School zones approved

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By Carolyn Roy, carolyn@natchitochestimes.com

The school board approved two important changes during a special called meeting Tuesday. The first was to approve boundaries for school zones brought about by the closure of Cloutierville Elementary/Jr. High.

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Attending schools in Natchitoches will be:

•Both sides of Hwy 494 up to (not including) Hwy. 119 in Natchez. Continuing down Hwy. 494 to the Bermuda Bridge (east side only), picking up St. Paul’s Church Road, Pratt Lane, Solomon Lane; includes Patrick Road, Mari Street, Melle Street and any smaller streets or lanes, off Patrick Road, not named.

•The Provencal Elementary/Jr. High zone will include Hwy. 119 in Natchez, Sowell Street, Johnson Loop, Church Street, Robinson Street, Natchez Place and anything on the west side of Hwy. 494. Students who live on Bermuda Road can choose whether to attend Provencal or city schools.

Supt. Dale Skinner said he will consider hardship cases such as families with multiple children who would be zoned for both Provencal and the city. He said he would apply common sense in those cases. The board voted to change the name of the Frankie Ray Jackson Technical Center to the Natchitoches Parish Technical and Career Center. The school houses the alternative education school and was previously named for the late educator, Frankie Ray Jackson.

Skinner said that there are 200 students at the school, with from 130 to 160 being students who are behind in course work, and who are not there for disciplinary reasons. The school enables students to receive diplomas and Skinner said the name change would be positive. Confusing the issue was that the board voted to name the junior high the Natchitoches Jr. High-Frankie Ray Jackson School when it opened. Both schools bearing the name of Jackson was confusing on the state level regarding funding and testing. The board also approved advertising for bids for educational materials for Title 1.