Superintendent eyes strategic plan, board retreat

St. Landry Parish Superintendent of Schools Patrick Jenkins, left, makes a point during a School Board committee meeting Monday in Opelousas. At right is School Board President Raymond Cassimere. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

By Harlan Kirgan Editor

New Superintendent Patrick Jenkins put a day long retreat for the St. Landry Parish School Board and development of a strategic plan on the board’s radar at a committee meeting Monday.
“This board retreat could be the tip of the iceberg meaning it starts the initial conversation. We may not solve a lot things. We my end up with more questions than answers initially,” Jenkins said.
The board also needs to discuss its mission and vision statement, he said.
“That is something I want to articulate on a daily basis when I’m talking to principals. When I’m talking to the public I always want to articulate what our mission and vision is,” he said.
The retreat was tentatively scheduled for Jan. 28.
Jenkins, who was hired in October, also explained what the outline of a strategic plan for the district.
The plan would take at least two months to complete and be for a period determined by the School Board.
Basic components would include human resources, technology, policy and governance, academics, extracurricular activities, accountability, finances, operations, and parental and community involvement, he said.
Committees to include board members, staff and community members would be developed, he said.
“We don’t want time to drive our plan,” he said. “We want to make sure that we have a good plan in place and not be dependent on time just to finish it and say we are finished.”
The retreat and strategic plans were discussed in the board’s Executive Committee.
In a Building, Lands and Sites Committee meeting, it was learned the Plaisance Elementary repairs for flood damage will not be completed this school year.
Phillippe Prouet of Poché Prouet Associates LLC, of Lafayette, said the move in time would be in June and July.
The project is to cost $630,000, but the School Board’s cost would be $10,000, he said. FEMA is paying 90 percent of the School Board’s $100,000 deductible on an insurance policy, he said.
Raymond Cassimere, School Board president, complained that Plaisance Elementary students, who are now attending Washington Elementary, are required to meet their buses at 5:20 a.m. and then spend up to 50 minutes in transit. Board members were to meet to redo the bus schedule.

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