Michael Gowland, Cindy Tillman, David Sykes, Jessica Chandler, Katherine Lemons, Denise Lartigue, Carolyn Joseph, Frances Post, Sherrel Alack, James Fife, Michael Woods, David Bernard, Karen Mathews, Cliff Delouche, Martha Junot, Christopher Nelson, Clifford Hinkle, Maria Franks, Susan Taylor, Allyson Bobal, Joycelyn Henderson, Harry Maillet, Andree Lachney, Kelly Grunditz, Karen Flowers, Adam Jenkins, Linda Gonzales, Larry Jimenez, Daniel Williams, Jack Homrich, Joseph Lemoine, Lawrence McNeill, Landon Washington, Jeffrey Davis, Gerald Hebert, Larry Hollie, Ernest Torregano, and David McGregor.

Also, Timothy Badon, John Cannon, Jeannie Simmons, Melissa Erwin, Debra Annessa, Wendy Patrick-Domangue, Denise Breazeale, Mary Foss, Merix Batiste, Valerie Sorina, Susan Sproull, Stephanie Guillot, Susan Verdun, Theresa Pereira, Shirley Gray, Lewis Melton, Elijah Carter, Agatha Ambo, Pauline Motichek-Smith, Phyllis Malinosky, Charles Blanchard, Wayne Williams, Robert Jacquet, Lee McMooain, Floyd Blanchard, Katherine Ducree, Wayne Riviere, Delores Johnson, Annie Clark, Roy Hingle, Lucious Williams, Christian Stucke, Beverly Heisser, Sandra Aleman, Gregory Barfield, Billie Pendergrast, Evelyn Culotta, William Holliday, Danny Collins, Delores Landor, Walter Horrell, Dwana Drinkard, Timothy Polk, Melissa Morgan, Robert Larsen, Edison Doucet, John Dazzo, Deborah Loyd, Douglas Collins, Jackie Kelley, Haughty Hickman, Cassandra Hemphill, Gerald Hanson, Lloyd Latham, Paula Senette, Amanda Ducre, and Peggy Hingle.

Also, Charles Bennett, Hattie Brink, Doyle Jones, Nancy Guillot, Cleveland Pellegrin, James Gray, Ruby Pepper, Roger Ferrier, Lester Graham, Alan Hingle, Herbert Joiner, Earnest Jones, Stanton Bruhl, Anthony McGee, Michael Droddy, Barbara Carr, Rodney Brady, Teresa Skaggs, Patricia Pustanio, Timothy Ball, Stephen Fitzmorris, Phillip Taylor, and Diana Andre.

 



09/05/2011

College and Career Fair To Be At SLU Sept. 13
The Northshore College & Career Fair will take place on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at a new location, the Pennington Center, located at 1350 N. General Pershing Street in Hammond on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University.

For many years the popular event was held at Pelican Park in Mandeville and coordinated by the College Counseling Services of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. The event is now being held in conjunction with St. Tammany Public Schools, Tangipahoa Schools and Southeastern Louisiana University.

All high school students seeking information on college opportunities, financial aid, or career alternatives are invited to attend.

Parking will be available in several lots, and security will be present to assist with traffic control and directions. Additionally, attendees may park at the arena and walk under W. University Avenue thru SLU’s tunnel and arrive at the door of the Pennington Center.

Students may again pre-register their information at www.lacollegefairs.com to save time when they are visiting with Louisiana colleges and universities. Registration will go faster by printing and bringing the bar code from the website for scanning at the fair.




08/31/2011

St. Tammany Public Schools Get Top ACT Score in State
St. Tammany Parish public school students in the Class of 2011 received an average composite score of 21.8 on the ACT, putting the parish at the top of Louisiana results. St. Tammany’s scores for the test were above both the state and national averages.

“Our students excel in many areas, but having the top state ranking in ACT scores helps get their college careers off to a good start and has special meaning for their parents,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “We acknowledge the outstanding efforts of the students, teachers, and administrators in keeping up our momentum in this area, and we hope to see even greater results in the future.”

“We’re proud to be in the No. 1 position in the state,” Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie said. “While our score of 21.8 is the same as last year, we did see gains overall. Our English scores went up from 22 to 22.2 and our math scores went from 20.8 to 20.9.”

From 2007 through 2010, St. Tammany Parish Public School System students have shown a gradual increase in the District composite ACT score. In 2011, St. Tammany’s District ACT score was matched by Central Community Schools in Baton Rouge.

For twenty of the past 21 years, St. Tammany’s public schools have been at the top of the state’s composite ACT scores. In the 2011 results, the state composite score was 20.1 and the national composite score was 21.0, compared to St. Tammany’s 21.8. While District scores include only public school students, state and national scores include public and non-public school students taking the ACT.

 



08/30/2011

Schools Close For Labor Day Holiday September 5
In observance of Labor Day, public schools in St. Tammany Parish are closed on Monday, September 5. Support offices are also closed for the holiday.

Classes will resume and support offices will reopen Tuesday, September 6.

 



08/25/2011

Lancaster Elementary Celebrates With Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
More than 100 people turned out for the official ribbon cutting ceremony for Lancaster Elementary School west of Madisonville Thursday morning, many of them descendants of Joseph B. Lancaster, the school’s namesake and first Superintendent of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, welcomed those present and introduced the many visitors and guests, including several School Board members. Judge Peter Garcia, the grandson of Joseph B. Lancaster, spoke about the family’s roots in the Madisonville area and the many contributions his grandfather made throughout his career.

Principal Susannah Welch and her staff were congratulated for launching the new facility, and she said, “Our teachers, office staff and custodians worked all summer to prepare for the opening day, and I am very proud of our accomplishments. On the first day, the students bounced in those doors with big shining faces grinning like it was their birthday. It was a magical day, and I certainly will never forget it.”

The new two-story school is located three miles west of Madisonville just north of Hwy. 22 and has close to 600 students enrolled.

Second grader Marc Bonnett led the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the event, and several students recited their ideas of why Lancaster Elementary was important to the community. A brief biography of Lancaster was read by one of the students.

Superintendent Folse said it was Lancaster’s vision that set in motion many of the things that are being done by the School System today. “Many of his ideas about education are still true today,” Folse stated. “It is only fitting that we honor him with this beautiful high-tech school.”

He presented the family with one of the shovels used in the groundbreaking on October 16, 2009. Many of the Lancaster family members had been present for the groundbreaking ceremonies.

Judge Garcia listed many of Superintendent Lancaster’s priorities upon taking office, among them making education more available and extending the school year from three to six months. The planning of new school buildings was a top priority, as well as the hiring of more teachers and finding suitable housing for them. “Our duty is to put the public schools upon a good and thorough foundation and maintain them there,” Garcia quoted his grandfather.

Among the School Board members present for Thursday’s event were President Stephen J. “Jack” Loup, III; Roanne Tipton; and Peggy Seeley, as well as St. Tammany Federation of Teachers President Elsie Burkhalter. Also attending were Assistant Superintendents William "Bill" Brady (Administration), Pete Jabbia (Human Resources), and Cheryl Arabie (Curriculum and Instruction).

Folse thanked many of the people for their work on the building, including the contracting firm Donahue Favret Contractors and the architects Gasaway-Gasaway-Bankston. Lead Supervisor of Construction for the School Board Cameron Tipton and her staff were also recognized.


 


08/23/2011

Abney Early Childhood Center Holds Ribbon Cutting
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday, August 23, for the new Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten school just east of Abney Elementary School in Slidell. A number of area dignitaries turned out for the special occasion, several of them former students of Abney Elementary.

The new school, named Abney Early Childhood Center, opened its doors last week, with more than 200 children enjoying the new campus and its several cottage classrooms inter-connected with elevated and covered walkways.

Among those cutting the ribbon were St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis; Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III; School Board members Stephen “Jack” Loup, III; John Lamarque; Ray Alfred; Robert “Bob” Womack; Robin Mullett, and Peggy Seeley; Slidell Mayor Freddy Drennan; Police Chief Randy Smith; City Councilmen Bill Borchert and Lionel Hicks; and St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School Employees President Elsie Burkhalter. A special guest was Slidell City Councilman Sam Abney, a retired educator and grandson of the school’s namesake Walter L. Abney.

Principal Nina Tyner welcomed those attending the event, recognizing School Board members and supervisory staff in the room. She said the children really like the new facility. The teachers were also excited about the new school, and many worked over the summer to get ready for its opening last week, she said. “Our motto is that Spartan Sprouts grow and learn through play each and every day,” she concluded. “Even while we are playing, we are learning.”

Several students led in the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the “Spartan Sprout” Pledge and Song. Mayor Freddy Drennan presented Principal Tyner with a framed City of Slidell certificate congratulating the School System for the establishment of the new educational facility.

Abney Elementary survived Hurricane Katrina almost six years ago, said Superintendent Folse, noting that many members of the community pitched in to help clean up the campus and get it ready for re-opening as soon as possible. “It is the commitment of the people on south side of Slidell that brought this school back,” he said. “That is a testament to the commitment of the parents of this community.”

Kevin Davis, Parish President, an alumnus of Abney Elementary, recalled his days at the school, which was before they even had kindergarten. “The School System and its employees have made my job really tough, but in a good way,” he told the group. The excellent schools have attracted many new families to St. Tammany Parish, he said, and “we have grown as a parish especially in the years following Katrina. I am proud to live here, and we thank you for doing what you do for the children, the future of our parish. ”

Michael Savoie Hunley and Rebecca M. Broome with the architectural firm of Moates Savoie Hunley Architects of Covington, designers of the new campus, were also on hand for the occasion.

 



08/22/2011

Lakeshore Student Receives September HERO Award
A senior at Lakeshore High School is the September recipient of the HERO Award given by Sophisticated Woman magazine and Charter Business.

Kaylyn Martin, known for her boundless energy both on campus and at community services in the area, was chosen as the HERO to be featured in the magazine next month. HERO stands for “Helping Eagerly and Reaching Out.”
On hand to present the award were Shelly King with Charter Business and Sarah Cottrell, Associate Publisher with G&A Publishing, publisher of Sophisticated Woman magazine.

She was nominated for the honor by her guidance counselors Michelle Canas and Stephen Watsey, who said she had been instrumental at Lakeshore in generating the enthusiasm necessary not only to chart a new course of a new school, but also to begin and continue traditions so important to the rest of the student body for years to come.

“She is a good, well-rounded student involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities,” Ms. Canas stated. Kaylyn’s personality makes her a good role model for other students to look up to, she said.

She has taken a variety of challenging honors-level and advanced placement classes, maintaining a consistent “A” grade point average. She plans to attend Northwestern University and study pre-med. Last year she volunteered at Lakeview Hospital, and this year will be serving as an intern at St. Tammany Parish Hospital. “We will be rotating through a series of departments at the hospital, so I will be doing a little bit of everything,” she said. The experiences will help her fine-tune her career plans.

Winning the HERO award was a surprise, she said, but it’s a nice reflection on her many volunteer hours of community service.

Miss Martin was a sophomore when Lakeshore High opened its doors two years ago, and now she is a member of the first senior class to graduate from the new campus off of La. 1088. Being in the first graduating senior class will be quite an experience, but just being a senior keeps one busy with the senior trip, the senior project, and a multitude of special events throughout the year. She thinks her senior project will deal something with studying the imbalances that can result in society between the working middle class and those individuals who are made into “celebrities.”

Among her high school activities, she was an officer with the Lakeshore Dance Team, an active member of the Key Club, and helped plan the homecoming and prom. In her spare time, she has volunteered to help spruce up the Lacombe Head Start center, painting classrooms and distributing toys, and she also helped with a major clean-up effort at Fontainbleau State Park.

Sophisticated Woman magazine teamed up with Charter Business to launch the HERO award program earlier this year in an effort to honor high school students in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes who exemplify academic excellence, community involvement, leadership among peers, humanitarianism, sportsmanship, and the ability to overcome extraordinary circumstances.

Each month a selection committee reviews nominations and chooses a recipient. More information about the award can be found at SophisticatedWoman.com.


08/17/2011

Grants Awarded To St. Tammany Teachers For Technology Equipment
Grants worth an average of $3259 each were recently presented to twelve St. Tammany Parish Public School System teachers by the Kelly Gene Cook Foundation/ Deborah Rochelle Teacher Grant Program, marking the tenth year for School System participation in the program. A total of $39,108 in grants were awarded in a ceremony in the atrium of the C. J. Schoen Administrative Complex.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, greeted the group assembled for the grant awards, saying that the School System was proud to be in partnership with the foundation. He congratulated the teachers and principals who had submitted the winning grant applications, which will fund classroom projects ranging from technology enhancement to environmental monitoring equipment.

Grants went to Todd Tyler Jr. of Pearl River High; Richard “Vance” Lynch IV, Mary Martin, and John Thacker, all with Covington High; Keri McAllister, Stephanie Purser, and Suzanne Pichon, all with Bonne Ecole Elementary; Jennie Francart and Judith Anger, both with Clearwood Junior High School; Lauren Huval of Marigny Elementary; Karen Courtwright of Salmen High; and Phyllis Beatty of Folsom Junior High.

Several of the teachers credited the Kelly Cook Foundation grants with enabling them to better engage their students with 21st century technology, especially in vocabulary building, research, and personal involvement projects.

Grants will fund specific projects such as teaching social-media skills on how to respond respectfully to one another, establishing multi-sensory centers to increase literacy skills for autistic children, and providing environmental probes to monitor in-the-field conditions. Other projects deal with promoting critical-thinking skills through cinematography, investigating chemistry, improving algebra skills, and exploring career opportunities using “Fast ForWord” software.

Ms. Rochelle explained that the foundation was created by her uncle in 1986. He died in 1989, and the teacher grants were offered to St. Tammany Parish school teachers beginning in 2001.


Parish Schools Take Top FFA Area, State, and National Wins

08/16/2011
Members of the FFA from across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System were congratulated by the School Board Thursday night for their many top honors in a variety of area, state, and national competitions.

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie announced news of the many agricultural accomplishments attained this past year by FFA members from Covington High, Creekside Junior, Fifth Ward Junior High, Folsom Junior High, Fontainebleau High, Fontainebleau Junior High, Lakeshore High, Pearl River High, Monteleone Junior High, Lee Road Junior High and Northshore High.

“Agriculture is much more than just chickens, pigs, and cows,” said Mrs. Arabie. “Through our agriculture programs, students develop leadership and inter-personal skills, teamwork, communication and knowledge of the economics of entrepreneurship.” Other skills include the learning the value of community service, patriotism, and citizenship.

“These students live the FFA motto in their daily lives,” said Mrs. Arabie. “Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, and living to serve.”

A part of the educational system for many decades, FFA has been shown to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. Tommy Peters, Agricultural Education instructor at Fifth Ward Junior High, said it prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices in the global agriculture, food, fiber and natural resources systems.

St. Tammany Parish is part of Area Four in the state FFA, which is comprised of 17 parishes and is home to about 70 chapters, Mrs. Arabie stated. She said there are over 200 chapters statewide.

Peters introduced a large number of FFA members who had been recognized at area, state, and national competitions and conventions. Awards received ranged from landscaping, agriscience fair, and livestock exhibition to environmental science, public speaking, and biological sciences.

He also introduced the parents of FFA members in the audience, saying the parental involvement in FFA is one of the keys to its success.

He noted that at last year’s National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, the Fifth Ward Junior High FFA Chapter had been named a Two-Star National FFA Chapter. He also said that members of the Fontainebleau High chapter members won silver and bronze medals in Ag science fair and Fifth Ward members won a Gold emblem at the National event.

Among those recognized were first place winners at the Southeast District Livestock Show and State Livestock Show, top teams at the Fall and Spring Career Development events. Lee Road, Fifth Ward and Pearl River had first place winners at the State Speaking Career Development event. The Floriculture, Forestry, Livestock, Dairy Cattle, Poultry, and Parliamentary Procedure Teams from Fifth Ward Junior High, won Top Middle School titles at Area and State competitions, as did the Nursery Landscape Team from Creekside Junior High FFA.

St. Tammany Parish FFA members were also congratulated for earning industry-based certifications in a number of career areas, among them welding, canine care, meat processing, and horticulture. Many of those students took part in the dual enrollment opportunities offered in partnership with area colleges and universities.

Peters announced that at the upcoming national convention in October Pearl River FFA Member Maria Milczarek will receive the American FFA Degree. William Mayfield from Pearl River will compete in the National Public Speaking CDE and Fifth Ward members Abigail Jenkins, Brandi Mowen, Delani Hopper, and Joy Nettles will compete in the National Ag Science Fair.

For more information about the organization, visit http://www.ffa.org, laffa.org or contact the Agricultural Education department at a local school. St. Tammany also has a parish wide FFA Alumni Organization to help support members and chapters.



Teachers Learn about Learning at Summer Institute

08/10/2011
Close to 2000 teachers recently attended Summer Institute 2011, a two-day professional development program presented by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System at the Treen Technology Center in Mandeville and numerous other sites around the parish. This year’s theme was “Creating a New Image of Learning.”

The Summer Institute is an annual program that emphasizes interactive learning experiences, innovative teaching strategies, hands-on technology, and best teacher practices. Attending the seminars enables teachers to acquire Professional Development Banking Hours as well as Continuing Learning Units (CLUs) for re-licensure.

Summer Institute seminars were held at Bonne Ecole Elementary, Fontainebleau High, Fontainebleau Junior High, Brooks Curriculum Center, Jefferson East, and the Covington Education Center. Seminars were presented on curriculum, instructional technology, classroom management, and instructional practices. Instructors for Summer Institute included master teachers, curriculum specialists, special education coordinators and facilitators, and company representatives.


 

 


Students Return to Classes for 2011-2012 School Year

(08-08-2011)
More than 37,000 children from throughout St. Tammany Parish returned to classes Monday as the 2011-2012 School Year got underway.

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools opened three new schools this year, Lancaster Elementary west of Madisonville, Abney Early Childhood Center adjacent to Abney Elementary School in Slidell, and Mayfield Elementary School, with students temporarily housed in Carolyn Park Middle School and Bayou Woods Elementary School until its own facilities are finished just east of Lacombe off U.S. 190.

Opening day went smoothly as students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade came back to campuses. “We always look forward to the first day of school,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “And our teachers and administrators have worked hard during the summer, especially over the past two weeks, to help students settle in and get back to work.”

A number of professional development workshops and seminars are attended by teachers over the summer to keep them knowledgeable of the latest educational programs.

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System offers an emergency notification system to send instant alerts to parents and employees using a number of communication methods. The system will be used in the event of emergencies. Click here to sign up for instant alerts.

The Payschools online fee payment service was activated on August 8. All schools are 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.


Classes To Begin August 8 for 2011-2012 School Year

(08-03-2011)
St. Tammany Parish Public School students will return to classes on Monday, August 8, for the 2011-2012 School Year.

For registration information, visit this webpage.

To view maps showing the attendance district boundaries for each school, visit the maps 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 2011-2012 School Year is available here.

For information regarding school bus transportation, parents may visit the transportation department webpage and the Bus Route Database where they can enter a street address to determine nearby bus stops and bus driver route assignments.

The Payschools online fee payment service will be activated on August 8. All schools are 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.


Bill Gates Scholarship Recipient Congratulated

(08-02-2011)
Paige Pichon, a 2011 graduate of Fontainebleau High School, was awarded a Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship this year, chosen from among 24,000 applicants nationwide. A total of 1,000 Bill Gates Millennium Scholarships were given for 2011, and twelve of those were from Louisiana.

“This scholarship provides a four-year full scholarship to any school in the nation,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and graduate work is also funded. Recipients can receive up to $250,000 in scholarship money over ten years during the course of the program.

Ms. Pichon, a resident of the Lacombe area, was commended for her volunteer work with the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, local nursing homes, and the Northlake Nature Center, where she participated in making 100 lb. tree identification marker stones. She also bakes treats for the nursing home residents and plays bingo with them, Folse stated. She has even helped teachers at Fontainebleau High help set up their classrooms before school started last year.

“A wonderful role model, she embodies all that community service is all about,” said Folse. “St. Tammany is thrilled to have a winner receive one of these scholarships.”

Her coordinators at 21st Century Community Learning Center said she is a true asset to the Junior Corps program.

“All her hard work has certainly paid off for Paige, and we are excited about her future and all the good things that are going to happen for her,” Superintendent Folse told the School Board at its May meeting.

The Gates Millennium Scholarship selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. The program provides the Scholars with personal and professional development through various leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.


New Principal, Two Assistant Principals Appointed

(08-02-2011)
A new principal for Woodlake Elementary School in Mandeville was appointed by the School Board Tuesday night. Lelia Parker will replace Dr. Jean Krieger who retired this summer.

Ms. Parker served as Assistant Principal at Folsom Elementary School for the past three years and earlier taught at Lyon Elementary School and Sixth Ward Junior High. She has 32 years of experience as an educator. Following her recommendation by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and appointment by the Board, she thanked them for the opportunity to serve the Woodlake Elementary community of educators and parents.

Also, two new assistant principals were appointed for Mandeville area schools: Gary Malbrough for Magnolia Trace Elementary and Henry Thomas Heier at Tchefuncte Middle School.

Marlbrough has been a second and third grade teacher at Magnolia Trace Elementary since 1999 and has also taught third grade at Woodlake Elementary. He told the Board he was looking forward to continuing to serve the students at Magnolia Trace Elementary.

For the past six years Heier has served as an Adapted Physical Education Teacher with the School System, and he has extensive experience in inclusion practices particularly in recreational programs. He thanked the Board for his selection and told of his vision of positive educational impact for each child each day. He is excited about working with and growing with the Tchefuncte Middle School family of educators.


Two Parish Educators Win State Principal of the Year Titles

(07-23-2011)
The Louisiana State Department of Education has named Anna Bowie of Lee Road Junior High School and William Percy of Slidell High School as the “Louisiana State Principals of the Year” in their respective grade-level categories. Ms. Bowie won in the Middle School/Junior High category, and Mr. Percy won in the high school category.

More than 300 educators were honored Friday night during the Fifth Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration in Baton Rouge. Several regional finalists representing St. Tammany Parish Public Schools were in attendance.

After the announcement of the winners, Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, said, "We are all extremely proud to have two of our outstanding principals win Louisiana Principal of the Year titles, and we congratulate Ms. Bowie and Mr. Percy for their efforts and accomplishments being recognized by the top educators in the state. Our principals winning regional and state honors such as these help ensure that we are providing the best leadership and educational opportunities for the children of St. Tammany Parish.”

Principal Bowie stated that it was a huge honor to be selected. "Lee Road's successes are due to a wonderful team of teachers, parents, administrators, community members, and the world's best kids all working together. Our superintendent and school board are always appreciative and encouraging, but receiving this honor in Baton Rouge allowed me to 'spread the good news' about Lee Road School and St. Tammany Parish to representatives from all over the state of Louisiana," she said.

Mr. Percy said, "There are so many excellent principals across this state, I am highly honored to represent them! No principal can be successful without the help of many people. This honor represents the hard work of Slidell High School's faculty and staff, the tremendous support provided by Mr. Folse and our central office staff, and the help of friends and family. I am honored to have been selected Principal of the Year and grateful to be working in the St. Tammany Parish School System."

Ms. Bowie joined the School System in 2004 and has written articles for New Orleans and You, Kid magazine and a video script "Fire: No Match For Kids." She has earned a variety of educational grants. Lee Road Junior High is a Kindergarten through eighth grade school north of Covington.

Mr. Percy began teaching and coaching at Slidell High School in 1975 and was named principal in 2003. From 1982 to 2001 he was principal of Northshore High. He was chosen St. Tammany Parish Public School System Principal of the Year in 1987 and 1993; Region V Principal of the Year in 1993; and a finalist in 1993, as well as a parish and Regional Principal Of The Year in 2006. He served on the State Commission on Secondary and Middle Schools from 1993 to 1998 and has also served on and chaired numerous Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Review Committees.

Among those attending the event were Regional Finalists for the Teacher of the Year program Richard "Vance" Lynch of Covington High School and Darla DuBois Foley of Tchefuncte Middle School. Mr. Lynch, a member of the Covington High faculty for the past eight years, teaches computer science, including CISCO CCNA, CISCO IT, Web Page Design and Multimedia Productions. Ms. Foley teaches sixth grade.

Principal of the Year Regional Finalist Dr. April Owens of Bonne Ecole Elementary in Slidell was also present for the occasion. She has been an educator since 1993, joining the St. Tammany School System in 2001. Dr. Owens was selected district teacher of the year in the 2002-2003 school year and was named principal at Bonne Ecole in 2007.

"These awards highlight the best of the best here in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System,” said Superintendent Folse.

Dream Teachers, a non-profit organization founded in 2007 for the purpose of recognizing Louisiana's finest educators and educational leaders and to encourage educational excellence, served as presenting sponsor of the event.


Bus Transportation Hot Line To Begin August 1

(07-21-2011)
To help parents get information about school bus routes for the 2011-2012 school year, a “Transportation Hot Line” will again be offered by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System before the start of school.

The Hot Line will be open Monday, August 1, through Friday, August 5, from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 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.


School System Wins Awards At New Orleans Press Club

(07-18-2011)
For the fourth year in a row, the St. Tammany Parish Public School System has won recognition from the New Orleans Area Press Club for outstanding media projects during the past 12 months. Both Channel 13, the School’s System educational television channel, and the Department of Communications won honors at the 53rd annual Press Club Awards Banquet on July 16 in downtown New Orleans.

Angela Daviston, a Communications Specialist with the School System’s Department of Communications, won a first place award for her photographs of the newly constructed Salmen High School in Slidell which were used in conjunction with printed materials for the school’s ribbon cutting ceremony. The judge for the award said Miss Daviston’s photographs exhibited nice angles and a good use of layout.

In the category of Television Infographics, Trevor Cassidy with Channel 13 won a first place award for his “Finish Strong” entry, produced for the annual Teen Focus on Safe Driving program. The judge commented that Cassidy’s work presented an incredibly visual story bringing the stories of three local student athletes to life. “Beautiful animations and photography and editing make this a stand out winner,” the judge said.

Cassidy also won a second place award in the category for his graphics on the video produced for the renaming of the Instructional Technology Center in honor of the late Governor David Treen.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, said, “We appreciate the New Orleans Press Club’s continued recognition of our media efforts. Through both print media and video, Miss Daviston and Mr. Cassidy are helping us to spread the good news about our excellent people and programs, and having the New Orleans Press Club honor our media productions in this way helps us know we are meeting the challenge of communicating our mission in the most effective and professional manner.”

Director of Communications Meredith Mendez said this was the second year the department had earned regional recognition through Miss Daviston’s talented efforts. “We are honored by this award from the Press Club. Miss Daviston has exceptional talent and dedication to the School System. The Salmen High School publication was very dear to our hearts because of the story of the school following its destruction by Hurricane Katrina. Miss Daviston’s photographs truly highlight the new Salmen High and the effort that went into rebuilding the school,” said Ms. Mendez.

Director of Broadcasting Melody Swang expressed appreciation for Cassidy’s excellent efforts as well. “Trevor is extremely talented and we are very proud of his work with Channel 13. He interned with us while in high school so this acknowledgement is very special to us all.”

At last year’s Press Club event, Daviston won first place in the brochure design competition for the STAR Employee-Business Program brochure; Channel 13’s Kevin Mumphrey won first place in the Documentary category for his video on Preservation Plaza, and Trevor Cassidy earned a first place award for his graphics on the Preservation Plaza video.


New Teachers Given School System Overview

(07-17-2011)
More than 150 newly-hired teachers attended the 2011-2012 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 those instructors new to the School System.

A final session for Special Education Teachers will be held on August 1st to spotlight special education issues. That day is for teachers of students with disabilities, gifted students and talented students.

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 individuals ranging from educators with years of experience to others just starting out in their careers. The average years of experience among those in the group was 5.2 years.

The event overview was presented by Dr. Holly Broom, Professional Development Coordinator, and Mrs. Kerri Soo. Attendees were welcomed by Pete Jabbia, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, and Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse III, along with several School Board members.

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

On the second day of the event, workshops in curriculum, strategies, and resources were given at a number of school sites and curriculum centers. Attendees fanned out across the parish for instruction pertinent to particular grade levels. Special needs student programs were addressed on Wednesday, with workshops targeted to those teachers dealing with gifted students, disabled students, RNC students, and talented arts students.

The fourth day of the program showcased districtwide subjects such as energy management, arranging for substitutes, the District Discipline Handbook, and various classroom routines and procedures.

During the program, teachers were introduced to the various digital teaching venues offered by the School System. The highly-effective Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program was also explained in detail for the newly-hired educators.


Chris Duhon Scholarship Recipients Recognized

(07-15-2011)
The five St. Tammany public high school students who have received scholarships from the Chris Duhon Stand Tall Foundation this year were recognized before the St. Tammany Parish School Board Thursday night, with Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, commending them on their accomplishment.

Folse said that Salmen High graduate and pro basketball star Chris Duhon has contributed much to his school and community over the years, explaining that the scholarship program, now in its second year, provides $5000 to students who enroll full-time in the four-year college or university. The students are chosen for their outstanding commitment to community service and for having maintained a 3.0 or higher grade point average.

The five scholarship recipients are Alan Joseph Cox of Salmen High, who plans to study nursing at LSU; Carley Marie Furlan of Fontainebleau High, who is already attending SLU studying Nursing and Pre/Med; Michelle Yvonne McElroy of Northshore High, who will study Kinesiology at LSU; Salmen High graduate Joseph Charles Alexander Renard, who will attend LSU to study architecture; and Bethanie Paige Tinker of Mandeville High School, who plans to attend Philadelphia University to study fashion design.

“These five students are quite an impressive group, and we want to thank Chris Duhon for his efforts,” said Superintendent Folse.

The Board passed a resolution recognizing Duhon for his belief that a well-educated child is presented with unlimited possibilities and that everyday is an opportunity to contribute to the quality of a child’s life through recreation, education and community service.

“The generosity of Mr. Duhon and the Stand Tall Foundation serves as an inspiration to students everywhere that the importance of education and hard work can lead to a successful and rewarding future,” the resolution stated.

After graduating from Salmen High, Duhon attended Duke University where he earned top baskeball honors, went on to play for the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks, and now plays for the Orlando Magic. 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 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.

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


Fall Registration Begins July 27 For New Students

(07-14-2011)
Registration for all students entering the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools for the first time during the 2011-2012 session will be held on the dates listed below at the school the student will attend.

Students changing schools within St. Tammany Parish, 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 must complete and Assignment/Transfer Request Form at one of the Child Welfare and Attendance Offices in Covington or Slidell. They must also obtain an Assignment/Transfer Request Form from one of those offices before registering at the school they will attend. This does not apply to students already in the Public School System going to a different school because of advancement to the next highest grade level.

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, 2005, will be eligible for first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2006, 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 27, 2011: Abita Springs Middle, Alton Elementary, Bayou Lacombe Middle, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Covington High School, Cypress Cove Elementary, Florida Avenue Elementary, Folsom Junior High, Fontainebleau Junior High, Lake Harbor Middle , Lee Road Junior High, Little Oak Middle, Little Pearl Elementary, Magnolia Trace Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Mandeville High, Northshore High (1st Registration), Pitcher Junior High, Pontchartrain Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Salmen High - A-L (1st Registration), Slidell High, Tchefuncte Middle, Woodlake Elementary, and Whispering Forest Elementary.

Thursday, July 28, 2011: Abney Elementary, Boyet Junior High, Carolyn Park Middle, Covington Elementary, Creekside Junior High, Fifth Ward Junior High, Folsom Elementary, Honey Island Elementary, Lakeshore High, Lyon Elementary, Madisonville Elementary, Madisonville Junior High, Mandeville Junior High, Mandeville Middle, Marigny Elementary, Monteleone Junior High, Northshore High (2nd Registration), Pearl River High, Salmen High M-L (2nd Registration), St. Tammany Junior High, Sixth Ward Elementary, and Slidell Junior High.

Friday, July 29, 2011: Abita Springs Elementary, Bayou Woods Elementary, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Brock Elementary, Clearwood Junior High, Fontainebleau High, Lancaster Elementary, Mayfield Elementary, and Pine View Middle. Registration for Mayfield Elementary will be held at Bayou Woods Elementary School.

REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION

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

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

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.

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, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades.

7. MCV4 (Meningococcal Conjugate) – Required for all students eleven (11) years old. 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 available, established using at least three of the documents listed below. All documents must be the most current available. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required.

Documentation may consist of a current utility bill (butane, electric, gas, water, cable or satellite communication bill), 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.

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 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.

All Public Schools in St. Tammany Parish will open on August 8, 2011.

PRE-KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Pre-Kindergarten classes are being offered at 22 school sites during the 2011-12 school year for four (4) year old children who meet program criteria. Registration for all classes will be held at the school located in the district where the child resides. The schools and registration dates are as follows:

PRE-K REGISTRATION DATES

Wednesday, July 27, 2011: Abita Springs Elementary, Abney Elementary, Alton Elementary, Bayou Woods Elementary, Covington Elementary, Folsom Elementary, Lyon Elementary, and Mayfield Elementary (Registration for Mayfield Elementary will be held at Bayou Woods Elementary)..

Thursday, July 28, 2011: Florida Avenue Elementary, Lee Road Junior High, Little Pearl Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, and Woodlake Elementary.

Friday, July 29, 2011: Bonne Ecole Elementary, Brock Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Cypress Cove Elementary, Fifth Ward Junior High, Madisonville Elementary, Marigny Elementary, Pontchartrain Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, and Whispering Forest Elementary.

To qualify for any regular education Pre-Kindergarten class, a child must meet the following criteria:

(1) Has reached four (4) years of age (48 months) before October 1, 2011;

(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 the following documents: Food Stamp eligibility letter, TANF eligibility, McKinney Vento eligibility, most current W-2 form or two (2) 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 (985) 863-1434. Families who do not meet grant eligibility requirements may be charged tuition to attend a Pre-Kindergarten class.


Magazine Announces Hero Award Recipient

(07-05-2011)
Evan Rodick, a 2011 graduate from Covington High School, was recently selected by Sophisticated Woman magazine and Charter Business to be a recipient of the monthly “HERO Award,” an honor given high school students who have shown integrity and excellent character.

A presentation was held May 18 at the school where magazine officials met with him and his father Eric Rodick, Principal Deborah McCollum and Counselor George Moore to congratulate him for his many accomplishments and winning the award. An article about him will appear in the July issue of the magazine.

He will be attending Montana State University this fall and majoring in mechanical engineering. “I really love math and I really love art, and mechanical engineering kind of combines those two elements,” he said.

A recent visit to Glenwood Farms, a non-profit organization that helps small farmers, impressed upon him the need for more energy-efficient farm equipment, so that will be something he will be working towards as he develops his mechanical engineering skills. “More efficient agriculture equipment will enable small farms to better compete with larger commercial operations which are trying to take over the market,” he explained. “Farming equipment is vital to everyone and most equipment could be improved.”

The world-wide energy crisis is something he is definitely interested in, and he remains aware of the various alternative energy methods being pursued, from solar to wind to hydrogen fuel cells.

This summer his senior art show is on display at Sorelli’s Brick Oven on Columbia St. in Covington, and he will also be working as a lifeguard. He sells his artwork on a consignment basis as one of the ways to earn money prior to heading to Montana to college.

He was nominated for the HERO award by his father, who praised Evan for a lifelong ability to “help others,” starting in the first grade when his teachers would comment on his willingness to be helpful to his classmates. During high school he began tutoring many students in various subjects.

“Students struggling with ACT knew they could count on Evan,” said his father. Evan earned a score of 35 out of 36 on his own ACT.

He has worked with Habitat For Humanity many hours and also has worked at the Covington Food Bank giving out bags of food to the needy. He spends many volunteer hours at the fire station working on projects or washing fire trucks.

Evan was commended for his artistic ability as well, and he has helped others learn how to paint and play the piano.

The award was presented to Rodick by Sarah Cottrell, Associate Publisher with G&A Publishing and Shelly King, a Charter Business account executive. The HERO award stands for “Helpfully and Eagerly Reaching Out.”

Sophisticated Woman magazine teamed up with Charter Business to launch the HERO award program in an effort to honor high school students in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes who exemplify academic excellence, community involvement, leadership among peers, humanitarianism, sportsmanship, and the ability to overcome extraordinary circumstances.

Each month a selection committee reviews nominations and chooses a recipient. More information about the award can be found at SophisticatedWoman.com.


Covington High Teacher To Attend National STEM Institute

(06-23-2011)
Dr. Patricia Edmiston, a teacher at Covington High School, has been selected as a Siemens STEM Institute Fellow for 2011. Chosen from among 4,000 educators nationwide, she is among the 69 participants who will attend the Institute in late July. Their names were listed in a full-page advertisement in the USA Today newspaper on May 11.

The Siemens STEM Institute is a professional development program held at Discovery Education’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. It is described as an “action-packed” immersion program that promotes hands-on, real-world integration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the classroom.

The Siemens STEM Academy is focused on providing participating educators with new tools, skills and strategies for improving student achievement in the STEM disciplines. The Institute features meetings with government officials, leading scientists, and well-known educational researchers in the STEM fields. In addition, Dr. Edmiston will take part in discussions and workshops on topics such as using technology and social media in the classroom to improve student academic performance.

Dr. Edmiston teaches AP Calculus and Algebra 2 Honors at Covington High School. She has taught ACT Preparation Courses for three years and has over 20 years teaching experience in secondary mathematics and science, as well as experience teaching at the university level. She has worked extensively with the Louisiana Department of Education as a professional development consultant, as well as a curriculum writer and editor. Dr. Edmiston is the author of “Math Essentials”, a Louisiana Comprehensive Curriculum course and is an alumnus of both the University of New Orleans and Loyola University in New Orleans.

Dr. Edmiston stated she applied for the Institute because it is important to help students understand the importance of higher level mathematics in the real world. "Creating an integrated curriculum that includes other subject areas is important to me, and this professional development opportunity will help me to do this. I am excited to be a part of the Siemens STEM Institute and look forward to learning how to integrate even more engineering, science, and technology into my mathematics curriculum,” she said.

The President of the Siemens Foundation, Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, and the Vice President of Discovery Education, Coni Rechner, commended Dr. Edmiston for her commitment to professional development in STEM as well as for volunteering her time to participate in the institute activities. “Through participation in the Siemens STEM Institute, it is our hope that you will return to your district empowered with new knowledge to share with your colleagues,” Ms. Harper-Taylor and Ms. Rechner stated. They applauded her and the District’s efforts to foster student engagement in STEM and improve student academic achievement in those critical disciplines.

For being selected as one of the Institute Fellows, Dr. Edmiston represents a group of educators going above and beyond to foster the next generation of young leaders, Ms. Harper-Taylor said.

For more information, visit the www.siemensstemacademy.com website.


Board Appoints Administrators, Adopts Revised Budget

(06-22-2011)
Meeting in special session June 21, the St. Tammany Parish School Board appointed a new principal for Mandeville Elementary, named several new assistant principals, and adopted the final revised budget for Fiscal Year 2010-2011.

Chantelle O’Meallie will serve as principal at Mandeville Elementary beginning next school year. She will take the place of Elizabeth Laine who was appointed by the Board in May as a new Supervisor of Instruction. Ms. O’Meallie is currently Assistant Principal at Carolyn Park Middle School and has served as a Parishwide Assistant Principal, as well as a teacher at Woodlake Elementary.

The four new Assistant Principals assigned to specific schools were Patricia Nelson, who will serve at Madisonville Junior High; Travis Miller, who will serve at Pine View Middle School; Ann Cook, who will serve at Florida Avenue Elementary School; and Beth Bowles, who is assigned to Covington Elementary School.

Appointed as parishwide assistant principals are Christian Monson, Sheri Jones, Amy Haley, and Melissa Easson. They join the pool of Parishwide Assistant Principals who serve where needed during the upcoming school year. The parishwide assistant principal program was established several years ago to give potential administrators a firm footing and knowledge of the responsibilities in becoming a principal.

The Board adopted the final revised budget for the 2010-2011 Fiscal Year and also passed a resolution supporting a nationally-organized petition to Congress to provide “Regulatory Relief for America’s Schools,” particularly certain provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.

A number of school boards throughout the nation have adopted similar resolutions.


Abney Elementary Receives TAP Achievement Award

(06-21-2011)
Teachers and administrators from Abney Elementary School in Slidell attended the TAP Summer Institute in Baton Rouge recently and during the main assembly were presented the Louisiana 2011 TAP Year One Achievement Award.

“This is a great accomplishment for our school and for my staff,” said Principal Mike Alford. Abney Elementary is one of the largest elementary schools in the state in the TAP program. More than 100 schools from across the state attended the conference.

TAP is a national teacher development program defined as “The System for Teacher and Student Achievement”, giving educators the tools for success. TAP's goal is to draw more talented people to the teaching profession by making it more attractive and rewarding to be a teacher. This is accomplished, in part, by giving teachers opportunities to learn better teaching strategies and holding them accountable for their performance.

Cheryl Arabie, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, said “We congratulate the administrators and staff at Abney Elementary for receiving this special recognition, and we know the students there will be benefitting from the TAP professional development initiatives for years to come.”

The TAP system was created in the late 1990’s by the Milken Family Foundation which brought together the best available research to develop a comprehensive, systemic school reform model to address the challenges facing K-12 education. TAP is now operated by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), with more than 20,000 teachers involved impacting the success of more than 200,000 students.

Earlier this year, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) was presented with the TAP Award of Distinction, which honors an organization for distinguished accomplishments and overall implementation of TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement.


United Way Honors School System Participation

(06-13-2011)
Two representatives of the St. Tammany United Way organization spoke before the St. Tammany Parish School Board June 9 to commend the School System’s outstanding participation in raising funds for United Way community service agencies.

Assistant Superintendent of Administration William “Bill” Brady, and Dr. Jeffery Burgoyne, an Assistant Principal at Slidell High, were especially recognized for their efforts on behalf of the group.

Shirleen Carter, executive director for St. Tammany’s United Way, and Charlotte Champagne, community impact manager, presented the group’s “Platinum Award” to Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and School Board President Stephen “Jack” Loup, III, for the School System’s donation of more than $161,000 to last year’s campaign. Ms. Carter said it is phenomenal what the School Board does in contributing to community service organizations and disaster relief efforts.

Ms. Carter commended Assistant Superintendent of Administration Brady for his many years helping coordinate donations given by School System employees. He received a plaque naming him the “2010 Coordinator of the Year” for the group.

Brady accepted the award on behalf of the 63 school and site United Way coordinators throughout the School System. “I start the program, and the site coordinators continue with the great work,” he stated.

Ms. Champagne thanked Dr. Burgoyne for volunteering with the United Way’s 2010-2011 Community Impact Vision Council in the area of educational impact. He serves on the board that reads grant allocation applications, she said. It was announced that Dr. Burgoyne would receive another Greater New Orleans United Way honor on behalf of the School System, this one for being one of the top 60 groups supporting United Way in the area.

The representatives also presented the School System with an award for its partnership with United Way in conducting the Dolly Parton Imagination Library’s area program. Starting in October of 2009, the agency launched the local book distribution program that provides young children up to five years of age books to read. More than 700 children in the School System are taking part in the program, receiving books in their home once a month free of charge. More than 7,000 books were delivered to the homes of children during the first year of the project’s operation.

The many contributions of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System to the area United Way organization were recognized at the June 9 School Board meeting. Shirleen Carter, executive director for St. Tammany’s United Way (second from left), and Charlotte Champagne, community impact manager, (third from left) presented the group’s “Platinum Award” to Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III (right) and School Board President Stephen “Jack” Loup, III (left). The plaque was for the School System’s donation of more than $161,000 to last year’s campaign. Ms. Carter said it is phenomenal what the School Board does in contributing to community service organizations and disaster relief efforts.

Two representatives of the United Way of the New Orleans area spoke before the St. Tammany Parish School Board June 9 to commend William “Bill” Brady, at left, and Dr. Jeffery Burgoyne, at right, for their efforts on behalf of the fund-raising community service agency. Shirleen Carter, Executive Director of St. Tammany Parish United Way (third from left), commended Assistant Superintendent of Administration Brady for his many years of coordinating fund-raising efforts for School System employees. He received a plaque naming him the “2010 Coordinator of the Year” for the group. Charlotte Champagne, Community Impact Manager for the parish United Way (second from left) thanked Dr. Burgoyne, an assistant principal at Slidell High, for volunteering his time with the United Way’s 2010-2011 Community Impact Vision Council in the area of educational impact. It was also announced that Dr. Burgoyne would receive an additional School System honor at an upcoming Greater New Orleans United Way meeting. The School Board is being recognized for being one of the top 60 groups supporting United Way in the New Orleans area.


Check for Japan Earthquake Relief Presented To Red Cross

(06-10-2011)
A check for $51,640.94 was presented to the American Red Cross by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, at the June 9 School Board meeting, the amount representing donations collected from throughout the School System on “Team Up To Help” Day in March.

Funds were raised to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Lou Kennedy, Senior Director of American Red Cross Chapter Capacity and Northshore Operation, thanked the Board and School System students and employees for the donation. Helping to present the check was Principal Roslyn Hanson of Pitcher Junior High School, along with students from the band and broadcasting class at the school. Pitcher was recognized as the school which raised the highest amount of money per student in the event.

Superintendent Folse said the entire School System focused on coming together as a team in helping with the donations. “Never has our team spirit been more evident than in our efforts to help the earthquake and tsunami victims of Japan,” he explained. For a dollar donation students and staff were allowed to wear a sports jersey or hat to show off their team spirit and help the Japanese people.

“After going through Katrina, we know how instrumental the American Red Cross can be in making sure donations get to the people who need them most,” Folse stated.

Last year, the School System made a donation of $89,372 to the Red Cross to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. “As the recent experience in Japan unfolds, once again we have watched how a nation can be completely affected by multiple disasters,” Folse said. “Team Up To Help Day not only generated support for the Japanese earthquake victims, but it also demonstrated the powerful benefits of people working together as a team.”

A check for $51,640 was presented to the American Red Cross by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, at Thursday night’s School Board meeting, the amount representing a fund drive collection throughout the School System in March. On hand to take part in the occasion were the principal and three students from Pitcher Junior High, the school which raised the most money per student in the “Team Up To Help Day” event. Dollar donations from students, faculty and staff will go to help earthquake victims in Japan. From left to right are Principal Roslyn Hanson; students from the band and broadcasting class at Pitcher Junior High, Daniel Hebert, Taylor Jeansonne, and Kaitlyn McDevittt; and Lou Kennedy, Senior Director of American Red Cross Chapter Capacity and Northshore Operation.


Chamber Names Educator of Distinction, Awards Scholarships

(06-09-2011)
The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce held its annual Educational Awards Luncheon recently, presenting three public school high school graduates each with a $1000 scholarship and naming Ellen Lamarque as the recipient of its “Educator of Distinction” Award for 2011.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, IIIl, spoke to the group about the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, updating chamber members on the accomplishments and wide range of services offered by the schools. He was accompanied to the event by his Assistant Superintendents Cheryl Arabie, Curriculum and Instruction; Pete Jabbia, Human Resources; and William “Bill” Brady, Administration.

Steve Kernahan, chairman of the Education Committee, emceed the event, presenting scholarship checks to Rebekah Grommon and Rebekah Hodges, both graduates of Salmen High School; and Kaitlyn Fickle, a graduate of Pearl River High School. Each recipient was commended for their academic achievements, community service projects, and athletic activities.

Mrs. Lamarque has taught mathematics for more than 30 years, currently at Slidell High, but previously at Delgado Community College, the University of New Orleans, Southeastern Louisiana University, and Salmen High. “Excellence in education begins with teachers,” said Kernahan, who said Mrs. Lamarque exhibited extreme commitment and devotion to her students. “She is a teacher who leads by example and is remarkable for her service to the community.”

She is active in a number of professional organizations, community groups, and educational development programs and was recognized statewide for her efforts with the School To Work program. In 2005, she won the Substitute Teaching Institute National Award.

The chamber’s first annual Educator of Distinction Award was presented last year to a teacher at Salmen High School. In addition to presenting scholarships and recognizing outstanding educators, the Education Committee works to enhance student skills development with Junior Achievement programs and helps students gain career experiences by working for chamber businesses.

The East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce presented three public high school graduates each with a $1000 scholarship during the annual Education Luncheon held recently in Slidell. From left to right are St. Tammany Parish Public School System Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III; Steve Kernahan, chairman of the Education Committee; scholarship recipients Kaitlyn Fickle of Pearl River High School, Rebekah Grommon and Rebekah Hodges, both graduates of Salmen High School; and Dawn Sharpe Brackett, CEO of the Chamber. Each recipient was commended for their academic achievements, community service projects, and athletic activities.

Slidell High School Math Teacher Ellen Lamarque, second from right, was named the 2011 “Educator of Distinction” by the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce at a special education luncheon June 8. St. Tammany Parish Public School System Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, at right, was among the first to congratulate her for the recognition. Also on hand for the event were, from left to right, Assistant Superintendents William “Bill” Brady, Pete Jabbia, and Cheryl Arabie.


Food Service Awards Spotlight School Nutrition Program

(06-06-2011)
The St. Tammany Parish School Nutrition Association (SNA) held its 2011 School Food Service Appreciation Dinner May 20 at Lakeshore High School with approximately 300 in attendance.

The annual event showcases the service and accomplishments of the School System’s Child Nutrition Program and is an opportunity to thank cafeteria employees for the outstanding job they do during the year. Parents, principals and students who contributed to the school food service program are also shown appreciation for their efforts.

The “Heart of the Program – Outstanding Technician” Award went to Nancy Brown of Riverside Elementary, and the “Extra Mile Award – Outstanding Assistant Manager” honor went to Sharlene Fogarty of Abney Elementary.

Chahta-Ima Elementary won first place in the elementary category for National School Lunch Week competition, with Pine View Middle winning first place in the middle school category, second place going to Abita Springs Middle School.

In the Louisiana School Lunch Week competition Brock Elementary won first place in the elementary school division, second place went to Madisonville Elementary, and third place was won by Bayou Woods Elementary. In the middle school division, Pine View Middle School won first place, Abita Springs Middle School won second place, and Carolyn Park Middle School won third place. In the junior high/senior high division, Pearl River High earned first place honors, with Lee Road Junior High winning second, and Northshore High winning third place.

Top honors for Student Nutrition Advisory Councils went to Brock Elementary, Magnolia Trace Elementary, Lake Harbor Middle, Folsom Junior High, and Northshore High.

In the awards given for Outstanding Food Service Programs during the 2010-2011 School Year, Brock Elementary and Magnolia Trace Elementary were recognized in the elementary category, Abita Middle School earned top honors in the middle school category, Fifth Ward Junior High won recognition in the junior high division, and Pearl River High won top honors in the high school division.

Pat Farris, Food Service Supervisor, incorporated the theme of Teamwork into the banquet’s theme, which was “Go Team”. Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, welcomed those in attendance, and Ms. Farris introduced the SNA Executive Board, President Kathie James, President-Elect Bonnie Bailey, Manager Representative Betty Lewis, Assistant Manager Representative Teresa Crawford, Technician Representative Elvia Heintz, Secretary Carolyn Pierre, Treasurer Cherie Sharp and Fundraising Chair Melissa Hoover.

Among those attending were School Board members Mary K. Bellisario, Peggy Seeley, Charles Harrell, and Ron Bettencourtt, Assistant Superintendents William “Bill” Brady and Cheryl Arabie, and Cafeteria managers and Assistant Managers and their lunchroom technicians from throughout the School System. Also in attendance were the Food Service Department staff at the Central Office.

Awards were presented to five Outstanding Food Service Programs for 2010-2011 recognized by the St. Tammany Parish School Nutrition Association (SNA) at its School Food Service Appreciation Dinner May 20. Representatives from those programs were congratulated by Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, (back row, right), and Assistant Superintendent of Administration William “Bill” Brady, (back row, left). On the front row, from left to right, are Darlene Lee from Fifth Ward Junior High, Conny Yevcinez from Abita Middle School, Shannon Landry from Pearl River High, Cindy Emmons from Brock Elementary, and Michelle Penton from Magnolia Trace Elementary. The event was held at Lakeshore High School.


Donations From School System Total $18,206.25 For Autism Drive

(06-02-2011)
A fund-raising drive was held throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System April 21 in connection with “Autism Awareness Day,” and a total of $18,206.25 will be donated to the Northshore Families Helping Families (NFHF) group as a result.

A donation of a dollar to the autism fund-raising effort allowed students and staff to wear jeans for the day on April 21. At its April meeting, the School Board had proclaimed April as “Autism Awareness Month” with the encouragement of the family support group for children with autism. The purpose was to help inform the public about the complex developmental brain disorder known as autism and issues within the autism community.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, said that by everyone working together, the School System could do its part to foster awareness of autism while helping the Northshore Families Helping Families organization provide positive support to enhance the lives of those affected by the disability.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie told the Board that Autism affects one out of every 110 children in America. St. Tammany schools allocate many knowledgeable and specially-trained educators and resources to help families facing the challenge, she said, and she commented the NFHS organization for working with the School System in providing information, events, and support to parents with autistic children.

Donna Slocum, executive director of Northshore Families Helping Families, thanked the Board for all that the School System does for children with autism. She noted it used to affect only one in 10,000 children, now, 20 years later, it has increased by 600 percent. “We are thrilled to have the School System join us in bringing greater public awareness about this disability,” she said.


Summer School Underway at Lakeshore High and Online

(05-30-2011)
Summer school classes began May 30 for students taking part in the Ninth through 12th Grade summer school program at Lakeshore High School and also those taking a3 Virtual Academy online courses.

Parents are urged to insure their students are attending the necessary summer school classes and logging into the online sessions for which they have signed up. For more information, click here to go to the a3 Virtual Academy summer school website.

Summer school sessions for students in first grade through eighth grade began Wednesday, June 1st, at Clearwood Junior High in Slidell on the East Side of the parish and at Mandeville Middle School on the West Side of the parish.

There are two sessions for high school summer school, the first being from May 30 through June 24, and the second being from June 27 through July 25. Many high school courses are being taught through the A3 Virtual Academy’s online courses.

Elementary summer school operates from June 1 through July 21.


Capital One Bank Scholarships Presented To Three Graduates

(05-29-2011)
Three St. Tammany Parish Public School System high school graduates have received Capital One Bank scholarships worth $5000 each for their first year in college.

At a recent School Board meeting, Hugh Hamilton, regional executive of Southeast Louisiana, Capital One Bank, presented the checks to Thien Ninh, Jeffery Jackson, and Patrick McClain.

Hamilton said that these students excelled academically, they excelled in their extra-curricular activities, and they received high recommendations from staff. Forty students entered the scholarship competition, which included writing essays.

A graduate of Northshore High School, Thien will pursue a biology degree, leading to his goal of becoming a neurologist. He finished high school with a Grade Point Average of 4.434.

Jackson graduated from Salmen High with a GPA of 3.9375, and he will study Computer Science in college, hoping to eventually design software for Apple Computers.

McClain, also a graduate of Northshore High, had a 3.5 GPA in high school while working to help support his family. He will attend Louisiana Tech to study Computer Science. He was also recognized for being an Eagle Scout with 50 merit badges. He plans to become an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

Three St. Tammany Parish Public School System high school graduates have received Capital One Bank scholarships worth $5000 each for their first year in college. At a recent School Board meeting, Hugh Hamilton, right, regional executive of Southeast Louisiana, Capital One Bank, presented one of the checks to Thien Ninh, center, with Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, at left. Hamilton said that these students excelled academically, they excelled in their extra-curricular activities, and they received high recommendations from staff. Forty students entered the scholarship competition. A graduate of Northshore High School, Thien will pursue a biology degree, leading to his goal of becoming a neurologist. He finished high school with a Grade Point Average of 4.434.

Three St. Tammany Parish Public School System high school graduates have received Capital One Bank scholarships worth $5000 each for their first year in college. At a recent School Board meeting, Hugh Hamilton, right, regional executive of Southeast Louisiana, Capital One Bank, presented one of the checks to Jeffery Jackson, center, with Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, at left. Hamilton said that these students excelled academically, they excelled in their extra-curricular activities, and they received high recommendations from staff. Forty students entered the scholarship competition. Jackson graduated from Salmen High with a GPA of 3.9375, and he will study Computer Science in college, hoping to eventually design software for Apple Computers.

Three St. Tammany Parish Public School System high school graduates have received Capital One Bank scholarships worth $5000 each for their first year in college. At a recent School Board meeting, Hugh Hamilton, right, regional executive of Southeast Louisiana, Capital One Bank, presented one of the checks to Patrick McClain, center, with Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, at left. Hamilton said that these students excelled academically, they excelled in their extra-curricular activities, and they received high recommendations from staff. Forty students entered the scholarship competition. McClain, a graduate of Northshore High, had a 3.5 GPA in high school while working to help support his family. He will attend Louisiana Tech to study Computer Science. He was also recognized for being an Eagle Scout with 50 merit badges. He plans to become an officer in the U.S. Air Force.


Monteleone Technology Award Given To Covington High Teacher

(05-25-2011)
The 2010-2011 L. P. Monteleone Technology Grant Award was presented to Kassie Dasher, a teacher at Covington High School, at the May meeting of the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

Technology Supervisor Julie Matte introduced Ms. Dasher to the Board, saying that she teaches 150 ninth grade science students at Covington High, having joined the faculty earlier this year. She was accompanied to the podium by her Principal Deborah McCollum.

Matte explained how Ms. Dasher designed a class activity called “Sound, Science, Advertisement.” Ms. Dasher’s project starts with the study of sound waves, how they travel, and how they have different frequencies. Students will learn how to create and manipulate sound waves using audio editing software, then produce radio advertisements about characters from the literature classic “The Odyssey.” The results of the cross-curriculum project will be posted online.

“I think Ms. Dasher’s students will have a very meaningful learning experience with this project,” said Ms. Matte.

Ms. Dasher said it was the first grant proposal she had written, and she thanked the Board and school administrators for their encouragement and support. 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.

The 2010-2011 L. P. Monteleone Technology Grant Award was presented to Kassie Dasher, a teacher at Covington High School, by Technology Supervisor Julie Matte at the May meeting of the St. Tammany Parish School Board. Ms. Dasher teaches ninth grade science, and her project involves the study of sound waves, how they travel, and how they have different frequencies. Students will learn how to manipulate sound waves using audio editing software, then produce radio advertisements about characters from the literature classic “The Odyssey.” Ms. Dasher's name will be added to the Monteleone Technology Award Plaque located at the Treen Instructional Technology Center in Mandeville. From left to right are Covington High Principal Deborah McCollum, Ms. Dasher, and Ms. Matte. The award is named after the late Lenny Monteleone, Superintendent of Schools between 1995 and 2003.


School Board Appoints New Principals, Assistant Principals

(05-24-2011)
Several St. Tammany Parish Public Schools will have new principals and assistant principals next year, after the School Board moved to fill vacant positions at its meeting on May 19. A new Supervisor of Instruction was also chosen.

Elizabeth Laine was appointed as the Supervisor of Instruction at the Central Office to replace Supervisor Thais “Tassie” Wahl, who is retiring. Ms. Laine has served as principal of Mandeville Elementary School since 2007, and has extensive experience in reading instruction specialties and Positive Behavior Support implementation.

Susan Perilloux Wolfe was appointed Principal for Covington Elementary School beginning for the 2011-2012 School Year. Currently an Assistant Principal at the school, she began teaching in 1975 and has served at Lyon Elementary School and Pine View Middle School.

The Board appointed Kimberley Burgoyne as principal of Florida Avenue Elementary School in Slidell. She will take over for Principal Ramona Carlin, who is retiring. Currently Assistant Principal at the school, she has been in education since 1997 with assignments at Riverside Elementary and Whispering Forest Elementary Schools.

The Board appointed Charlotte Burney-Tillman as principal of Pine View Middle School in Covington. She is replacing Principal Janis Daviston, who is retiring. Ms. Burney-Tillman has ten years of experience in education, most recently as principal of a New Orleans area charter school. With an educational background in health education, she has served in Houston area schools as teacher, principal, and college professor and with the New Orleans Recovery School District.

The Board also appointed Dwayne J. Kern as principal for Madisonville Junior High School. Principal Fran Shea is retiring at the end of the School Year. Kern has served as Assistant Principal of the school since 2005, and has been in education since 1997 with assignments at Slidell Pathways and at Clearwood Junior High School as Head Football and Track Coach.

In an Assistant Principal appointment for Abita Springs Elementary School, the Board named Elizabeth Caruso. Currently the Technology Resource Teacher at the school, she joined the faculty in 2004. Her experience includes teaching YES Classes and LEAP intervention skills at Fontainebleau Junior High and Folsom Junior High Schools.

The Board also appointed Adam Barrois, currently Administrative Assistant at Creekside Junior High School, as Assistant Principal at the Pearl River school, beginning with the 2011-2012 School Year. He has served as Athletic Director there since 2009, joining the faculty first in 2005.

Elizabeth Laine

Elizabeth Caruso, left, and Adam Barrois, right, were appointed as Assistant Principals by the St. Tammany Parish School Board at its May 19 meeting. Ms. Caruso was appointed as Assistant Principal for Abita Springs Elementary School where she is currently the Technology Resource Teacher. She joined the faculty in 2004. Her experience includes teaching YES Classes and LEAP intervention skills at Fontainebleau Junior High and Folsom Junior High Schools. Adam Barrois is currently Administrative Assistant at Creekside Junior High School, and he will now serve as Assistant Principal at the Pearl River school. He has served as Athletic Director there since 2009, joining the faculty first in 2005.

The St. Tammany Parish School Board appointed new principals to four schools during its May 19 meeting in Covington. They are, from left to right, Susan Wolfe, Kimberley Burgoyne, Charlotte Tillman, and Dwayne Kern. Susan Wolfe was appointed Principal for Covington Elementary School. Currently an Assistant Principal at the school, she began teaching in 1975 and has served at Lyon Elementary School and Pine View Middle School. The Board appointed Kimberley Burgoyne as principal of Florida Avenue Elementary School in Slidell. Currently Assistant Principal at the school, she has been in education since 1997 with assignments at Riverside Elementary and Whispering Forest Elementary Schools. Charlotte Burney-Tillman will be principal of Pine View Middle School in Covington. Ms. Burney-Tillmen has ten years of experience in education, most recently as principal of a New Orleans area charter school. Dwayne J. Kern will serve as principal for Madisonville Junior High School. Kern has served as Assistant Principal of the school since 2005, and has been in education since 1997 with assignments at Slidell Pathways and at Clearwood Junior High School as Head Football and Track Coach.


Fall Registration Dates Announced

(05-23-2011)
Registration for all students entering the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools for the first time during the 2011-2012 session will be held at the school the student will attend on the dates listed below for each school.

Students changing schools within St. Tammany Parish, 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 must complete and Assignment/Transfer Request Form at one of the Child Welfare and Attendance Offices in Covington or Slidell. They must also obtain an Assignment/Transfer Request Form from one of those offices before registering at the school they will attend. This does not apply to students already in the Public School System going to a different school because of advancement to the next highest grade level.

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, 2005, will be eligible for first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2006, 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 27, 2011: Abita Springs Middle, Alton Elementary, Bayou Lacombe Middle, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Covington High School, Cypress Cove Elementary, Florida Avenue Elementary, Folsom Junior High, Fontainebleau Junior High, Lake Harbor Middle , Lee Road Junior High, Little Oak Middle, Little Pearl Elementary, Magnolia Trace Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, Mandeville High, Northshore High (1st Registration), Pitcher Junior High, Pontchartrain Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Salmen High - A-L (1st Registration), Slidell High, Tchefuncte Middle, Woodlake Elementary, and Whispering Forest Elementary.

Thursday, July 28, 2011: Abney Elementary, Boyet Junior High, Carolyn Park Middle, Covington Elementary, Creekside Junior High, Fifth Ward Junior High, Folsom Elementary, Honey Island Elementary, Lakeshore High, Lyon Elementary, Madisonville Elementary, Madisonville Junior High, Mandeville Junior High, Mandeville Middle, Marigny Elementary, Monteleone Junior High, Northshore High (2nd Registration), Pearl River High, Salmen High M-L (2nd Registration), St. Tammany Junior High, Sixth Ward Elementary, and Slidell Junior High.

Friday, July 29, 2011: Abita Springs Elementary, Bayou Woods Elementary, Bonne Ecole Elementary, Brock Elementary, Clearwood Junior High, Fontainebleau High, Lancaster Elementary, Mayfield Elementary, and Pine View Middle. Registration for Mayfield Elementary will be held at Bayou Woods Elementary School.

REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION

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

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

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.

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, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades.

7. MCV4 (Meningococcal Conjugate) – Required for all students eleven (11) years old. 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 available, established using at least three of the documents listed below. All documents must be the most current available. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required.

Documentation may consist of a current utility bill (butane, electric, gas, water, cable or satellite communication bill), 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.

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 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.

All Public Schools in St. Tammany Parish will open on August 8, 2011.

PRE-KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Pre-Kindergarten classes are being offered at 22 school sites during the 2011-12 school year for four (4) year old children who meet program criteria. Registration for all classes will be held at the school located in the district where the child resides. The schools and registration dates are as follows:

PRE-K REGISTRATION DATES

Wednesday, July 27, 2011: Abita Springs Elementary, Abney Elementary, Alton Elementary, Bayou Woods Elementary, Covington Elementary, Folsom Elementary, Lyon Elementary, and Mayfield Elementary (Registration for Mayfield Elementary will be held at Bayou Woods Elementary)..

Thursday, July 28, 2011: Florida Avenue Elementary, Lee Road Junior High, Little Pearl Elementary, Mandeville Elementary, and Woodlake Elementary.

Friday, July 29, 2011: Bonne Ecole Elementary, Brock Elementary, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Cypress Cove Elementary, Fifth Ward Junior High, Madisonville Elementary, Marigny Elementary, Pontchartrain Elementary, Sixth Ward Elementary, and Whispering Forest Elementary.

To qualify for any regular education Pre-Kindergarten class, a child must meet the following criteria:

(1) Has reached four (4) years of age (48 months) before October 1, 2011;

(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 the following documents: Food Stamp eligibility letter, TANF eligibility, McKinney Vento eligibility, most current W-2 form or two (2) 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 to attend a Pre-Kindergarten class.

 


Ribbon Cutting Held For Covington High Weight Room

(05-23-2011)
The ribbon was cut on the new expanded and renovated weight room at Covington High School’s athletic facilities on May 19, with Superintendent W. L. “Trey Folse, III, and several School Board Members on hand.

Present for the event were Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie, Covington High Principal Deborah McCollum, Head Football Coach Malter Scobel, Assistant Superintendent of Administration William Brady, Board President Stephen “Jack” Loup, III, and Board Members Beth Heintz, Charles Harrell and Michael Dirmann.

Also present at the event were Coach Jack Salter, Wayne Fitzmorris, Darryl Graham, Jimmy Holden, Jeff Barker, Rusty Burns, Kevin Marse, Mark Holmes, supervisor of the project, and Keith Barre’, both with the architectural firm handling the project, Fauntleroy Latham Weldon Barre’.

Principal McCollum said the project added new lights, redid the walls and the floor, added 15 feet to one end of the building, and brought in some new pieces of equipment, allowing students to work out in a variety of ways without changing stations. She mentioned that the new weight room will help the school address the needs voiced by First Lady Michelle Obama in her fight against childhood obesity. “Having this new weight room will help our students stay physically fit and to have longer, healthier, prosperous lives,” Mrs. McCollum said.

Superintendent Folse thanked all those who had contributed to the project and to the athletic program at Covington High. “We know that this facility will be put to good use for the students here,” he stated.

Coach Salter recalled the early days of football workouts at the school, saying the first weight room featured weights that had been made from porthole cutouts salvaged from the Madisonville shipyard.

Students began using the room earlier in the year.

The ribbon was cut on the new expanded and renovated weight room at Covington High School’s athletic facilities on May 19, with Superintendent W. L. “Trey Folse, III, and several School Board Members on hand. From left to right, front row, are Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie, Covington High Principal Deborah McCollum, Head Football Coach Malter Scobel, and Superintendent Folse. On the back row, from left, are Assistant Superintendent of Administration William Brady, School Board Member Beth Heintz, Board President Stephen “Jack” Loup, III, and Board Member Charles Harrell. Also present at the event were Coach Jack Salter, School Board Member Michael Dirmann, Wayne Fitzmorris, Darryl Graham, Jimmy Holden, Jeff Barker, Rusty Burns, Kevin Marse, Mark Holmes, supervisor of the project, and Keith Barre’, both with the architectural firm handling the project, Fauntleroy Latham Weldon Barre’.


Donations of School Supplies Help Tornado Victims

(05-21-2011)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools recently delivered a truckload of new school supplies donated by students from across the Parish to schools destroyed or damaged during the April 26 – 28 tornado outbreak in northern Alabama.

The community service project resulted in the donation of 500 boxes of school supplies on eight pallets. Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, said he was impressed with the efforts of area students to help send relief supplies to fellow students in the storm-ravaged area.

The shipment consisted of crayons, pens, colored pencils, folders, pencil boxes, markers, rulers, paper, paper, notebooks, staplers, tape, and tape dispensers. They were delivered May 19 to the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education and the Tuscaloosa County School System.

Pictured above, members of the School Board maintenance department and Superintendent W. L. "Trey" Folse, III, look over the list of donated items being loaded on a truck. From left to right are Dale Roark, Superintendent Folse, Ronald Batiste, Raymond Reno, and Jeff Barker. Folse said he was impressed with the efforts of area students to help send relief supplies to students in the storm-ravaged area. The shipment consisted of eight pallets loaded with crayons, pens, colored pencils, folders, pencil boxes, markers, rulers, paper, paper, notebooks, staplers, tape, and tape dispensers. They were delivered May 19 to the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education and the Tuscaloosa County School System.


School System Collects $51,640 For Japan Disaster Relief

(05-20-2011)
Team spirit was in full force across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System in March as students, staff, and administration joined together to raise $51,640.94 for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and disaster. A check will be presented to the American Red Cross in an upcoming ceremony.
Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, said that “Team Up To Help Day” gave participants an opportunity, for a dollar donation, to wear items representing their favorite sports teams to show their team spirit and help the Japanese people.

Recalling how Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, Folse stated, “As the recent experience in Japan unfolds, once again we have watched how a nation can be completely affected by multiple disasters. Last year, our school system rose to the occasion and delivered a sizable check to the Red Cross to aid the people of Haiti after their country was hit by an earthquake.”


Schools Recognized For Meeting SPS Growth Targets

(05-20-2011)
Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie recently reported to the School Board that eleven St. Tammany schools have been spotlighted by the Louisiana Department of Education for their “Recognized Academic Growth” and eight schools had been named to the list for “Exemplary Academic Growth.”

These are the K-12 Schools that met or exceeded growth target goals in the state's Accountability Program for the 2010-2011 School Year, as determined by their School Performance Scores (SPS), she said. Mrs. Arabie gave the principal from each school a flag which they can proudly display at their campuses that signify their status in the Accountability Program.

Recognized Academic Growth is achieved when a school makes its “Growth Target.” Each year, schools must show improvement in their School Performance Scores by meeting a growth target. Growth Targets represent the amount of progress a school must make every year to reach the state’s SPS goal of 120 by the year 2014.

The 11 Schools that met their Growth target are Abita Springs Elementary, Covington Elementary, Folsom Elementary, Fontainebleau Junior High, Lee Road Junior High, Little Oak Middle, Madisonville Junior High, Northshore High, Riverside Elementary, Salmen High, and Tchefuncte Middle School.

Exemplary Academic Growth is achieved when a school that makes its Growth Target has all subgroups grow at least two points, and has not been placed in the School Improvement category. Mrs. Arabie listed those schools Abita Springs Middle, Chahta-Ima Elementary, Covington High, Fontainebleau High, Mandeville High, Mandeville Middle, Monteleone Junior High, and Whispering Forest Elementary.

Mrs. Arabie also noted that Pontchartrain Elementary School in Mandeville earned a School Performance Score of 140.2 for 2010, continuing its Five-Star label. There are only 20 schools in Louisiana that meet the Five Star SPS criteria, she said. She then presented an award for the accomplishment to Principal Kimberly Thomas.

Principal Kimberly Thomas, right, of Pontchartrain Elementary School was commended by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie at the recent School Board meeting when she noted that Pontchartrain Elementary School in Mandeville had earned a Five-Star label for its 2010 School Performance Score of 140.2. At left is Assistant Principal Tish Meyer who also attended the meeting.


Outstanding Students Recognized With Superintendent’s Award

(05-20-2011)
A 16-year-old sophomore student at Fontainebleau High School has won the 2010-2011 Superintendent’s Award for Outstanding Character and Citizenship.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, introduced this year’s winner at the May 19 School Board meeting, saying that from nominations received from across the School System, Justin Magrath was chosen for going “above and beyond” in trying to make the lives of others in his community better.

A video produced by Channel 13 showcased Magrath’s efforts to help others, particularly as an Eagle Scout. “Citizenship is the quality of bettering yourself so you can be the best member of society possible,” he said in his nomination. Superintendent Folse presented him with a glass award trophy while commending him for his many community service projects.

He participates in a variety of academic competitions, from the Literary Rally and Quiz Bowl, has taken part in numerous environmental preservation projects, from building purple martin houses to collecting pull tags, and is involved in efforts to prevent soil erosion by planting trees at Fontainebleau State Park. “I hope to improve the environment where I live, and thus the living conditions of all humans in the area,” he said.

In addition, he is active in helping tutor fellow students. His efforts to improve his Boy Scout troop have proven remarkably effective in returning several of the group's activities back to their original purpose and meaning. He give much of the credit for his accomplishments to the teamwork of his fellow Scouts and the many community volunteers who worked with him on his many successful projects.

“I have just been informed that Justin has also won the Spirit of Community Award Medallion from Prudential,” Superintendent Folse told the Board.

Magrath thanked the Superintendent and School Board for their recognition, adding that St. Tammany has some of the best schools in the state because of their hard work and dedication. He also expressed appreciation to his school, his Principal Johnny Vitrano, and all those associated with Scouting, without which he would not be standing there receiving the award.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized in this way,” he said.

After Superintendent Folse’s comments, Hugh Hamilton, regional executive of Southeast Louisiana, Capital One Bank, presented Fontainebleau High School with a $1000 donation in Justin’s honor. “We have a lot to be proud of,” he said.

Finalist honors in this year’s Superintendent’s Award program went to the Mandeville Middle School's Recycling and Energy Squads organized by teacher Candice Gianelloni. She and her Principal Kim Wood, along with several of the students involved, were recognized before the School Board. Superintendent Folse congratulated them for their efforts in taking care of the environment and also increasing a sense of civic responsibility throughout the school.

“Members of these groups say that not only have they helped the environment, but they’ve also formed great friendships through their common effort,” Superintendent Folse said. A video by Channel 13 focused on the group’s goal to be good stewards of their school’s and community’s environment.

They collect bottles and other items that can be recycled, keep precise statistics on the results of their efforts, and monitor classroom energy use, even during their recess times.

The program lends itself well to the aims of citizenship and responsibility, said Ms. Gianelloni. “The students involved in the Squads are developing a deep sense of service to their community,” she explained.

Students under Ms. Gianelloni’s guidance also help teach others the importance of recycling, while encouraging them to make pledges to save energy whenever possible.

As part of the program, they received a grant from Coca-Cola and the Keep America Beautiful Foundation to pay for 20 recycling bins. “Through the use of these bins, our school has been able to offer our families and the surrounding community a way to recycle their glass, aluminum, and plastic items,” Ms. Gianelloni stated. Statistics have shown a marked increase in the project’s effectiveness through the course of the school year.

“These student initiatives help create citizens better prepared to meet the needs and solve the problems of tomorrow,” Ms. Gianelloni said. “I’m very humbled by their dedication and the level of responsibility they’ve shown this year.”

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. Twenty-eight nominations for the award were submitted this year.


School Year Ends

(05-16-2011)
The 2010-2011 School Year has ended.

Students reported to school only in the morning for a half-day of classes. The rest of the day was reserved for record-keeping duties for teachers and administrators.

The 2011-2012 School Session will begin on Monday, August 8, 2011. Lists of school supplies needed for each grade level next Fall have been posted to the School Directory page.


Students Win Honors in National PTA Reflections Contest

(05-14-2011)
Two students from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System have earned recognition in this year’s National PTA Reflections Contest. Designed to enhance arts education programs, the Reflections Program provides opportunities for students to express themselves and to receive positive recognition for their artistic efforts in dance, film production, literature, music composition, photography, and the visual arts.

A song named “Together We Can Recycle” by Jolly Peta of Cypress Cove Elementary won an Award of Merit in the Primary Division – Music Composition, and Andy Zhou, a Northshore High School senior, won an Award of Excellence in the Senior Division of Music Composition for his song entitled “Together We Can Break Free.”

The winners were chosen from hundreds of thousands of submissions from students across the nation who participated in this year’s program, themed “Together we can…” Each year the program provides opportunities for students to receive recognition for their artistic efforts and expressions. Their entries will be showcased in a virtual PTA Reflections gallery that will be set up later this year.


Pine View Students Visit Hammond Airport On Field Trip

(05-13-2011)
Students from a fourth grade WIN Class at Pine View Middle School visited the Louisiana Army National Guard’s Army Aviation Support Facility at Hammond Airport May 12 for an end-of-the-year field trip. The new facility is one of two in the State of Louisiana, and it was built after Hurricane Katrina when the aviation support operations had to move from Lakefront Airport in New Orleans due to storm damage.

The students learned that the new building offers 152,000 square foot of operations, maintenance, and storage. Some 30 aircraft can be housed in the hangars, which are built to withstand the winds of a Category Four hurricane. The facility has 20 Blackhawk helicopters, four LUH-72 Lakotas, and a plane.

Asking a number of questions along the way, students were able to climb into the helicopters and see first hand how they operate. They learned that the Army names all of their helicopters after Native American Indian tribes, such as Blackhawk, Apache, and Lakota.

The group also visited an operations map room where crews prepare instrument flight plans using a number of special aviation maps. Several missions were being planned dealing with the flooding situation along the Mississippi River. The tour included the group watching a helicopter crew perform its pre-flight check and then take off from Hammond Airport.

The pilots and crews from this facility were among the first on the scene in August of 2005 to place sandbags on the broken levees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The facility also provides air assistance to state police and drug enforcement operations when needed.

Following the tour of the aviation support facility, the group visited Cate Square in downtown Hammond and toured a children’s museum.


HOSTS Volunteers Celebrate Record-Breaking Year

(05-13-2011)
As the school year draws to a close, a special meeting of HOSTS volunteers at Lyon Elementary in Covington gave the students a chance to thank their volunteer mentors and for the mentors to say good-bye to their students.

The annual Spring Forum of HOSTS volunteers and parents took place in the gymnasium, accompanied by songs, statistics, and hugs. The participants, both adults and children, learned of the many records they had broken during the year: how many words were learned, how many hours were put in by the volunteers, and how much the children have accomplished as a result of the program.

Principal Jeanine Barnes welcomed over 100 HOSTS mentors attending the event and introduced teachers involved in the program. Cindy Lester, coordinator of the HOSTS program, served as emcee for the meeting, with Title I Tutor Becky Gaspard taking part. With music provided by the Music Teacher Marsha Sykes, the students performed a special song of thanks to their mentors. Before they left for lunch, the students were able to visit with their mentors for one last time. There were plenty of handshakes, words of encouragement, and hugs.

HOSTS stands for “Helping One Student To Succeed.” Volunteers meet with students once or twice a week for individual tutoring in reading. The total number of books read by the mentors and their students this year was 5788 books, up 500 books from last year.

Sixty-one students and 126 mentors were involved in the 2010-2011 program. With an estimated value of $21.35 per hour for volunteer work, the total value of the 2412 hours donated by the volunteers this year amounted to more than $51,000, said Ms. Lester.

As the students learn new words during the year, the words are placed on the “Word Wall.” So many new words were learned by the HOSTS students this year, the teachers had to change out the Word Wall three times, “and that was unprecedented,” Ms. Lester said. The students celebrated by throwing the words written on multi-colored slips of paper into the air, resembling confetti, while the audience applauded.

Guest speakers at the Title I Family Involvement event included First Grade Teacher Tanya Soule’, PTA President Beth Perilloux, and Bobbie Brown with Volunteers of America. In addition to commending the contributions made by the community volunteers, parents were reminded how important it was to maintain their children’s reading skills over the summer.

Ms. Lester, the HOSTS coordinator and Title I paraprofessional at Lyon Elementary School, recently won the honor of being named “Support Employee of the Year” for the Elementary division in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.


High School Graduations Held

(05-11-2011)
Graduating high school seniors across St. Tammany Parish received their diplomas at several year-end ceremonies held by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System May 7 through May 14.

Fontainebleau High School graduating seniors received their diplomas at Southeastern’s University Center, with their ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 14, and Pearl River High School held its graduation ceremonies on Friday, May 13, at the Northshore Harbor Center southeast of Slidell.

Northshore High School seniors were awarded diplomas on Saturday, May 7, at the University Center on Southeastern Louisiana University Campus in Hammond. Salmen High School graduates received their diplomas at Northshore Harbor Center on Monday, May 9. Mandeville High School graduates took part in diploma presentation ceremonies on Tuesday, May 10, at Southeastern’s University Center.

Covington High School held ceremonies on Wednesday, May 11, at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Slidell High School diplomas were distributed to graduating seniors on Thursday, May 12, in the stadium at Slidell High School.

Adult Education GED Graduation Ceremonies took place on Tuesday, May 17, at the Journey Fellowship Church in Lacombe.

Each graduation is video-taped by Channel 13 Educational Television and is available for viewing on Charter Communications cable television, AT&T U-Verse, and from the Watch Channel 13 live streaming from the Channel 13 website. For a daily schedule of the graduation ceremony programs,click here for a program schedule.

Video copies of the graduation ceremonies will be available on DVD from Channel 13 or from the school holding the graduation. To order a copy, parents may send the following information to Channel 13, Treen Instructional Technology Center, 2024 Livingston Street, Mandeville, LA 70448. Include your return mailing address, the name of the school graduation you are requesting on DVD, and a check for $15 made payable to the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.


Lyon Elementary Celebrates Cultural Arts Day With Volunteers

(05-10-2011)
Dozens of volunteers greeted students and parents at the 2011 Cultural Arts Day at Lyon Elementary School, co-ordinating a full day of fun arts activities for the youngsters. Classrooms turned into art studios, the playground offered a variety of arts and movement events, and the gymnasium hosted special musical peformances by a regional music cultural group.

Children painted murals, took turns on a rope swing, cut out stencils, tossed bean bags, and painted pictures, along with a variety of other arts and crafts activities.

Similar programs were held at other schools throughout the School System. The kids learned a number of arts and crafts skills, the hallways were lined with samples of their artwork, and special guest artists treated the students to a variety of educational musical and artistic programs.

At Lyon, the Cultural Alliance of the Americas offered a concert by Don Vappie and Ecos Latinos, an eight-piece band that encouraged students to join in the singing and dancing. The children learned about the connections between the Latin culture and Louisiana culture through demonstrations of dance, music, and song. Students were also given the opportunity to ask questions and talk to individual band members.

The group was made up of Carlos Bodoma Norales-Garifuna, a singer, composer, and drummer; Milton Morales on drums; Patrice Fisher on the harp, the national music instrument of Paraguay; Carlos Valladares on percussion; Jose Dolmo on percussion; Edwin Gonzales on bass; and Jose Roberto Moreira on guitar. Natividad “Naty” Cloter danced with the music, dressed in a golden head scarf and skirt decorated with blue birds. Almost the entire gymnasium filled with children joined her in the dancing.

The Cultural Alliance of the Americas works with local schools to provide educational programs that showcase music and dance from a variety of sources. The group’s first event took place in 2008 in Abita Springs and included performances in Gospel, Bluegrass, Cajun, Jazz,, R&B, and Latin music, all a part of the Louisiana musical heritage. The Lyon Elementary School musical performance was sponsored by the Dorothy L. Blossman Foundation and Shadowtrack Technologies.


High School Graduations Underway

(05-09-2011)
Graduating high school seniors across St. Tammany Parish are receiving their diplomas at several year-end ceremonies held by the St. Tammany Parish Public School System this week.

Covington High School will hold ceremonies beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, at Southeastern Louisiana University at the University Center facility in Hammond.

Fontainebleau High School graduating seniors will receive their diplomas at Southeastern’s University Center, with their ceremony scheduled for Saturday, May 14, at 5:00 p.m.

Pearl River High School will hold its graduation ceremonies on Friday, May 13, at 7:00 p.m. at the Northshore Harbor Center southeast of Slidell.

Slidell High School diplomas will be distributed to graduating seniors on Thursday, May 12, beginning at 8:00 p.m. in the stadium at Slidell High School.

The GED Graduation Ceremonies will take place on Tuesday, May 17, at 7:00 p.m. at the Journey Fellowship Church in Lacombe.

Northshore High School seniors were awarded diplomas on Saturday, May 7, at the University Center on Southeastern Louisiana University Campus in Hammond. Salmen High School graduates received their diplomas at Northshore Harbor Center on Monday, May 9. Mandeville High School graduates took part in diploma presentation ceremonies on Tuesday, May 10, at Southeastern’s University Center.

For a printout of graduation dates and times, click here.

Each graduation is video-taped by Channel 13 Educational Television and is available for viewing on Charter Communications cable television, AT&T U-Verse, and from the Watch Channel 13 live streaming from the Channel 13 website. For a daily schedule of the graduation ceremony programs,click here for a program schedule.

Video copies of the graduation ceremonies will be available on DVD from Channel 13 or from the school holding the graduation. To order a copy, parents may send the following information to Channel 13, Treen Instructional Technology Center, 2024 Livingston Street, Mandeville, LA 70448. Include your return mailing address, the name of the school graduation you are requesting on DVD, and a check for $15 made payable to the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.


Principals of the Year and Teachers of the Year Announced

(05-06-2011)
Three principals have been named The St. Tammany Parish Public School System “District Principals of the Year” for 2011-2012, each representing a different grade level in the annual recognition program.

Also, three teachers from throughout the system have earned District Teacher of the Year titles.

School System officials announced that principals winning the district honor were Dr. April Owens of Bonne Ecole Elementary School in Slidell for the Elementary Division; Anna Bowie of Lee Road Junior High north of Covington for the Middle School/Junior High Division, and William Percy of Slidell High School for the High School Level.

Teachers of the Year for 2011-2012 will be Carol Cline, a Kindergarten and first grade music teacher at Cypress Cove Elementary, Slidell, in the Elementary School Division; Darla DuBois Foley, a sixth grade teacher at Tchefuncte Middle School , Mandeville, in the Middle School/Junior High Division; and Richard “Vance” Lynch, III, a Web/Multimedia teacher at Covington High School, in the High School Division.

“These awards highlight the best of the best here in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System,” said Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse, III.

Nominees from individual schools for the 2011-2012 District Teacher of the Year program were as follows: Abita Springs Elementary - Darvin Bott II; Abita Springs Middle - Christine Magnuson; Abney Elementary - Frances Copeland; Alton Elementary - Sara Archer; Bayou Lacombe Middle - Rebekah Ellis; Bayou Woods Elementary - Jessica Chandler; Bonne Ecole Elementary - Sandra Silbernagel; Boyet Junior High - Cassandra Rogers; Brock Elementary - Kimberly Thomas; and Carolyn Park Middle - Elizabeth Damare´.

Other Teachers of the Year from St. Tammany schools are Chahta-Ima Elementary - Jessie Treadaway; Clearwood Junior High - Jennifer Francart; Covington Elementary - Cynthia Huggins; Creekside Junior High - Lynn F. Danjean; Fifth Ward Junior High -Yvonne Schwaner; Florida Ave. Elementary - Pamela White; Folsom Elementary - Emily Womack; Folsom Junior High - Linda Newman; Fontainebleau High - Claire Carley; Fontainebleau Junior High - Laura Adams; Honey Island Elementary - Rachel Onstad; Lake Harbor Middle - Kalinka D. Thurber; Lakeshore High School - Jennifer Sheets; and Lee Road Junior High - Denise Bischoff.

Also, Little Oak Middle School’s Teacher of the Year nominee was Amy Burckel; Lyon Elementary - Marsha C. Sykes; Madisonville Elementary - Dee Ann Bergene; Madisonville Junior High - Amy Barnes; Magnolia Trace Elementary - Laura Cangiamilla; Mandeville Elementary - Monica Campo; Mandeville High - John L. Combs; Mandeville Junior High - Karen Griggs; Mandeville Middle - Sharon Amie; Marigny Elementary - Roxanne Waldrip; Monteleone Junior High - Sandra Schinetsky; Northshore High - Annie Verzwyvelt; Operation Jumpstart - Kimberly A. Larche; Pearl River High - Alan Jones; Pine View Middle - Jodi Hernandez; and Pitcher Junior High - Roy “Les” Heidelberg.

Other Teacher of the Year nominees include Pontchartrain Elementary - Denise Cotogno; Riverside Elementary - Natalie Babington; St. Tammany Junior High - Caitlyn Lancaster; Salmen High - Charity LeBlanc; Sixth Ward Elementary - Madonna E. McDonald; Slidell High - Melanie St. Cyr; Slidell Junior High - Chasity Wilson; Slidell Pathways - Ryan F. Richards; Whispering Forest Elementary - Trish Hellmers; and Woodlake Elementary - Kimberly Blanks.


Students Win Honors In Google Doodle Contest

(05-05-2011)
Artwork by Lake Harbor Middle School student Reagan Young is among the Top 40 entries in this year’s “Doodle 4 Google” contest. More than 107,000 entries were submitted in the annual competition that asks K-12 students to re-design the Google logo for a day.

Her artwork was the focal point of a special presentation at the school Wednesday afternoon as representatives from Google, the internet search website, congratulated the 12-year-old sixth grader for placing in the Top 40 in the 2011 Doodle for Google contest. A five foot by eight foot banner featuring the artwork submitted by Miss Young was displayed on the auditorium stage during the special ceremony, and sixth grade students attending the program received Google t-shirts.

After the Top 40 winners were announced by Google, online voting began for the overall winner. The voting will continue through May 13 at the following link: www.google.com/doodle4google

During the program, Google representatives Stephanie Boudreau and Lauren Barbato presented students and teachers with an entertaining overview of how Google could be used in the classroom, from travelling around the world with Google maps, to visiting virtual art galleries, and searching for images using a variety of specific criteria.

Principal Susan Patin said the event is a wonderful opportunity for Miss Young, who will travel to New York with her parents on May 19 to attend a program where the overall winner will be named. The winning artwork will be placed on the Google website the next day May 20.

Reagan said drawing the artwork was fun, and her parents said she was very excited about going to New York. She hopes to visit the world-famous art galleries while she is there. Reagan draws at home a lot, her parents said, and she wants to be a fashion designer and an art teacher when she grows up.

Another Lake Harbor Middle School student, Grace Gallagher, was named one of two Louisiana state finalists in the 4th through 6th Grade category in the Doodle4Google contest, and Fontainebleau High School students Mason Watson and Rebecca Cumming were named as the two state finalists in the 10th through 12th grade category. That placed each of these students in the Top 100 Doodle4Google winners in their grade level category across the nation.

Doodle 4 Google is a competition where K-12 students to use their artistic talents to redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see. A Google spokesman said, “We believe that dreaming about future possibilities leads to tomorrow’s leaders and inventors, so this year we invited U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, "What I’d like to do someday."

The overall winning student will receive a $15,000 college scholarship and their school will win a $25,000 technology grant.

Judges this year included Whoopi Goldberg; Jim Davis, Creator of "Garfield", and Evan Lysacek, Gold Medalist for Ice Skating, and several other well known cartoonists, animators and illustrators. They will attend the final awards ceremony to personally congratulate the winners. Entries were judged in four categories: Grades K-3, Grades 4-6, Grades 7-9, and Grades 10-12.
Google is partnering with the Whitney Museum of American Art for the competition and formal exhibit of the 40 Regional Finalists.

Doodles on the Google homepage began in 1998 to mark special occasions and events. Now millions of Google users look forward to them and collect them. Doodles are the “decorative changes” to the Google logo that focus attention on certain holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists and scientists.


Donations of School Supplies To Help Tornado Victims

(05-05-2011)
An effort is underway in St. Tammany Parish Public Schools to collect donations of new school supplies for schools destroyed or damaged during the April 26 – 28 tornado outbreak in northern Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

Items needed include new packages of crayons, pens, pencils, colored pencils, folders, pencil boxes, markers, rulers, looseleaf paper, construction paper, spiral notebooks, staplers, staples, tape, and tape dispensers. Donations may be brought to St. Tammany schools by Friday, May 13. The donations will then be sorted and shipped where needed in the devastated areas.


Clean Green Schools Program Honors Students For Beautification Efforts

(04-26-2011)
Several schools from the Slidell area have been recognized for their efforts in keeping their campuses “clean and green,” with cash awards coming from the 2011 Clean/Green Schools Program of the Slidell Beautification Committee. Each school also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the group.

In ceremonies at Fritchie Park the morning of April 21, the day before “Earth Day,” students from Whispering Forest Elementary, Carolyn Park Middle School, Salmen High School, and Honey Island Elementary were each presented with a check for $150 each for meeting the criteria for the ranking of “Extraordinary” for their work in helping to keep the city beautiful.

Students from Bonne Ecole Elementary, Florida Avenue Elementary, Abney Elementary, Brock Elementary, Northshore High School, and Little Oak Middle School were congratulated for earning the ranking of “Outstanding” in their clean up and green up efforts, each of them getting a check for $100. Slidell Junior High won a ranking of “Remarkable” and got a check for $50 in the program.

The Slidell Clean/Green Schools Program has been going on for several years with the goal of helping young people understand the importance of keeping their environments clean and litter free. The program gives extra points for school presenting educational programs and holding essay contests about the environment, the planting of organic gardens, composting, and recycling projects. The focus of the contest is to encourage student involvement to maintain clean, litter-free schools; promote school and community pride, and reward efforts for a cleaner environment.

Students were encouraged to take what they had learned at school home to their parents and spread the message about community beautification.
Several School System teachers and administrators were on hand for the event, including retired Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Margo Guilott, who is active in the Slidell Beautification program. Margaret Tingle emceed the program, saying the students have shown tremendous interest in learning about their environment and how to preserve it. “The teachers have also been excited about the program. By educating students, we are investing in our future,” she said.

Students were able to look through the photo scrapbooks submitted by the schools, showing the work that had been accomplished by their peers throughout Slidell.


Outdoor Classroom Dedicated At Honey Island Elementary

(04-21-2011)
The ribbon was cut and the new outdoor learning classroom at Honey Island Elementary School in Slidell officially dedicated April 21, just in time for Earth Day, 2011.

Principal Mary Jane Smith welcomed dozens of students, parents, and community volunteers to the special ceremony which culminated five years of dreaming and designing the special outdoor educational area. The 20 foot by 20 foot sheltered platform is surrounded by flower gardens, citrus bushes, bird feeders, hummingbird feeders, and a variety of weather monitoring instruments. The outdoor classroom comes complete with a large water pond feature.

A contest was held to find a name for the structure, which will officially be known as the “Honeybee Hangout.”

Before the start of the ceremony, visitors wandered from place to place in the yard, and students explained the learning possibilities in each area. Mounted on posts were weather instruments ranging from weather vanes and windspeed indicators to rain gauges.

The shelter structure was built by volunteers over two Saturdays, with materials supplied by the school board. A number of community volunteers came together, many of them parents and grandparents of the children who attend the school, to provide many of the other components. Grants from area businesses helped pay for part of the cost. The facility is estimated to be valued at $4000.

During the ceremony, pairs of “Golden Gloves” were distributed to those volunteers who had contributed to the project. Principal Smith thanked them and the many other faculty members, parents, and volunteers who had worked to make the dream come true.

“For years to come the children will certainly enjoy what you have accomplished here,” she said.

An outdoor classroom is a space set aside in which students can learn about science and the outdoors through a hands-on experience. Although most of what is done in an outdoor classroom relates to the environment, it is also an interactive opportunity for students to learn how math, literature, history, art, and music are influenced by nature and natural resources.

“Outdoor classrooms help encourage the interest of students in the world around them and provides boundless educational activities for teachers and students that would not be available in a conventional learning space,” Ms. Smith stated.

Special guests who took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony were Jerome Troullier, PTA President Tricia Pons, Jim Davidson, Marvin Fontenot, Tate Troyer, Ken and Rami Parker, Hope Bald, and School Board Member Mary K. Bellisario. Principal Smith and Assistant Principal Gina Ward also helped cut the ribbon, as well as the two faculty coordinators for the project, Denise McCormick and Jamie Bateman.


Mandeville High School Wins WWII Quiz Bowl

(04-20-2011)
A three-student team from Mandeville High School recently won the World War II Quiz Bowl sponsored by the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. It was the second consecutive year the Mandeville High team has won top honors in the event. Held March 24, the final round was broadcast on the Cox TV cable network.

The competition involved 33 teams from throughout the South and included team and individual efforts, bonus questions and “lightning rounds.”

Elena Marina, faculty sponsor for the Mandeville team, said that Mandeville High School has been participating in the World War II Quiz Bowl for three years, and Advanced Placement American History students usually make up the group. This year's team members were Kyle Anderson, Ryan Neidermair, and Nushrah Malik. They will be recognized for their accomplishment at the April 21 School Board meeting.

Ms. Marina stated, “When we first competed in the 2008-2009 school year, the team was excited to come in third place. Our narrow miss in 2008-09 motivated the all-junior team to work even harder to achieve the goal of making it to the final round of competition. In the 2009-2010 WWII preliminary quiz bowl competition, the team, now seniors, qualified in the top two slots and went on to win at the final round of competition, bringing home the top trophy.”

Since 2005, The National WWII Museum has produced the annual High School WWII Quiz Bowl each spring. Teams from schools across Southeast Louisiana and as far away as Alabama and Georgia have competed in the educational event. Quiz questions cover topics as varied as the war itself and WWII-themed teamwork challenges following each round give students a chance to earn extra credit points.

Students are invited to join the team based on their passion for learning history. They practice throughout the year, with each team member assigned to learn a particular area of knowledge.

A preliminary Quiz Bowl round was held in February. In the preliminary competition, there are six rounds each with 10 questions plus a group activity for each round to accomplish. The final round in March is a traditional “buzz in” question/answer quiz bowl.

“It was a tremendous competition,” said Ms. Marina. “Central High School was amazing, and we feel honored to have participated.” She added that she was very proud of her students and their accomplishments.


Students Return To Classes At Northshore High

(04-20-2011)
This morning Northshore High School administrators received a suspicious threat. School leaders immediately contacted the Slidell Police Department, and the building was evacuated. Nothing was found, and after police officers gave clearance, students returned to classes.

The School System is cooperating closely with law enforcement officials in the investigation. As always, we are dedicated to our efforts to maintain a secure and productive learning environment at all St. Tammany Parish schools. If anyone has information that may help identify the person or persons responsible for the threatening message, we urge them to come forward to a school administrator. Anonymous tips may be provided by calling Crimestoppers at 1-877-903-STOP.

If you have any questions or information about this matter, please feel free to contact Northshore High School at 649-6400 or Central Office at 892-2276.


Northshore High Evacuated

(04-19-2011)
Law enforcement authorities have evacuated Northshore High School after a suspicious threat was received this morning. All students, teachers, and staff are currently in a safe area outside of the school. Police officers are searching the campus and investigating the threat. School officials ask that parents not pick up their students at this time due to the fact that law enforcement authorities have sealed off the area. For more information, please call Central Office at 892.2276.


Team St. Tammany Competes In State Championship

(04-19-2011)
The Elementary Fitness Team from the St. Tammany Parish Public School System finished fourth in statewide competition recently. It was the first time that students from St. Tammany had taken part in The Governor's Games Elementary Fitness Championship Meet which took place at the LSU Field House in Baton Rouge April 16.

The first and second place winners from the District’s first elementary fitness meet held at Lakeshore High School in February travelled to Baton Rouge, accompanied by their team coach Roxie Luquet, a physical education teacher from Lake Harbor Middle School. Parents, friends and siblings were also on hand for the championship event.

Team St. Tammany fielded four student athletes, and each of them came home with at least one individual medal. In the Pull-Ups Competition, a First Place medal was presented to Erin Sellers and a Second Place Medal was awarded to MacKenzie Kennedy, both from Lake Harbor Middle School.

Todd Bagby from Mandeville Middle School won a Second Place Medal in the Sit and Reach Stretch Event, as well as a Third Place Medal in the 600 Yard Run. Also a Third Place Medal was presented to Bryce Carroll from Carolyn Park Middle in the Sit and Reach Stretch Event.

Rudy Macklin, the Executive Director of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, remarked that Team St. Tammany surprised everyone with such an excellent showing for their first time to participate.

The state’s Elementary Fitness Meet brought 24 parishes to compete in Baton Rouge, and the event was to be televised on Cox cable and aired in 14 parishes. At the event, the top two boys and girls from each parish took part in the championship events. The Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports reports finding a significant increase in the physical fitness levels of elementary school children in the last four years from the parishes that participate in the Fitness Meet program.


Science Fun Erupts As Covington High Hosts Elementary Students

(04-18-2011)
Hundreds of second grade students visited their future alma mater Friday morning as Covington High School hosted a fun-filled science adventure next to Jack Salter Stadium. It was part of a “Hand in Hand” Science Awareness Day with dozens of demonstrations and exhibits related to chemistry, physics, ecology, and biology.

Funded by a grant from the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation, the event featured 25 to 30 learning stations manned by high school students and visited by second grade students brought by bus from Covington Elementary, Lyon Elementary, Folsom Elementary, and Lee Road Junior High School.

CHS Science Teacher Mary Martin organized the phenomenal collaborative learning event, giving high school students a chance to mentor their younger counterparts, give them a new perspective on science, and show them the Covington High campus which they may be attending one day. The high school students also learn a lot from the younger students, who give them immediate genuine feedback on the different exhibits.

“It’s a way to get high school students participating in a community service project,” Mrs. Martin said. “Doing this is a way to give back to the community, share their talents with others, and if it provokes an interest in becoming a teacher in the future, that’s a plus.”

The high school students themselves picked a subject for each of their learning stations, researched the topic and put together the fun way to teach it to second graders through demonstrations and exhibits. Three hundred and eighty elementary students took part, and 150 students from Covington High were involved.

The hands-on activities ranged from pressurized water rockets to potato cannons, paper planes, gooey hand stuff, habitat descriptions, and the physics of bowling. The names of some of the exhibits included “Biome in a Baggie,” “Eww! Bleck!,” “Slime Time,” and “Forensic Fingerprints.” There was even the requisite volcanic eruption demonstration and magic with magnets.

The Science Awareness Day has accomplished much in the way of making education meaningful for young people, both at the elementary and high school levels.

Deborah McCollum, principal of Covington High, was enthusiastic about the event. “One of our main goals is to offer engaging work for our students,” she said. “The high school students, in designing and teaching scientific concepts to the second graders, gain a much more valuable understanding of the concepts themselves,” Ms. McCollum stated. “Plus it’s a whole lot of fun for everyone.”

The program forges a deeper connection between Covington High and its “feeder schools” as well. “These children will be coming here someday, and we are excited about making those learning community connections,” Ms. McCollum went on to say.

It was the third year the “Science Awareness Day” hands-on demonstrations had been held at the high school. “The response has been excellent,” Mrs. Martin said. “The kids thoroughly enjoy it, the teachers give us positive feedback, and the high school students benefit tremendously.”


Spring Break Begins Friday, April 22; Classes Resume May 2

(04-17-2011)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools will be closed beginning Friday, April 22, for the Spring/Easter break that continues through Friday, April 29. Classes resume on Monday, May 2.

The Central Office and support offices for the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will be closed on Friday, April 22, and on Monday, April 25. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, April 26.


Kindergarten, First Grade Spring Registration Underway

(04-15-2011)
Spring registration for the 2011-2012 school year began April 18, 2011, for students entering kindergarten and first grade for the first time in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Registration for the 2011-2012 pre-kindergarten classes will be held at a later date. The announcement of specific registration dates and times for each school will be listed in local newspapers and here on the School System web site.

Any child born before October 1, 2005, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2006, will be eligible for kindergarten.

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 2010-2011 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 18, 2011

Cypress Cove Elementary
Fifth Ward Jr. High
Folsom Elementary
Whispering Forest Elementary
Woodlake Elementary

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bonne Ecole Elementary
Brock Elementary
Florida Avenue Elementary
Lee Road Jr. High
Little Pearl Elementary
Lyon Elementary
Madisonville Elementary
Mandeville Elementary
Marigny Elementary
Riverside Elementary

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Abita Springs Elementary
Abney Elementary
Alton Elementary
Bayou Woods Elementary
Chahta-Ima Elementary
Covington Elementary
Pontchartrain Elementary
Sixth Ward Jr. High

REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION

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 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 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. All documents must be the most current available and dated within the past 30 days. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required.

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.


Two Slidell Schools Locked Down for Two Hours Re-opened After Neighborhood Search

(04-15-2011)
Boyet Junior High School and Little Oak Middle School are in normal operation again after being in lockdown mode for about two hours Friday morning.

The campuses were locked down after law enforcement officials received a call about suspicious activity in the neighborhood around the schools. Deputies recommended the schools be put on lockdown out of an abundance of caution, said Meredith Mendez, Director of Communications for the School System.

Through their investigation, it was determined that a neighborhood teenager had carried two pellet guns into a nearby house in advance of a weekend visit. After the area was determined to be safe, the schools were taken off lockdown and classes resumed.

If parents with children at either school have any questions or need additional information, they should call the principal of their child’s school. Little Oak Middle School’s office number is 641-6510, and Boyet Junior High’s phone number is 643-3775.


School Board Shares Success With Energy Management Program

(04-14-2011)
The award-winning energy conservation and management program managed by Dr. John Swang for the St. Tammany Parish School Board was explained in detail during a special 90-minute presentation to the National School Board Association’s annual conference in San Francisco April 11.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, opened the program with an overview of the School System, its size, resources, and its success in avoiding substantial energy costs over the past several years. He said the workshop was well-received and appreciated by those in attendance.

Folse commented that it gave the School System an opportunity before a national audience to showcase local energy saving efforts and their positive effects on the budget. “We shared key points on how to set up a workable system and develop a team effort through the schools and offices to help make it a success,” he said.

Dr. Swang, an administrative supervisor with the School System, discussed the program which last year won the District a grand prize Magna Award from the American School Board Journal. His talk was entitled “Saving Energy is More than Just Turning Off the Lights: A Systemic Approach to Effective Energy Management.”

He shared with 51 NSBA conference participants the practices and procedures used by St Tammany Public Schools to save approximately $7 million over the past several years, winning recognition from several state and federal energy agencies along the way.

In a description of his session, it was noted that in 2001, schools budgeted $7 billion for energy costs nationwide, but spent $8 billion. Since that time, energy costs per student have been rising at more than six times the rate of inflation, the National School Boards Association stated. Dr. Swang’s audience included representatives from school systems both larger and smaller than St. Tammany, from all across the nation.

A highlight of his program was the use of interactive remote devices that gave participants a chance to answer “pop quiz” questions scattered throughout the program. “It helped keep people engaged with the information being presented,” Dr. Swang explained. The interactive technology is also used in classrooms throughout the School System and has proven effective in helping students learn new material.

Dr. Swang said many of the school system officials talked to him after the presentation on ways they could implement such a program in their own districts. He has already received emails from participants wanting more specific information on some aspects, and video conference calls may be set up to interact with officials who want to discuss key points face-to-face.

“There was a lot of good energy in the room,” Dr. Swang stated, “ I was told they were looking forward to getting back to their Districts and putting into practice many of things I talked about.” He said that he learned many insights from audience comments as well, and he will be investigating some of the ideas they shared with him for possible use in St. Tammany.

During his overview, he showed participants the Energy Program’s website and invited them to download whatever tools and information they thought useful to their situations. The website offers resources, checklists, and a variety of other materials key to St. Tammany’s success. It emphasizes the “no-cost, low-cost” approach to energy conservation and management, and that idea proved popular among attendees at the workshop, Dr. Swang said.

The energy management program was launched in 2005 when the St. Tammany School Board decided to keep energy-saving efforts “in-house,” using local school-based efforts and existing educational leaders with a keen interest in the field of energy conservation. That gave the School System a chance to keep all the money saved instead of paying some of it to an outside consulting firm as payment for its services.

The School Board established the 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 were able to reduce energy usage by 20 percent. The energy costs avoided have resulted in more funds being available for instructional purposes in the School System.


Florida Avenue Elementary Green Team Builds Solar Panel

(04-13-2011)
Students at Florida Avenue Elementary in Slidell recently learned about alternative energy sources after several of them built their own solar panel.

Nathan Mumphrey, the school’s Music Teacher and sponsor of the “Green Team” group, coordinated the project after he and Principal Ramona Carlin talked about ways to conserve energy and help students “do their part” to save the Earth.

“We wanted to come up with a project for our school this year to really show us making a difference,” Principal Carlin stated. The resulting solar panel is expected to crank out 20 volts at 3.5 amps. “We estimate an output of about 70 watts,” she said, “However, we feel we should get more power if the devices we use with it require fewer amps. We’ll see.”

The solar panel will provide power to a video camera for the school’s morning television broadcast. Principal Carlin said she will announce each morning that the broadcast camera is being powered by solar energy as a daily reminder that the students are doing their part in going green.

The solar panel will also be used to power up the school’s mobile lap top computer carts and charge various batteries. On Saturday, the panel may be used to power fans and a radio.

The project began after Mumphrey spoke to his father who had built solar panels before. They discussed the practicality and safety requirements of students helping construct one.

The budget for the project was $250, and Mumphrey was able to shop around for the best prices on various components. He found the solar cells on the internet, the refurbished battery from a company in Baton Rouge, the inverter at Harbor Freight Tools, and a charge controller from a place called HQRP. The electrical components came from the nearby Radio Shack, the wood frame and silicone caulk from Lowes Building Materials, and the Plexiglas from Northlake Glass in Mandeville.

The whole project was a fun educational event for the students. At the outset, a presentation was made to the faculty on how to save energy around school as well as around the home. The staff was shown a Powerpoint slide show of students testing various items to show power being used even when the electric devices are turned off. “Then we announced our school solar panel project,” Mrs. Carlin said. ”Everyone was excited about the idea.”

During Mr. Mumphrey’s morning sessions with the student Green Team, he showed them what solar cells were and explained how they will harness the power of the sun for the school. Then, with his supervision and step-by-step guidance, the students worked on the project each afternoon until the panel was completed.


Brock Elementary Takes Part in Community Event

(04-07-2011)
Students, teachers, and personnel from Brock Elementary School in Slidell recently took part in a special community outreach at the Slidell Camellia City Farmer’s Market.

The “Brock on the Move” Day in Slidell's Historic Olde Towne shared information with local citizens ranging from health and nutrition to the importance of exercise. Brock Elementary's PIE (Partners In Education) organized the family and community outreach event.

Activities included a Healthy Snacks Presentation by Brock's cafeteria manager, Cindy Emmons, and student members of the school’s Nutrition Advisory Council (NAC). School Nurse Anne Thrasher and two other nurse volunteers set up a mini-health check station to check blood pressure and heart rate.

The students and their families visited the various booths at the farmer's market to sample some of the things local growers have to offer.

The culminating activity was a one-mile Walk-a-Thon through Olde Towne. Two Olde Towne businesses, The Who Dat Shoppe and DuBuisson's Gallery, provided water to participants along the walk-a-thon route. Signs guided the walkers through the Olde Towne community as Brock parents, students, staff, and community members joined in. Each participant received a medal and certificate at the end of the Walk-a-Thon.

This event was part of Brock Elementary School's support of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative that she kicked off at the Slidell school earlier this school year. The goal was to promote healthy eating and exercise.


Northshore High Robotics Team Wins Chairman Award Again

(04-05-2011)
The Robotics Team from Northshore High School won the Chairman’s Award last month at the Bayou Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, the second year in a row for the team. The prestigious Chairman’s Award is awarded annually to the most original and community-oriented team.

As a result of the regional win, 1912 Team Combustion, as the group is called, is now eligible to take part in the national championship competitions again.

Each year, area robotics teams are challenged to design and build a robot ready for competition in a short six week build period, applying the principles of engineering and working together to achieve the goals of the competition.

The regional match took place March 17 at the Alario Center in Westwego. The robotics competition is called “FIRST,” an acronym meaning “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” The team’s entry this year was named “Valkyre,” a robot capable of performing a series of challenging maneuvers.

The Chairman’s Award is the highest award presented by the FIRST competitions. It signifies the best year-round robotics program, taking into account teams which conduct many public service activities throughout the year.

Northshore High is one of more than 2200 active robotics teams in the United State and 11 foreign countries, and there are 49 separate FIRST regional competitions.

The NHS team currently has 41 students involved and some 20 mentors who represent a variety of fields key to engineering and building the robot entries. In addition to building robots for competition, the team encourages students in lower grade levels and other schools to get involved, mentoring their own junior robotics programs.

Other schools from St. Tammany Parish taking part in the FIRST regionals included Fontainebleau High School (“Robodawgs” Team 2221) and Mandeville High School (“Skippers” Team 2992) which also made it to the quarter-finals.

The main purpose of FIRST is to play a uniquely designed annual game where students race to plan and build an efficient robot specifically tailored to perform certain tasks on the playing field. The rest of the year, however, is up to the participants to decide how they will best advance their love for science and technology.

Northshore High's FIRST Robotics “Team 1912 Combustion” was established in the fall of 2005 by a small group of seniors. Since then, it has expanded into a diverse group of mentoring professionals and enthusiastic students from all grades. Students who participate on the team gain valuable knowledge and experience in science, engineering, and real-life skills including planning, decision making and teamwork.

The rapidly-growing Team Combustion has traveled all over the state to raise awareness and interest in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (now abbreviated as STEM).

Throughout the year, Team 1912 Combustion takes past competition robots on visits to audiences ranging from preschoolers to Louisiana state lawmakers. These Northshore students hold demonstrations annually at Heritage Park’s Fourth of July festival, the Tulane Engineering Conference, St. Tammany Parish College and Career Night, fitness and science camps, Back to School Bash, the Slidell City Council, the Krewe of Slidellians Mardi Gras parade, and even the Capitol Rotunda. The demos give individuals in the crowds an opportunity to actually drive the robots and ask questions about FIRST.

FIRST Robotics competitions encourages not only learning and applying real-world engineering principles, but also a distinct brand of sportsmanship known as Gracious Professionalism for which Team Combustion was awarded in 2006, 2009, and 2011.

In addition, the team has undertaken several community service projects including the annual Slidell cleanup, Haiti relief efforts with charity partner Truth 180, the Teen Summit for troubled youth, and even Big Marsh restoration efforts after the BP oil spill.

Members have donated uniforms and Christmas gifts for children around the region and have donated needed items to underprivileged women. Combustion’s members believe that the best way to foster affection for engineering and technology is by first giving back to their community.

The group has had excellent help along the way from capable mentors who shared their knowledge and expertise as well as from sponsors who have volunteered both time and financial grants. The mentors not only enjoy the projects, but have developed an interest in following the careers of team members as they set out to “change the world” after high school graduation.

Meeting the financial demands of running a robotics team teaches team members the importance of acquiring contributions by community sponsors, organizations and businesses ranging from NASA to JCPenny to Slidell’s local Tropical Smoothie.

Last year, the robotics teams from Northshore High School and Mandeville High School were both recognized by the School Board for their outstanding work. Both teams ranked well at last year’s national competition among 86 teams in Atlanta.

“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,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie. “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.

Each year Team Combustion explores new ways to serve the community, and members hope that the recent publicity from winning the most prestigious regional award will catapult their team to even greater heights. “We hope to continue expanding the future potential of the team to kindle an even brighter spark for knowledge,” one team member said.


Abita Springs Middle School Orchestras Perform Concerts

(04-04-2011)
Student musicians from Abita Springs Middle School presented a concert at Abita Springs Elementary School March 25, as well as giving a performance at Woodlake Elementary School. The Beginning Strings Orchestra, the Advanced Strings Orchestra, and the Fiddle Club all participated.

Earlier, the Fiddle Club had presented a program on Sunday, March 20, at the Earthday Fest at the Abita Springs Tammany Trace trailhead.

Upcoming concerts include a performance on Monday, May 2, at the Abita Springs Middle School gymnasium. All three groups will take part, along with musicians from Abita Elementary and Woodlake Elementary. The program will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The beginning orchestra has 2o members, the advanced orchestra has 12 members, and the Fiddle Club has 12 members. The musical groups are under the direction of Ms. Annie Young and Community Assistant Ms. Miranda Paine-Jesam.


Covington Elementary Wins State Commendation for Educational Performance

(04-01-2011)
Covington Elementary School won praise from the State Department of Education Wednesday for being one of fifty-six schools in the state recognized for educational excellence with students from high-poverty areas.

Earning the special designation of a “High-Performing, High-Poverty” school, Covington Elementary School officials were presented a distinctive glass award. Principal Martha Romo, Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie attended an awards program in Baton Rouge this week where the honor was announced.

Principal Romo said, “We are very proud. It is a very impressive award.” She attributed the honor to her outstanding faculty and staff, saying that “they are dedicated and awesome.”

This is the fourth year the state department has identified and honored schools for overcoming the challenges associated with educating populations with a large number of poor and minority children. This is the first year a St. Tammany Parish public school has been placed on the list.

To meet the current High-Performing, High-Poverty (HPHP) designation requirements, schools must achieve a baseline SPS of 100 or higher for two consecutive years. Additionally, at least 65 percent of the school’s population must be enrolled in the federally-funded free or reduced-price meal program—a national indicator used to measure poverty.

Principal Romo said that Covington Elementary met both criteria this year. While the school has had a School Performance Score of over a 100 for a long time, it was the first year its student population reached the 65 percent level for free or reduced price meals, she said. The most recent baseline School Performance Score for Covington Elementary came in at 115.6, and the school’s percentage of students performing At or Above Grade Level was 86.1 percent.

“We want to congratulate the students, families, teachers and administrators in these schools for their extraordinary efforts and success,” State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek said at the meeting. “At the heart of all their hard work is the fundamental belief that all children can perform at or above grade level – regardless of their socioeconomic background or other challenging circumstances.”

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Penny Dastugue said, “We look forward to honoring these 56 schools for their hard work and dedication to education. Their demonstrated success is evidence that schools can perform at high levels, even under the most challenging circumstances.”
Her faculty and staff work hard to do their best to love the kids and make them successful, Principal Romo commented.

The State Education Department is studying the HPHP schools to identify best practices that can be replicated statewide in schools with similar demographics and challenges.


Superintendent Speaks To Law Enforcement Meeting

(03-31-2011)
Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, recently delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the annual conference of the Louisiana Chapter of FBI National Academy Associates held in Mandeville. The theme of the FBI-NAA group’s annual meeting was “Keeping Our Kids Safe and Secure in Schools.”

Superintendent Folse outlined the many programs implemented over the past five years within the St. Tammany Parish School System for the safety and security of students, staff, and facilities.

Folse first gave an overview of the School System, its main educational mission, leadership, and success in keeping parents involved through PTA groups. He said that since Hurricane Katrina, the School System has implemented several initiatives for better communication between the District, the news media, parents, local law enforcement agencies and fire and rescue services.

Of key importance to the law enforcement officers in attendance was St. Tammany’s adoption of the National Incident Management System criteria, which helps ensure the rapid delivery of first responder services to schools when necessary. The system incorporates an Incident Command System into emergency plans and provides for proper training and communication practices.

The Superintendent also spoke about the Proactive Readiness Emergency Plan (PREP) adopted by each school and the District, the “Rapid Responder” internet-based system that provides emergency personnel with detailed campus layout information, and the 900 security cameras installed in schools throughout the parish which give real-time video monitoring and recording capabilities. Principals have found the video surveillance helpful in analyzing various kinds of incidents, including thanking students who have been seen performing good deeds.

All 369 school buses also have security video cameras, Folse went on to say, noting that bus drivers appreciate the positive effect the cameras have on bus passengers who know they are being monitored.

Other improvements to safety and security for the school system include the assignment of “School Resource Officers” in the schools, local law enforcement officers who work on campus daily. New visitor authorization procedures check the driver licenses of visitors to each campus to insure they are not in a national crime or sexual offender database. Newly installed fencing of all school perimeters provides for a one-point entry and exit of visitors.

Folse also noted that the School System takes part in a Crimestoppers’ Safe Schools Hotline which helps receive “tips” from callers who are concerned about the possibility of a safety problem. In addition, schools have launched new emergency alert communications services for parents and staff, incorporating the School System website, mobile phone web pages, automated phone calls, and text messaging for those who sign up to participate.

Several students in Mandeville High School’s “Show Choir” group provided entertainment for the opening session. Under the direction of Martha Kennemer, they performed several spirited musical selections.

The 80 law enforcement officers in attendance came from a multitude of sheriff and municipal police departments, as well as the State Police.

The FBI-NAA Group is made up of local law enforcement officers who have attended the FBI’s National Academy training programs. Robert Donald, a security coordinator with the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, is president of the group’s Louisiana Chapter.


Heads Shaved For Junior Honor Society Fund-raising Project

(03-30-2011)
Two teachers at Fontainebleau Junior High School are sporting a new hairdo this week, the bald look. They agreed to have their heads shaved to lend encouragement for students throughout the School System undergoing cancer treatments that make them lose their hair.

English teacher Jenay Meyer and Coach Charles Rollins took part in a National Junior Honor Society community service project to raise funds for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation , an organization that supports pediatric cancer research across the U. S. and Canada. Seated before more than a hundred students, the two had their heads shaved by local hairstylist Suzette Simoneaux.

Coach Rollins’ first comment about his new hairstyle was, “It’s very cold up there.” He was reminded that he now has to put sunscreen on his head when outdoors, and when asked who his favorite actor was, he said Telly Savalas.

Meyer said the group had already raised $3000 towards its goal of $5000. There are approximately 22 students in the School System diagnosed with cancer, and she said that Fontainebleau Junior High in the past has had students with cancer. “We’re pretty excited about the project,” she said. The fund-raising effort goes through the first week of April.

“Getting cancer can happen to any of us,” Meyer told the audience of Junior Honor Society members, and she thanked the group for its outstanding efforts over the past couple of weeks to raise money for the event. The National Junior Honor Society has 189 members on the campus of 930 students.

Meyer, a Fontainebleau Junior High faculty member since 1996, is head of the English Language Arts Department and an English Language Arts teacher for the eighth grade. Coach Rollins has taught 14 years at Fontainebleau Junior High and has coached football and boy's basketball for 15 years.

Principal Timothy Schneider said that the head shaving is to show solidarity with kids who lose their hair from chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. “It’s hard enough for an adult to lose their hair during cancer therapy, it’s far more difficult for a child. Hair loss is just a portion of what does on during the treatment, and we are just trying to show that as they recover, the hair will return.” Dr. Schneider mentioned that the event was occurring on the same day as a System-wide “Team Up To Help” day where donations were collected for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami rescue and recovery effort.

“We are proud to do this kind of project, and this school has always been very good at community fund raising efforts,” he went on to say. “Our kids are good at giving to worthwhile causes; they understand that there are bigger things in life than just themselves.”

Everyone’s family has been touched by someone close to them with cancer, Dr. Schneider said. “Through efforts such as this, there has been a lot of success in cancer research, bringing about remission and cures.”

A special guest at the head shaving event was seventh grade student Chase Jenkins, a cancer victim, who appreciated the group’s efforts to help him and others through cancer research.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has raised almost $90 million in grants for research by organizing head-shaving events where donations are pledged when people agreed to go for the bald look. Nearly 145,000 people have had their heads shaved in 28 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

More information on the foundation may be found at the website www.stbaldricks.org


State Sends Attendance Policy Changes To School Districts

(03-29-2011)
Changes to the School System’s attendance policy will be made next month, following action by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) this past November.

The School Board was told Thursday night by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie that the new policy will be implemented in April. It will affect attendance rules in the second semester in high schools, but will be retroactive to the beginning of the school year in elementary, middle school, and junior high schools.

Supervisor Regina Sanford explained the changes to the School Board, saying that the attendance policy they end the School Year with will not be the same one with which they started the school year.

Dr. Sanford listed the four categories of absences in the policy, those that are exempted from the policy and excused; those that are non-exempted and excused, those that are non-exempted and unexcused, and those that are non-exempted and result in suspensions.

Under the old policy, students staying out of school due to illness had to be out of school three continuous days with a doctor’s note to be exempted from the attendance policy. Now a student can be absent one hour or one period and that does not count against them if the doctor’s note is provided.

Another change in attendance deals with a student out of school to visit with a parent who is in the armed forces about to be deployed to a combat zone. They are also exempted from the attendance policy. Other exemptions include recuperation from an accident, death in the immediate family, and court mandated orders.

Students missing school must present parent notes to be excused, even though they are not exempted from the attendance rules. These absences are not used to determine truancy, and make up work should be provided.

When a student does not bring a note from their parent, these absences are unexcused. Students in these circumstances could get a zero, as make up work is not provided.

An Adobe Acrobat PDF file that explains the new attendance policy in detail is available by clicking the view file link below.

Dr. Sanford pointed out that there are two separate processes involving attendance, those being denial of credit or promotion and truancy. Each are dealt with according to a certain set of criteria.

In the matter of how many days can be missed, at the high school level, students may be out five days per semester; in K-8 schools, students may miss up to 10 days of school per year. If days absent go above those two numbers, course credit could be denied or students could be retained.

A separate portion of the new policy deals with truancy, which is handled as a non-exempted and unexcused absence and dealt with accordingly.


2011-2012 School Calendar Adopted, School Starts Monday, August 8

(03-25-2011)
Following a vote by the employees of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, a calendar for the 2011-2012 School Year has been adopted. School begins in the fall on Monday, August 8, and ends on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Pete Jabbia told the School Board at its Committee As A Whole meeting Thursday night that two proposed calendars were sent out in a survey and 87 per cent of the employees chose “Calendar A.” More than 3000 employees took part in the voting.

The calendar marks September 5 as the Labor Day Holiday, September 30 as the Parish Fair Holiday, and November 21 through November 25 as the Thanksgiving Holidays.

The Winter/Christmas break will run from December 19 through January 2, the Martin Luther King Holiday will be on January 16, and Mardi Gras Holidays will run from February 20 through February 24 (Monday through Friday).

The Spring/Easter break for 2012 will be Monday, April 2, through Monday, April 9.

For an Adobe Acrobat PDF file of the calendar,click here.


Slidell High Student Recognized For Outstanding Community Service Activities

(03-25-2011)
Slidell High School senior Hannah Manetta is the latest recipient for the HERO Award given by Sophisticated Woman magazine and Charter Business.

Sarah Cottrell, Associate Publisher of Sophisticated Woman magazine, and Shelly King with Charter Business visited Slidell High recently to present Hannah with the Star-shaped glass HERO Award. Her mother Donna Manetta, a teacher at the school, was also on hand.

Hannah felt very honored to be chosen for the second monthly award which recognizes high school students who have shown integrity and excellent character in their daily lives. She was nominated for the recognition by Senior Counselor Carrie Speer, who said Hannah “truly exemplifies” a young person who has consistently reached out to those who are less fortunate.

The HERO award stands for “Helpfully and Eagerly Reaching Out.”

“She is a hero to so many,” said Ms. Speer in her nomination letter. “I have never met a student who has participated in as many community service programs and volunteer opportunities as Hannah.”

“Her commitment and energy is truly remarkable,” Ms. Speer went on to say. “In the classroom, she is a most conscientious student, receiving a multitude of honors in advanced placement classes. Her 4.35 Grade Point Average is evidence of her academic success.”

The daughter of Bob and Donna Manetta, Hannah will be a third-generation graduate of Slidell High School, and in the fall, she will attend Lewis and Clark College in Portland to pursue a degree in International Affairs.

Hannah is already planning ways to answer the “call to action” to help the Japanese victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami.

Last summer, she worked in a homeless shelter in Portland, OR, and also on service projects for the Navaho Nation as well as the Choctaw Nation. One of her most rewarding projects was organizing a run to raise money for Women of the Congo after she heard of the need for funding to help educate those women who live in one of the most dangerous places in the world.

She was commended for spending countless hours helping others, from Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts to Vacation Bible School, working with her church’s October pumpkin patch and Halloween “Trunk or Treat” activities. Her community activities include playing the piano for a contemporary worship group at First United Methodist Church

Hannah has dressed as the school Tiger mascot for the past four years, she runs with the cross country team and the track team, and she is a huddle leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. Additionally, she is a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and serves as secretary for the Foreign Language Club at Slidell High. She is taking part in the senior play this year as well.

Her personal interests include running, working out, yoga, kneeboarding, backpacking, and spending time with friends and family.

Earlier this year Sophisticated Woman magazine teamed up with Charter Business to launch the HERO award program in an effort to honor high school students in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes who exemplify academic excellence, community involvement, leadership among peers, humanitarianism, sportsmanship, and the ability to overcome extraordinary circumstances.

Each month a selection committee reviews nominations and chooses a recipient. They are featured in an article and an advertisement in Sophisticated Woman magazine. More information about the award can be found at SophisticatedWoman.com.


Local Students Excel In Poetry Out Loud Competitions

(03-24-2011)
A Covington High School student recently won second place in the Louisiana state “Poetry Out Loud” competition. Fifteen students from around the state took part, and St. Tammany’s DeAngelo Renard won $100 in the event, with $200 also being donated by the program for his school library.

If the first place Louisiana winner is unable to attend the national competition, he may go to Washington, D.C., next month and represent the state as runner up.

Renard and Nicholas Houston of Northshore High made it to the final rounds in the State Competition hosted by the Louisiana Division of the Arts. At the state level, the participants have to go through three rounds with a different poem each round.

A St. Tammany district level competition was held in early February at Mandeville High School, with 19 students from high schools throughout the parish taking part. Christian Core of Covington High won first place in district reciting the poems “Football” by Louis Jenkins and “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Renard won second place in district, reciting the poems “After Working Sixty Hours Again for What Reason” by Bob Hicok and “Ballard of Birmingham” by Dudley Randall.

Third place at the district competition was won by Houston, who recited the poems “The Idler” by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson and “Passing” by Toi Derricotte. Houston also performed those two poems at a special “Fine Arts in the Schools Month” Program just prior to the March 17 Board meeting in Covington.

Contestants in this year’s district competition included Covington High student Maria Hefte; Fontainebleau High students Liz Giraud, Lucas Bernard, and Genevieve Brown; Mandeville High students Mallory Davis, Amber Russell, and Angelina Vancheri; Northshore High students Jenna Losh, and Paige Hymel; Pearl River High students Jacob Turner, Holly Duchmann, and Cheyenne Crowe; Salmen High students Stanley Amerski, Lora Lavigne, and Lauren Carlton; and Slidell High student Rebecca Guy.

Judges for the St. Tammany district event included Mayor Donald Villere of Mandeville, Poet Sylvia Brookter, Vice Chair of the St. Tammany Parish Commission on Cultural Affairs Kelly Elliot, and the Assistant Public Information Officer for St. Tammany Parish Government Thomas Beale.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partners with state arts agencies to support Poetry Out Loud, which encourages the nation's youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage.

Launched in 2006, the program involved nearly 325,000 students across America last year. The National Finals will be held in Washington, DC, April 28 & 29, 2011.

According to the program directors, recitation and performance are exciting current trends in poetry, and a resurgence of poetry as an oral art form has been seen. Poetry Out Loud uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level. School winners advance to a parishwide competition, then to a regional and/or state competition, and ultimately to the National Finals.

St. Tammany had its first Poetry Out Loud contest last year when the Talented Arts Program partnered with St. Tammany Parish Government through involvement with the Talented Theatre programs at the high schools. At some schools the school participation has expanded to include English classes and teachers.

The Parish level contest consists of two rounds. Each contestant presents a poem they have chosen from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology in each round. The poem must be memorized. Parish winners each received a trophy and a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble provided by Parish President Kevin Davis.

The district Poetry Out Loud program is sponsored by the St. Tammany Parish Government’s Commission on Cultural Affairs, as well as the School Board. Local Arts Coordinator for the St. Tammany Parish level is Jennifer Hart Bushnell, and St. Tammany Parish Schools Talented Arts Program Coordinator Debbie Lefort, assisted by Donna Laurent, helped conduct the local competition.

Last year eighteen high school students from throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System took part in the St. Tammany Parish Poetry Out Loud Competition at Mandeville High. Poetry Out Loud materials are sent to high schools in August and September, and participating schools run the program through early winter.


Schools Celebrate Louisiana School Lunch Week with Special Programs

(03-23-2011)
Schools across St. Tammany conducted special cafeteria programs the week of March 14 through March 18 in observance of Louisiana School Lunch Week.

Extra special efforts were made at Pine View Middle School since last October that school won first place in its division for the national “School Lunch Week” competition. Principal Janis Daviston said the school was commended for its lunchroom decorations and student-created activities.

As a result, everyone was striving to win state honors as well. The school has already won the state competition several times in the past. Principal Daviston said the students had been working on activities to win the state event for several weeks.

Linda Holliday, Pine View teacher, said the school usually goes all out for one or the other, but this year the school’s Nutrition Advisory Committee (NAC) decided to take part in both programs. The committee is composed of 28 students representing all grade levels at the school, with a representative from each home room. Almost every school in the System has a student-led Nutrition Advisory Committee.

The Pine View group met, did research, and came up with ideas for projects and activities that emphasized healthy eating habits for their classmates. The NAC group has done milk projects, balanced meal projects, entertained the teachers, and promoted national soup month.

“The NAC group is an active and important part of our school,” said Principal Daviston. “They even come up here on Saturdays for a meeting sometimes. They meet with our Cafeteria Manager Mable Stewart and Teacher Sponsor Ms. Holliday and come up with the exciting plans for these special events.”

Louisiana School Lunch week emphasized regional dishes from gumbo and jambalaya to catfish. Mealtime activities included games, activities, and contests.

Madisonville Elementary School celebrated Louisiana School Lunch Week with the theme of “What’s On Your Plate?” Students decorated the school cafeteria with artworks representing nutrition and unique regional foods. Bulletin boards, walls and indoor trees were covered with artwork representing foods such as red beans and rice, boiled seafood, and beignets. There were contests and prizes. To add to the festivities, Cajun music filled the halls at elementary school in Madisonville.

On the last day of the week, several special guests came to the school to enjoy a fried catfish lunch with the students. Guests included Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie and Food Service Employee Angela Jackson. One of the Kindergarten classes presented a “Lunch Bunch” dressed as chefs who sang songs and paraded into the cafeteria and around the special guests.


School System Launches Team Effort To Raise Funds For Japanese Victims

(03-18-2011)
The team spirit will be in full force across the St. Tammany Parish Public School System next Friday, March 25, as students, staff, and administration join together to raise funds for the disasters which have fallen upon Japan in the past week.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, recently notified school principals that the “Team Up To Help Day” will give participants an opportunity to wear items representing their favorite sports teams. For a dollar donation, they can show their team spirit and help the Japanese people.

Recalling how Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, Folse stated, “As the recent experience in Japan unfolds, once again we have watched how a nation can be completely affected by multiple disasters. Last year, our school system rose to the occasion and delivered a sizable check to the Red Cross to aid the people of Haiti after their country was hit by an earthquake.”

Principals and students have indicated to Folse in the past week they wanted to take part in another Systemwide fund-raising effort to help those in need. The school that collects the largest amount per student population will make the donation to the Red Cross on behalf of the School System at a special ceremony.

Folse said the “Team Up To Help Day” effort will not only generate support for the Japanese victims of the recent massive earthquake and tsunami, but it will also demonstrate the powerful benefits of people working together as a team.


Chevron Volunteers Ready Mandeville Elementary Garden For Spring

(03-17-2011)
A group of 10 volunteers from the area Chevron office helped prepare the front entrance garden at Mandeville Elementary for Spring plantings recently, guided by the parent of one of the students attending the school, Ms. Gina Villar.

The volunteers turned out March 16 to put down mulch, clean up the flower beds, and spruce up the existing azalea bushes. Principal Elizabeth Laine greeted the group, thanking them for their efforts to help the school.

The volunteers carefully worked around the numerous tiles that had been hand-decorated by students and placed in the garden over the years. Each tile represented a theme that the school had promoted during the school year. The group brought their own shovels, rakes, black weed paper, wheelbarrow, and mulch.

“It is a wonderful thing that the volunteers cared enough to come and work in the school’s garden,” Principal Laine said. “They are all good community helpers, and we really appreciate it. When the community and schools work together amazing things are created.”

Ms. Villar said it was their way to thank Mrs. Laine for having such a great school.

Among those working in the garden were Zach Schneider, Anna Schneider, Laura Swafford, Mike Brashear, and Kathy Brenneman. They were from the Chevron Gulf Of Mexico Business Unit in Covington.

With her daughter attending Mandeville Elementary, Ms. Villar volunteered to take care of the garden for the school this year. She talked about the effort to her friend Anna Schneider, who works for Chevron. In turn, she talked to her boss who agreed the project was a good community involvement outreach.


Hornets Set April 1 as St. Tammany Schools Night

(03-17-2011)
The New Orleans Hornets professional basketball team will celebrate Friday, April 1, 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 Memphis Grizzlies that night beginning at 7:00 p.m. with a number of audience-participation contests scheduled at the New Orleans Arena. Activities include the flag presentation and opportunities to serve as high five kids, tunnel kids, and ball boys.

March 24 is the deadline for special ticket price availability. For more information, call 504-593-4746.


Saints Junior Training Camp Visits Pine View Middle School

(03-16-2011)
A truck full of sports training equipment and a crew of several volunteers from Whitney Bank visited Pine View Middle School in Covington March 16 to conduct a Saints Junior Training Camp for hundreds of students. The event was part of the “Play 60” physical exercise campaign promoted by the NFL at schools across the country.

The two-hour-long program took the students through seven training stations set up throughout the play area behind the school, each station emphasizing a football drill that is actually used by the pro teams. Activities included standing jumps, football tosses, football catches, tackling padded dummies, and fast-footed maneuvering to avoid being tagged.

Principal Janis Daviston said the event was very popular with the students, especially since they all got a special T-shirt and the chance to win Saints-related souvenirs. “The goal of this is to get more kids to play the game of football while influencing them to be better people in the game of life,” she said.

The program began with a presentation to the students on the importance of daily exercise, eating good food, and working to learn what they need to know to be successful in life, no matter what their chosen vocation. Then they moved outdoors for the actual running and jumping. “The different activities were designed so that anybody can perform the skills regardless of age, gender or experience,” Principal Daviston said. “The weather turned out wonderful. This is a beautiful day for this,” she said.

The program's sponsors include Whitney Bank and Gatorade Sports Drink. The NFL’s “Play 60” program encourages students to get outdoors and be physically active at least 60 minutes each day. The Junior Training Camp is a great collaboration between the Saints, the community and the schools, said one Whitney volunteer.

The students were chosen to participate in the camp based on winning special recognition over the previous month for practicing safety, acting respectfully, and working responsibility at the school.

The Saints Junior Training Camps are held at two or three schools a week in Louisiana, Mississippi, and along the Gulf Coast. The group earlier visited a school in Mandeville, and overall this year, some 200 camps will be given. The day before the Pine View visit, the truck and crew had been in Mobile, AL.


Meeting To Be Held For Input to the 2011 Pupil Progression Plan

(03-11-2011)
A public meeting to review proposed revisions to the School System’s Pupil Progression Plan will be held on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:00 p.m. at Boyet Junior High School in Slidell. School officials will receive input from the community and discuss proposed changes for the plan.

The plan establishes placement, promotion, retention, and grading policies for students within the St. Tammany Parish Public School System. A committee of school administrators, teachers, and parents meets annually to review the plan and submit recommendations to the School Board for consideration.

The Pupil Progression Plan Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet on March 16 for discussion of any changes proposed by administrators.

Following the public meeting on April 6, the proposed Plan will be presented to the St. Tammany Parish School Board for its consideration at the June 2, 2011, Committee As A Whole meeting and again at the June 9, 2011, School Board meeting at the C.J. Schoen Administrative Complex.


Parents, Teachers Reminded To Set Clocks Ahead an Hour

(03-10-2011)
Daylight Savings Time for 2011 begins at 2 a.m. this Sunday, March 13, with a “spring forward” from Central Standard Time.

Parents and teachers are reminded to set their clocks ahead an hour to start Monday morning on Daylight Savings Time.


Students Enjoy Parades at Several Schools

(03-04-2011)
Mardi Gras is not only a time for a few days off from school, but students across St. Tammany Parish take the opportunity to learn about area customs, build and decorate floats of various sizes (from shoebox on up), and greet the community face-to-face with parades of their own accompanied by marching bands and cheerleaders.

Many schools take Mardi Gras seriously, incorporating the holiday in classroom handicraft projects, electing Kings and Queens, and going out into the streets for a first hand experience of throwing strings of beads and other trinkets to family and friends. Parents are especially involved in many of the holiday festivities as the Mardi Gras season builds.


Schools Close March 4 – March 14 for Workshops and Mardi Gras Holidays

(03-03-2011)
Public school students in St. Tammany Parish are out of school this week, the Mardi Gras holidays, through Friday, March 11. Students will return to classes on Monday, March 14.


Superintendent Folse Reads to Kindergarten Class

(03-03-2011)
Elementary students around the country celebrated the birthday of famed Children’s Author Dr. Seuss this week, and schools in St. Tammany joined in by holding special “Reader Days” bringing in special guests from the community to read their favorite children’s books to kindergarten classes. It is part of the “Read Across America” program promoted by the National Education Association.

At Pontchartrain Elementary, Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, read one of his daughter’s favorite children’s books to three kindergarten classes. Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie also visited with the students. Among the special guest readers were Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere who read to the classes one of his favorite Dr. Seuss’s classics. Pontchartrain Principal Kim Thomas was a special guest reader as well.

Since the theme of the week was “Louisiana Festivals of Learning,” the walls of the kindergarten wing were decorated to portray the different kinds of regional festivals, from the Renaissance Festival, to the French Quarter Festival and the Hot Air Balloon Festival.

Mayor Villere, formerly a School Board member, was grand marshal for the school’s Mardi Gras parade held the day before.

Now in its thirteenth year, the “Read Across America” program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. The national reading celebration takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books.


Public Schools Close March 7-11 for Mardi Gras Holidays

St. Tammany Parish Public Schools will be closed Monday, March 7, through Friday, March 11, for the 2011 Mardi Gras Holidays. Classes resume on Monday, March 14.

St. Tammany Parish School Board support offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday, March 7 and 8, and will reopen on Wednesday, March 9.


Special Olympics Events Held at Fontainebleau High

(03-02-2011)
More than two hundred and seventy students from across the parish took part in the Special Olympics Track and Field Event at Fontainebleau High School north of Mandeville March 2, with competitions in the 50 and 100 meter walk/run, 25 meter wheel chair race, shot put, softball throw, and standing long jump, as well as a variety of developmental games.

The three hour event began with a parade of all the contestants, the lighting of the Special Olympics torch, and welcomes by Principal Johnny Vitrano, Supervisor of Special Education Sharon Hosch, and Charlie Courville, Director of Outreach and Area Management for the Louisiana Special Olympics organization.

The St. Tammany Parish Adapted Physical Education Department hosted the annual Track and Field Meet for middle school, junior high, and high school athletes with special needs from throughout St. Tammany Parish. A variety of schools were represented.

The Bulldog Buddies Club of Fontainebleau High provided scores of volunteers for the event, and parents, community members and track enthusiasts were invited to attend and cheer for the athlete participants. The Mandeville Police Department and Fire Protection District also lent a hand.

The Fontainebleau High School ROTC presented the colors as the school groups gathered onto the school’s football field. It was the third time Fontainebleau High had served as a site for the annual event. In recognition of the school's support, Louisiana Special Olympics awarded Fontainebleau High a special honor this year, recognizing it as “Outstanding School of the Year.” A banner proclaiming the honor was unfurled and put on display at the opening ceremonies. Close to 20 schools had been nominated for the designation, Courville said.

Coordinator of Adaptive Physical Education Dr. Renae Wallace said that Fontainebleau High students have been awesome in their volunteer turnout for the event. She especially appreciated the many signs the student volunteers had painted and put on display to welcome the incoming athletes.

Supervisor of Special Education Hosch said the program was a great opportunity for students to participate in activities together. “When our special students do something like this, they are competing and being part of a team,” she said. The variety of competitions at the Track and Field Event gives each individual participant a good chance to excel at one thing or another, she noted.

“There’s so much work that goes into the whole program, and everyone involved feels it is so rewarding,” Hosch stated.

“Fontainebleau High has been named Outstanding School of the Year because of its continuing dedication in making a difference in the lives of these athletes,” she said.

She especially thanked the Bulldog Buddies group for its service to the school and the event. “For providing clear support, friendship and guidance, those students are truly appreciated,” she said. “Their encouragement to their fellow students is greatly valued.”

Courville has been working with Special Olympics since 1989 and was named Outreach Director in 2005. “Over the years, I’ve seen a real change in people’s attitudes towards those with disabilities,” he said. He recalled early efforts to show how capable those called disabled actually were, and how the Special Olympics has made great strides in bringing that realization to more and more people.

Greater emphasis is being placed today on “unified” programs, where those with special needs and regular athletics work together in sports competitions. “We are proud of the new direction Special Olympics has taken,” he said. The main goal is to give those students a real sense of accomplishment, of working together on a team, and a new self-confidence which will travel with them after school into the workplace.

“Being able to contribute to a team effort at Special Olympics gives the students a real boost in self-esteem and confidence,” Courville stated. That translates to a greater awareness of the contributions they can make to their families and community.

Principal Vitrano welcomed the hundreds of visitors, both athletes and family members, to his campus. “As teachers, we all know how special these students are,” he said. “We are proud to host this event and give these students a chance to pursue excellence, stretch their limits, and achieve new heights.”

Courville predicted that the student members of the Bulldog Buddies will also realize greater things about themselves, in addition to the friendships that result from the organization’s activities. He expects that when Bulldog Buddies graduate, get jobs, and become leaders in the business world, they will continue their awareness and volunteer work for the special needs community.

Special thanks was also given to the Adaptive Physical Education teachers for their work and preparation for the event, as well the parents and educators who helped make the day a reality.


Dates Set For Kindergarten, First Grade Spring Registration

(03-01-2011)
Spring registration for the 2011-2012 school year will begin April 18, 2011, for students entering kindergarten and first grade for the first time in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System.

Registration for the 2011-2012 pre-kindergarten classes will be held at a later date. The announcement of specific registration dates and times for each school will be listed in local newspapers and here on the School System web site.

Any child born before October 1, 2005, will be eligible for the first grade, and any child born before October 1, 2006, will be eligible for kindergarten.

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 2010-2011 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 18, 2011

Cypress Cove Elementary
Fifth Ward Jr. High
Folsom Elementary
Whispering Forest Elementary
Woodlake Elementary

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bonne Ecole Elementary
Brock Elementary
Florida Avenue Elementary
Lee Road Jr. High
Little Pearl Elementary
Lyon Elementary
Madisonville Elementary
Mandeville Elementary
Marigny Elementary
Riverside Elementary

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Abita Springs Elementary
Abney Elementary
Alton Elementary
Bayou Woods Elementary
Chahta-Ima Elementary
Covington Elementary
Pontchartrain Elementary
Sixth Ward Jr. High

REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION

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 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 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. All documents must be the most current available and dated within the past 30 days. Documents that are suspect or inconclusive may be disallowed and additional documentation may be required.

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.


Lee Road Jr High Showcases Louisiana Products and Culinary Exhibits

(02-25-2011)
The annual Louisiana Day exhibition took place at Lee Road Junior High School February 25, with festivities and exhibits attracting a large number of parents and community visitors. Put together by the third grade teachers and students, the day’s events included musical entertainment and snacks and lunch offering a wide variety of samples of authentic Louisiana cooking.

Principal Anna Bowie said the event was just amazing, from the student-produced exhibits to the turnout by community service agencies, among them the LSU Cooperative Extension Service.

Coordinators were Mrs. Martha Cazaubon, Mrs. Jackie T. Jacob, Mrs. Angela Montgomery, and Mrs. Darlene Saurage.

The event started as a classroom project 12 years ago, expanded into the hallway, and now covers the entire gymnasium and a large area outdoors. Hundreds of visitors, community leaders, special guests, and retired School System personnel take the opportunity to visit with the students, teachers, and their friends and relatives.

The indoor exhibits covered a wide range of Louisiana-oriented topics, from the Causeway and the State Capitol Building, to Catahoula dogs, King Cakes, red beans and rice, and a dugout canoe from the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum.

The outdoor exhibits included the Sheriff’s Department helicopter, canine unit, motorcycle patrol, animal control, Command Center motorhome, and SWAT team truck as well as exhibits by the Wildlife and Fisheries Department and the Louisiana State Police. Especially popular with the students were the chance to touch a live baby alligator, examine a motorcycle up close, and watch the unbelted dummy be tossed out of the State Police Rollover Truck Seat Belt Safety Demonstration Unit.

Among the special guests attending were School Board President Stephen “Jack” Loup III and Board member Charles Harrell, State Representative Scott Simon, and Fred Bass, Assistant to Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain. Former school personnel from across the parish turn out for the event, as do the grandfathers and grandmothers of the students who attend Lee Road Junior High. Philip Sharp, who is 101 years old this year, is a regular attendee, along with this brother Victor Sharp. Diane Bourgeois, retired assistant principal from Folsom Elementary, and Leo Bourgeois, a retired coach from Covington High School, were also enjoying the exhibits.

Teacher and event organizer Martha Cazaubon said they make special efforts to recognize the contributions made by the older residents of the community. The Day has become a tradition in the Lee Road area for all ages to enjoy. “We aren’t able to get on the bus and travel to these Louisiana landmarks on field trips as much as we would like to,” she said, “so doing the exhibits and holding this special day helps us focus on our Louisiana community heritage.”

To view photos from the event, visit http://stpsb.org/PhotoGalleryArchives/LouisianaDay/LouisianaDay.htm


College and Career Quest Event Held For Junior High Students

(02-21-2011)
The 2011 St. Tammany Parish Public School’s Junior High College and Career Quest took place on Tuesday, February 22, at the Castine Center in Pelican Park east of Mandeville. Hundreds of junior high students and their parents from throughout St. Tammany participated.

The public was also invited to attend.

The event was well-attended. The purpose of the annual event was to allow students enrolled in Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade (and their families) to begin exploring a variety of post-secondary options. The information received will be helpful to students who will attend Covington High, Fontainebleau High, Mandeville High, Lakeshore High, Northshore High, Pearl River High, Salmen High, or Slidell High.

A number of representatives from various institutions and organizations were on hand to offer information to the prospective high school graduates, everything from the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Aid and the state scholarship program, TOPS, to financial institutions, colleges, military academies, and test prep options. Local high schools showcased the different offerings available at each campus.

For more information, the College Counseling website is available by visiting http://college.stpsb.org/


Schools Celebrate Presidents Day

(02-21-2011)
All across St. Tammany Parish, schools observed Presidents Day Monday, February 21, with special programs that included singing, skits, and historical presentations.

Hundreds of parents turned out for the annual event. At Madisonville Elementary students recited informational tidbits about each president, re-enacted the Oath of Office taken by incoming Commanders-In-Chief, and gave special tribute to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays in February brought about the designation of Presidents Day.



College and Career Quest Event Planned For Junior High Students

(02-21-2011)
The 2011 St. Tammany Parish Public School’s Junior High College Career Quest will take place on Tuesday, February 22, at the Castine Center in Pelican Park east of Mandeville. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will end at 9 p.m.

Approximately 9500 invitations have been sent out to junior high students and their parents throughout the parish, and the public is also invited to attend.

Last year’s event was well-attended, and to ease parking concerns at Pelican Park, additional parking will be available at Monteleone Junior High a mile east of the Pelican Park entrance on U. S. 190 (63000 Blue Marlin Drive). A free school bus ride to the Castine Center will be offered from Monteleone Junior High every 15 minutes. In addition, Pelican Park officials are recommending to all parents participating in sports, as well as College and Career Fair attendees, to carpool Tuesday night to alleviate some of the traffic coming into the Park.

The purpose of the event is to allow students enrolled in Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade (and their families) to begin exploring a variety of post-secondary options. The information will be helpful to students who will attend Covington High, Fontainebleau High, Mandeville High, Lakeshore High, Northshore High, Pearl River High, Salmen High, or Slidell High.

A number of representatives from various institutions and organizations will be on hand to offer information to the prospective high school graduates, everything from the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Aid and the state scholarship program, TOPS, to financial institutions and test prep options. Local high schools will showcase the different offerings available at each campus. For a list of participants (PDF File), click on the View File link below.

Deputies will be in the front of the Park as well as in the Park to help direct traffic and keep it flowing smoothly.

For more information, phone Annette O’Regan or Christine Y. Woodard, St. Tammany Parish Public School System counselors for college bound students, at 985-898-6456. The College Counseling website is available by clicking here. (http://college.stpsb.org/)

Last year more than 36 exhibitors offered information pertaining to high schools, colleges and universities, state agencies, financial aid services, career and technical training and military options.


First Elementary Fitness Meet Held At Lakeshore High

(02-19-2011)
Hundreds of elementary students, their parents and volunteers from throughout St. Tammany converged on the stadium at Lakeshore High School Saturday, February 19, to take part in the first ever St. Tammany Parish Elementary Fitness Meet.

More than 90 students in fourth through sixth grade from 23 schools participated under sunny skies. Activities included a 50-yard dash, a 600-yard run, standing broad jump, shuttle run, pull-ups, curl-ups and sit and reach.

An awards ceremony followed the competitions, with medals presented to the first, second and third place boy and girl finishers in all events.

Trophy Winners were as follows: The overall school winner was Lake Harbor Middle School. In the Girls Competition, first place was won by Erin Sellers of Lake Harbor Middle School; second place was won by Mackenzie Kennedy of Lake Harbor Middle School; and third place was won by Laura Barrios of Pine View Middle School. In the Boys Competition, first place was won by Todd Bagby of Mandeville Middle School; second place was won by Bryce Carroll of Carolyn Park Middle School; and third place was won by Anthony Mosley of Brock Elementary School.

Their trophies will be presented to them at their respective schools. They will move on to the Governor’s Elementary Fitness Meet to be held in Baton Rouge, Saturday, April 16, 2011.


Salmen High Student Presented With HERO Award

(02-18-2011)
Salmen High School senior Zephnia Rudolph was recently selected by Sophisticated Woman magazine to be the first recipient of its monthly “HERO Award,” an honor given to high school students who have shown integrity and excellent character when facing difficult life challenges.

The award was presented to Rudolph at Salmen High on February 17 by Sarah Cottrell, Associate Publisher with G&A Publishing and Shelly King, a Charter Business account executive. Also on hand was Guidance Counselor Cecelia Anderson who nominated him for the award.

He was recognized for his commitment to succeeding in school, in spite of family sickness and the loss of his home to fire, and for striving to maintain ties with his sisters even though they are now living with relatives. He visits them every weekend and tries to set an example for them, he said.

He is planning to graduate high school this year, after working hard to make up for a year lost after fourth grade. Falling behind a grade was an incentive for him to work harder and get good grades. He now has a 3.0 grade average even while taking nine classes, all in the effort to catch up with his classmates and graduate from high school in three years. In the fall, he hopes to attend Louisiana College to major in business and play football. He will be visiting the college in a few weeks to better prepare himself for the next phase of his academic life.

He was surprised to win the first HERO award, which stands for “Helpfully and Eagerly Reaching Out.”

In addition to playing with the Salmen Spartans football team, he is also active in power lifting and track. He is involved with the first class of Spartans Acquire Value and Education (S.A.V.E.), a program that pairs students with community coaches to help prepare them for college and careers. Rudolph appreciates how the school and his classmates have helped him over the years, especially his football coach Jerry Leonard. He loves the new Salmen High campus and is glad to be among the first graduating class to attend the new school.

Sophisticated Woman magazine teamed up with Charter Business to launch the HERO award program in an effort to honor high school students in St. Tammany and Tangipahoa Parishes who exemplify academic excellence, community involvement, leadership among peers, humanitarianism, sportsmanship, and the ability to overcome extraordinary circumstances.

Each month a selection committee reviews nominations and chooses a recipient. They will be featured in an article in Sophisticated Woman magazine. More information about the award can be found at SophisticatedWoman.com.


Schools Observe Black History Month With Special Programs

(02-18-2011)
Schools throughout St. Tammany Parish are observing Black History Month this February with a variety of programs and assemblies. Many had guest speakers, presented songs, and put up educational displays across the campus. Programs are continuing over the next two weeks.

Slidell Junior High held its program on February 14 with a history reading detailing little known facts from Black History, the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and special musical selections. At Folsom Elementary, Damon Singleton of WDSU spoke to the students at a special assembly, followed by an address by a retired Naval officer.

The program organized by the Student Council at Folsom Junior High took place on February 17, when WWL Newscaster Sally Ann Roberts gave an inspirational talk to the students and visiting parents. She said she remembered the first time she saw a Black female newscaster on TV and vowed at the age of 12 that was what she wanted to be. She presented the students with a personal account of her career in the news media, saying how important other people who liked her were in helping her advance in the industry.

Many of the young people she met on her TV Show “Our Generation” have since grown up and now work with her at WWL.

She advised the students to pay close attention to their school lessons and education, the same intense attention shown by a young kitten watching a piece of yarn swinging in front of it. She told the group that she was amazed by the tremendous opportunities that were available to young people today, noting that to be a success they had to remember the three “D’s”, Decision, Discipline, and Devotion.

Her account of Abraham Lincoln’s many early failures in business and politics showed how perseverance and discipline helped him become President of the United States.

The program also featured songs by the school chorus, musical numbers by the school band, and interpretive poetry readings. Both student Kria Gordan and Mrs. Roberts sang a rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly.” At the end of the assembly, members of the Student Council locked arms and led the entire student body in singing “We Are The World.”

At Bayou Lacombe Middle School, students gave tributes to several local highly-successful African-American guests, as well as a presentation of musical selections. Next week the school will show the video entitled “My Friend Martin.”

The Talented Music students at Lakeshore High School are currently preparing a lecture/recital based on the lives and works of African American composers and musicians. The presentation covers the lives and contributions of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Ella Fitzgerald, H.T. Burleigh, Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Bessie Smith, Leontyne Price, and Scott Joplin.

Lakeshore students will present information about each person and perform related pieces composed or made famous by these artists. The program will be presented to Lake Harbor Middle School and Mandeville Middle School on February 23. It will be presented to Fine Arts and American Literature classes at Lakeshore High on Friday, February 25.

Mandeville Elementary also celebrated Black History Month with a visit from a New Orleans Opera Association featured performer, mezzo-soprano Givonna Joseph. Students were in awe as Ms. Joseph performed, as for many, it was the first time they had been exposed to opera.

In addition, Ms. Joseph, an award winning arts educator and music therapist and current teaching artist with Young Audiences of New Orleans and New Orleans Opera’s MetroPelican education program, educated students on the history of Opera in the New Orleans area and the influence of African-American musicians on Opera. She sang an aria from the opera “Carmen” to second and third grade students.

Clearwood Junior High will feature daily Powerpoint presentations on Black History Month this week over its student broadcasting channel, WCJH. The school will highlight a prominent African-American figure each day. These programs are broadcast to each homeroom class.

At Brock Elementary third graders presented a Black History Month program at the morning meeting. They sang songs and read short excerpts about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Students at Chahta-Ima Elementary will present a Black History Month and Presidents Day program on Monday, February 21, during the morning meeting. Then on Tuesday, second graders will perform a more extensive program for parents at 6:00 p.m.

At Lee Road Junior High School, students read the biographies of Ruby Bridges, Dr. King, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, the Tuskegee airmen, and many other Black Americans. Topics discussed included Dr. King’s philosophy of passive resistance and peaceful protests, with comparisons being made to the present-day Egyptian uprising.

At Florida Avenue Elementary School, employees read books over the student broadcast channel and a third grade class made a special “I Have A Dream” video. Students learned of the accomplishments of Dr. King, President Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and Jackie Robinson. They also studied the Freedom Riders of the 1960’s.

One particularly popular project involved students going down hallways and viewing photos and listening to tape recordings made by students about famous Black Americans. They made notes during the tour and the result was an interactive “timeline” of Black history.

Talented Music students at Fontainebleau Junior High School have been researching Black composers/musicians and will perform pieces by the those artists to Social Studies classes on March 21.


Food Service Field Managers Present Workshops at Regional Event

(02-17-2011)
Two St. Tammany Parish Public School System Food Service Field Managers, Robin Hollingsworth and Angela Jackson, participated in the recent Southwest Region Fuel Up to Play 60 and HealthierUS School Challenge Webinar sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Dairy Council.

Hollingsworth and Jackson presented an extensive overview of local programs using photographs of St. Tammany students. The goal was to tell school success stories and encourage other school districts to apply for the HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award.

Following their Powerpoint presentation, they answered questions from the attendees.

Food Service Supervisor Pat Farris said, “Events like these give us a chance to showcase what we have accomplished here and helps encourage other school districts to get involved in these rewarding opportunities. We couldn’t operate our successful programs without the support of our Superintendent, Board and principals and the dedication of our hard-working cafeteria managers and employees.”


Schools Close March 4 – March 14 for Workshops and Mardi Gras Holidays

(02-17-2011)
Public school students in St. Tammany Parish will not report to school on Friday, March 4, 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 2010-2011 School Year ends Thursday, March 3, following a week of exams for students in the higher grades.

The following week the Mardi Gras holidays run Monday, March 7, through Friday, March 11. Students will return to classes on Monday, March 14.

St. Tammany Parish School Board support offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday, March 7 and 8, and will reopen on Wednesday, March 9.


Special Exhibit Teaches Students About Eating Right

(02-11-2011)
Four schools in St. Tammany Parish were visited recently by a traveling educational exhibit which featured a 55 minute tour about the benefits of eating right and exercising regularly. The “Body Walk” exhibit gave young visitors an overview of the different parts of the body, how they worked together, and the importance of lifestyle habits that build strong healthy bodies and develop active minds.

Schools visited in St. Tammany Parish included Bonne Ecole Elementary in Slidell, Lyon Elementary in Covington, Tchefuncte Middle School in Mandeville, and Alton Elementary in Slidell.

The exhibit is part of the Louisiana “Smart Bodies” interactive education program designed to help prevent childhood obesity. It began in 2005 as a joint effort between the Louisiana State University Ag Center and Blue Cross / Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana.

John Albarado, Body Walk Manager, said the project takes kindergarten through fifth grade students to 11 different teaching stations, starting in the brain and proceeding through the mouth, the stomach, the intestines, the heart, the bones, the muscles, and the skin. A five minute presentation is given at each station detailing the work of the particular organ or system. At the beginning, each child is assigned to represent a certain food item, and throughout the walk additional information is given about the benefits of those foods.

Lyon Elementary School Principal Jeanine Barnes said, "I am a strong advocate for healthy eating and exercise, so when Resource Helping Teacher Suzanne Roth approached me last year about securing the Smart Bodies Body Walk for our students, I instantly agreed. The children have been excited for some time about this exhibit, and our parent volunteers helped us make this a huge success."

Assisting in the parish tour was Amy Long-Pierre, associate extension agent for 4-H Youth development with the local office of the LSU Ag Center.

The participants are encouraged to eat low-fat foods and plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with taking part in regular exercise activities. The “Body Walk” experience is accompanied by a twelve-week curriculum in the classroom, with each school receiving $1200 worth of teaching materials, videos, and hardback books, all aligned with state-approved grade level expectations (GLEs). When it’s all over, the participating students can become members of the “Organwise Guys” that certifies their knowledge about a healthy lifestyle.

“The kids really love it, and they learn a lot,” Albarado said. The program has become so popular that there are now two separate Body Walks travelling exhibits in the state. The program re-visits a school every two or three years as the schedule permits, so that new students can benefit from the learning experience.

The Smart Bodies program provides children with what they need to know about good nutrition and exercise in a way they can understand, said Denise M. Holston of the LSU Ag Center. The program has been proven to successfully teach children the importance of a healthy diet and gives them an awareness of the need for and a willingness to exercise regularly, and it also helps parents assess their child’s weight status, with an eye towards identifying students “at risk” for obesity. Students who participate in the Smart Bodies program are twice as willing to taste fruits and vegetables served at school when compared to students that did not experience the program and were more active during PE, recess, lunch, and after-school, it was found.

The 35 foot by 45 foot exhibit travels statewide, going from site to site by truck. Each exhibit location relies upon a group of local volunteers to help unload the truck and set up the exhibits, as well as volunteers to man the 11 different teaching stations. “The volunteers are essential,” said Albarado. “They include parents, high school students, and college kids.”

More information on the program can be found at www.smartbodies.org.

Last year Brock Elementary School in Slidell was visited by First Lady Michelle Obama for the launch of the next phase of her “Let’s Move” initiative, another program to address the challenge of childhood obesity.


Madisonville Elementary Hosts Saints Pep Rally

(02-11-2011)
Saints football player Malcolm Jenkins, three members of the Saintsations, and their mascot Gumbo thrilled hundreds of Madisonville Elementary School students Thursday, an event resulting from the school winning first place in last year’s Moo Dat contest sponsored by Brown’s Dairy and the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association (SUDIA).

Jenkins told the kids how important a healthy lifestyle was, especially if they wanted to become pro football players. When asked for a show of hands on who wanted to play football, almost all the students raised their hands.

The Saintsations led the pep rally, kicking off the event with a reading of Gumbo’s biography. It was an entertaining and inspiring story, one punctuated with expressions and dances by Gumbo himself.

Jenkins answered questions from the audience covering a variety of topics ranging from his personal background to his daily routine at Saints camp, including what time he goes to bed at night. He stressed the importance of eating right and exercising, saying the main job of a pro football player was to “keep his body healthy.”

He told the students that more than anything, he enjoyed being out on the field playing football. It gives him a feeling of freedom, he said, but he added that before each game, it takes a lot of study, practice and discipline. He gave the kids an overview of his work day, getting to work at 7 a.m. and staying at it until 5 p.m., exercising, learning plays, and meeting with his teammates.

Playing the position of safety, it’s his job to make sure nobody gets past his defense, he told the crowd. To accomplish that, he sometimes has to feel, act and look “mean,” a statement that delighted many of the students. One question posed to Jenkins was that, if he wasn’t a football player, what would like to be? His answer was to be a public speaker, motivating people and kids like themselves to work hard and be successful, just what he was doing that morning. Being a professional football player helps in that regard, since so many people know him and want to meet him, he said.

Principal Lauren Spencer said the response of the students was great. "We have had an unbelieveable amount of calls and requests for pictures from the pep rally!" she said. " We never imagined having so much fun with this."

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 received $5000 as a result of the win in addition to the pep rally.

The St. Tammany Parish Public School System won the grand prize. Overall, the School System increased milk consumption by 40.8 percent and as a result the parish received the Grand Prize of a HOPSports exercise system valued at $10,000.


Spring LEAP Testing Schedule Announced

(02-07-2011)
Students in the fourth and eighth grades in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System will take the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) test this Spring in two phases. In Phase One, they will take the writing component on March 22 and then the multiple choice tests in Phase Two on April 11 and 12 for the English/Language Arts (ELA) and Math components.

Public school students will take the Science portion on April 13 and Social Studies on April 14.

Home schooled and non-public school students may take the ELA and Math components on Tuesday, March 22; Monday, April 11, and Tuesday, April 12, 2011.

If a student does not participate in Phase 1, then he/she must wait until summer to take the LEAP assessment which will allow only one opportunity for the student to pass.

Students planning to enroll in St. Tammany Parish public schools in the fifth or ninth grades for the 2011-2012 school year and whose parents currently reside in Louisiana must have already passed the fourth and/or eighth grade LEAP test. According to the “Basic/Approaching Basic” required score combination, a student may not be promoted to the fifth or ninth grade until he/she has scored “at or above the Basic achievement level” on either the English Language Arts or Mathematics component on the fourth or eighth grade LEAP test and at the "Approaching Basic achievement level" on the other.

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

Parents of Home Study and nonpublic school students may request testing for their children according to the following procedures:

(1) Requests for applications for testing are to be made no later than March 1, 2011;
(2) Applications must be returned for processing by March 11, 2011;
(3) All testing will take place at a parish school site;
(4) Administration of these tests will follow the same instructions and conditions as provided public school students;
(5) Make-up tests, other than what is provided for public school students, cannot be given if a test appointment is missed, and
(6) 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 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 11- 15, 2011.

Parents must contact the District Test Coordinator Karen Kety to register. For further details or for an application, call (985) 898-6481 or email Karen.kety@stpsb.org.


Schools Remain Open Friday

(02-03-2011)
St. Tammany Parish Public Schools are open today, Friday, February 4, as the area continues to experience colder than average temperatures. School officials are closely monitoring weather conditions to determine if further action is needed.

Concerned parents should continue to listen to area news media, Channel 13, or view the School System Web site of any updates.


West Feliciana School Officials Visit St. Tammany

(01-28-2011)
A group of administrators from the West Feliciana Parish School System met with St. Tammany Parish Public School System officials Thursday to learn what initiatives are in place to improve graduation rates in the District. School Board President Stephen J. “Jack” Loup III welcomed the group to St. Tammany Parish.

Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III, and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Cheryl Arabie explained the various initiatives and answered questions from the group in the morning, followed by visits to three schools. The West Feliciana school officials chose to visit St. Tammany since it is a District with school performance rankings close to theirs.

The group visited Slidell High, Salmen High and Slidell Junior High, and talked with administrators, teachers and students about St. Tammany’s initiatives such as graduation coaches and high school academies. Information was presented about the District’s use of Schlechty Center’s guidelines, periodic “quality assurance” reviews, and dual enrollment programs being conducted in conjunction with area colleges and universities.

“They wanted to learn from us what we were doing, and we plan to go visit them in the near future to look at their efforts,” said Mrs. Arabie.

"Visits such as these are a clear indication of how people throughout the state are hearing about what we have going on in St. Tammany, and they want to learn from us,” she said. “Not only Districts in the state from outside the state as well."

The visitors were most impressed with the “common language” they heard from school to school, indicating a uniform implementation of the various initiatives across the different learning communities, Mrs. Arabie commented.

Of particular impact was the presentation by students.

“Students from the different high school academies shared their experiences, and that was powerful,” said Mrs. Arabie. “Our visitors heard the students from different schools say how engaging the lessons were, and that was very meaningful to them.”

While taking the on-site “learning walks” at the schools, the West Feliciana group noted several things they would like to have underway in their district. “The visit provided us with an opportunity to show them what we are doing in key areas, compare notes with them, and reinforce our understanding of how the implementation of these important initiatives are being carried out on the school level,” said School Board President Loup.

Superintendent Folse said, “It helps us when officials from other districts want to come in and see what we have going on here. We feel it is important for us to share our successes with other Districts, and we will continue to look at what other Districts are doing to see how we can benefit from their experiences as well. "

Among those in the West Feliciana group were Superintendent Hollis Milton, Special Education Supervisor Carolyn S. Lee, Information System Analyst Steven L. Comfort, and Supervisor of Secondary Education Rodney Al Lemoine.

Local initiatives spotlighted during the visit included the college counselors program, the a3 Virtual Academy on-line courses, curriculum specialists, distance learning facilitators, a partnership with the Northshore Technical College, the 9th Grade Academy, “Career Pathways,” and Senior Projects.


Power Restored at Cypress Cove Elementary

(01-26-2011)
Cypress Cove Elementary School lost all electrical power around lunch on Wednesday, January 26, but the School System's Maintenance Department, working with CLECO and professional electricians, were able to restore power by the start of school Thursday morning.

For more information, please call the School office number at 985-641-3033.


Chef Susan Spicer Serves Up Cooking Lesson at Lakeshore High

(01-20-2011)
Another well-known New Orleans area Chef visited the Pro-Start students at Lakeshore High School recently, famed Chef Susan Spicer of Bayona and MONDO Restaurants. She demonstrated her way of preparing a potato gnocchi and tomato sauce as well as offering personal insights into the restaurant business.

Chef Spicer worked side by side with student volunteers, sharing tips, techniques and personal experiences throughout the presentation.

Pro-Start courses, established by the National Restaurant Association, are offered at all eight St. Tammany Parish Public High Schools for students interested in getting a head start on a career in the restaurant industry. It’s the first year the course has been available at Lakeshore High.

Students asked Chef Spicer how the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had affected her restaurants and also wanted to hear about her experiences with the television show Top Chef and the HBO series Treme.

Chef Spicer is co-owner and chef at the award-winning Bayona restaurant in New Orleans and recently opened MONDO in the Lakeview area of New Orleans, where she has lived for 20 years. She began her cooking career in New Orleans in 1979 and has established herself as a New Orleans food icon with involvement in many highly acclaimed restaurants and a food market.

Spicer was recently inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of food and Beverage in America.

For the 13 students enrolled in the Pro-Start Kitchen course at Lakeshore High School, the personal cooking demonstrations from top New Orleans area chefs and hearing real-life experiences serves as an inspiration and invaluable learning opportunity. Earlier this school year, the students were visited by two other New Orleans cooking icons, Chef John Besh and Leah Chase.

Students have to earn 200 hours as paid culinary interns working in local restaurants and put in another 200 hours in class, which sometimes involves catering special events.


Awards Given For Successful United Way Campaign

(01-19-2011)
Contributions from throughout the St. Tammany Parish Public School System have once again made the School System one of the leading sources of funds for the local United Way community service programs.

Assistant Superintendent of Administration William Brady reported to the School Board at its January meeting that the students and employees should be congratulated for their outstanding response this year. “Our recent United Way campaign was very successful,” he said, “with our employees and students raising more than $161,500 for the United Way.” The goal had been set at $150,000, he said.

“The United Way has historically counted upon the St. Tammany Parish School Board for much of their operating expenses, and we are glad that we made our goals this year,” he 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 Alton Elementary School, Bayou Lacombe Middle School, Bayou Woods Elementary School, Honey Island Elementary School, Lyon Elementary School, Mandeville Elementary School (17 years in a row at 100%), Woodlake Elementary School, and Marigny Elementary School. Also winning recognition as 100% participation sites were support offices Covington Annex, Covington Educational Center, Energy Management Office (for three years in a row), Slidell Annex, Treen Technology Center, Transportation Department, and Student Health Services.

“It really is an accomplishment to get every single person at a site to donate to the campaign, but that is what our 100 percent participation sites do,” Brady said.

In the presentation of Superintendent Awards for special achievements, the school with the most student dollars raised was Fifth Ward Junior High School with more than $2700 donated this year. Fifth Ward has achieved the honor for four years in a row.

The school that raised the most employee donations was Bayou Woods Elementary School with a total collected of more than $5000. The support site that raised the most employee dollars was the School Board Central Office with more than $10,000 donated.

Four recognitions were given to schools and sites with the most outstanding United Way drives, each in a separate grade range category. The Transportation Department 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/junior high grades category. There was a tie for the top winner in the elementary school category. The top two elementary schools were Alton Elementary and Bayou Woods Elementary School.

Brady credited much of the campaign success to the local school and office United Way coordinators appointed by each site administrator. He also thanked his secretaries Corinne Blanchard and Debbie Guerrera for their efforts in helping with the fund-raising program.


School Board Receives Financial Reporting Awards

(01-14-2011)
For the 22nd year in a row, the St. Tammany Parish School Board has been awarded the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award and a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The annual recognitions are given for excellence in the preparation and publication of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the Fiscal Year ending in 2009.

The honors come following an extensive review by experts from the two organizations.

The GFOA award was presented at the January School Board meeting by Mike Battle with the Louisiana Legislative Auditors Office, and the ASBO Award was presented by Joey Richard, CPA, Managing Director, Postlethwaite and Netterville, APAC.

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. “Participation in the Certificate of Excellence Program is a rewarding experience,” said Superintendent W. L. “Trey” Folse, III. “Attaining these awards for the past 22 years validates our financial reporting expertise not only to the District but to the community as a whole.”

ASBOIntl established the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Program in 1972 to enable school business officials to achieve a high standard of financial reporting and recognize excellence in school system comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFR). The award is the highest recognition given to school district financial operations by the ASBO and is conferred to School Systems that have met or exceeded the standards of the certificate program.

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.

The purpose of the annual 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 as well as strengthens presentations for bond issuance statements. It also provides professional recognition for the integrity and technical competence of the business staff.

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Principals Appointed For New Elementary Schools

(01-14-2011)
The St. Tammany Parish School Board appointed principals January 13 for two new elementary schools now under construction.

Susannah Welch was appointed by the Board to serve as the first principal of Lancaster Elementary School west of Madisonville, and Arlana LeBlanc was chosen by the Board as the first principal of Mayfield Elementary School off U.S. 190 between Slidell.

LeBlanc is currently an Assistant Principal at Lakeshore High School. Previously, she served as a curriculum specialist in middle grade mathematics, an assistant principal at Carolyn Park Middle School and a teacher at Slidell Junior High School. She joined the School System in 1997.

Welch is currently Assistant Principal at Lake Harbor Middle School. She was previously a Resource Helping Teacher at the school and was also a fourth grade teacher at Mandeville Middle School. She joined the School System in 1993.

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Schools Close January 17 For M. L. King, Jr. Holiday

(01-13-2011)
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System closed schools and School Board support offices on Monday, January 17, 2011, in observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Classes resumed and offices reopened on Tuesday, January 18.


College and Career Quest Event Planned For Junior High Students

(01-10-2011)
The 2011 St. Tammany Parish Public School’s Junior High College Career Quest will take place on Tuesday, February 22, at the Castine Center in Pelican Park east of Mandeville. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will end at 9 p.m.

Approximately 9500 invitations have been sent out to junior high students and their parents throughout the parish, and the public is also invited to attend.

The purpose of the event is to allow students enrolled in Sixth Grade through Eighth Grade (and their families) to begin exploring a variety of post-secondary options. The information will be helpful to students who will attend Covington High, Fontainebleau High, Mandeville High, Lakeshore High, Northshore High, Pearl River High, Salmen High, or Slidell High.

A number of representatives from various institutions and organizations will be on hand to offer information to the prospective high school graduates, everything from the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Aid and the state scholarship program, TOPS, to financial institutions and test prep options. Local high schools will showcase the different offerings available at each campus.

Last year’s event was well-attended, and to ease parking concerns at Pelican Park, additional parking will be available at Monteleone Junior High a mile east of the Pelican Park entrance on U. S. 190 (63000 Blue Marlin Drive). A free school bus ride to the Castine Center will be offered from Monteleone Junior High on the hours and half hours.

For more information, phone Annette O’Regan or Christine Y. Woodard, St. Tammany Parish Public School System counselors for college bound students, at 985-898-6456. The College Counseling website is available by clicking here. (http://college.stpsb.org/)

Last year more than 36 exhibitors offered information pertaining to high schools, colleges and universities, state agencies, financial aid services, career and technical training and military options.


Family Information Fair For Disabled Students Held

(01-10-2011)
A Family Information Fair for families with children with disabilities was held on Tuesday, January 11, at Fontainebleau High School. Presented by the Special Education Department of the St. Tammany Parish Public School System, the two-hour event was designed to increase awareness of the services provided by a variety of support agencies in the area.

Exhibits were on display from agencies such as the Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services, Families Helping Families, STARC, and many others.


Pine View DARE Graduates Visit Saints Camp

(01-03-2011)
The Fifth Grade DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) graduates from Pine View Middle School in Covington recently visited the Saints Training Facility in Metairie as a reward for completing the program.

Approximately 200 students met Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, who told them how important the lessons taught by the DARE Program were in helping them resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.

The students also had the opportunity to ask Coach Payton questions and tour the Saints’ training facility. The group visited the weight room, took pictures with the Lombardi trophy and met former Saints player Michael Lewis.

Pine View DARE officer Jake Lehman with the Covington Police Department arranged the trip. Principal Janis Daviston said that every year he tries to do something special for the graduates of the course, and last year they went to Zephyr Field. This year he was able to bring the students to the Aquarium in downtown New Orleans in the morning and then to the Saints Camp in the afternoon.

“It was fun, and the kids loved it,” said Principal Daviston. “Coach Payton encouraged them to follow what they had learned in DARE the rest of their lives. After his talk, the students asked him where Drew Brees and Reggie Bush were, and he said they were studying for the next game.”

Coach Payton told the students his players were studying videos and strategies much like the students study for a test. ”It was good day, and they were really excited,” she concluded.

The DARE course has been a part of school program across St. Tammany Parish for years. It is taught by specially-trained law enforcement officers from municipalities and the parish sheriff’s office.

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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.