Superintendent’s contract extended

Published 9:32 am Friday, May 20, 2011

VIDALIA — Concordia Parish School Board Superintendent Loretta Blankenstein received some good news at Thursday’s school board meeting.

Amid a busy school board agenda, Blankenstein was unanimously given a four-year extension on her contract as the parish’s superintendent.

Board president Gary Parnham said the contract extension will have the same conditions as the last time Blankenstein’s contract was renewed.

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Parnham said the board will sign the contract at the next board meeting in June.

The board also voted to pass a consolidated budget revision for the 2010-2011 school year.

Business manager Tom O’Neal said the revision was merely a house-cleaning issue the school board must do every year.

O’Neal said the school board’s fiscal year ends on June 30, and the newly passed, revised consolidated budget would leave the school board with a fund balance of approximately $29,000.

“We are in real a good financial state,” Parnham said. “It takes a lot of work from a lot of people to make it that way, and we are just proud to be a part of it.”

In other news:

  • The board voted to approve the hiring of Bobbie Hinson as the new principal of Ferriday Lower Elementary School.

Hinson previously served as assistant principal at the school, and will be taking the place of Sheila Alwood, who made the decision to retire at the end of this school year.

Hinson was hired on a 6-0 vote. Board members Martha Rabb and Darryl Price were absent, and board member Raymond T. Riley refused his right to vote on the issue.

  • The board also voted to deny an application from Delta Charter School at the meeting.

Blankenstein said the board received an application from the proposed school, and then requested to have an evaluator from the National Charter School Association review the application.

The board used a NCSA recommended evaluator who graded the school’s application using a standardized rubric, Blankenstein said.

While certain standards were met, the evaluator found a total of 41 areas that were either approaching the standards or that did not meet the standards required for a charter school.

The evaluator’s letter recommended that Delta Charter School be denied its request.

A Delta representative was at the meeting and said that he was never asked to accommodate any of the standards the evaluator used on the rubric.

  • The school board voted to approve the request by LaSalle Community Action to terminate their lease contract with the Clayton School Building.

LaSalle Community Action runs the Concordia Head Start program, a group that prepares parish 3-to-5-year-olds for school, and the Clayton School building they have been using is too old for use by the school.

Blankenstein said the lease requires a 180-day notice of vacancy.

Board member Fred T. Butcher said he hates to see the school leave its Clayton home.

“I just think that when you move a facility out of town, it will affect the entire town,” he said.

In late March, LaSalle Community Action Executive Director Dorothy Oliver said the Head Start program is planning on moving back to its original location in Ferriday, but an application for the move has not yet been approved.

  • The board also voted to give Blankenstein permission to create a committee to explore the establishment of a magnet school at the Ridgecrest School site.

Blankenstein said the board will consist of school board members, principals, teachers and parents from the parish, and they will be giving updates of their progress to the CPSB at each monthly meeting.

  • The school board voted to approve the financial statement for the month of April in the amount of $3,237,495.