Parish students head to class

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 15, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – Fewer classmates, a new junior high and more focus on test scores are the major changes that await Concordia Parish’s public school students, who start school Monday.

On Monday, students will only attend classes until 1 p.m., but lunch will still be served. Full school days will begin Tuesday.

The district expects to start the year with 4,080 students, down slightly from last year, said Interim Superintendent Pete Peterman.

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&uot;One reason is probably our local economy, with some families moving out of the parish to find work,&uot;&160;he said.

In Ferriday, junior high students will have a school of their own for the first time in more than two years.

The school’s faculty and more than 300 students have been packed into one wing of Ferriday Upper Elementary since fire gutted Ferriday Junior High on June 29, 1997.

But the junior high has now been rebuilt at a cost of $1.58 million, which was covered by the district’s insurance.

The school will also have a new principal – former superintendent James Lee, who in June was ousted from the district’s top position by the School Board.

Former principal John Bostic will now be Monterey High School’s assistant principal. Also this year, teams of educators will be on hand to help parish schools find ways to boost standardized test scores.

&uot;Principals have already met with teachers to discuss strategies to hone those skills,&uot;&160;Peterman said.

In addition, parents will have more paperwork to fill out this year.

Student codes of conduct and parental compliance forms will be sent home the first week of school and should be signed and sent back to school as soon as possible, Peterman said. Compliance forms spell out parents’ responsibilities, such as making sure children wear the correct uniforms.

Huntington School in Ferriday will also start classes Monday, which will be a full school day.

&uot;Last year we had 307 students, and we’re expecting at least that many this year,&uot;&160;said Headmaster Russ Green.

Students will see a few cosmetic changes, from the school’s repainted interior to new lights on the football field, he said.