By Carolyn Roy, News Editor
The school board covered a myriad of subjects at its electronic meeting Thursday ranging from final grades to approving a contract for new superintendent Grant Eloi. While Covid-19 has presented countless problems, school district personnel say they have received a huge outpouring of support from employees and community members.
Supervisor of Elementary Education Alyson Erickson gave information on final grades that will be based on an average of the past three nine-week grading periods for elementary and junior high students. As for students in grades nine-11, grades will be based on the three grading periods, ending March 16, with failing students given an option to retake the course. They should reach out to their counselor. Eighth grade Carnegie units will be based on an average of the three nine-week periods.
As for seniors, their final grade will be based on the spring semester grade they had as of March 13. Students can review their transcripts with counselors and should follow instructions on the school board website if they have questions. If they need to increase grades for TOPS, they should email their counselor.
A graduation date will be decided following Northwestern State’s graduation announcement. Erickson emphasized that all parents should stay in touch with their student’s teachers and principals and consult the school board website daily.
Director of Human Resources Linda Page named numerous departments from accounting to food service to principals and teachers who have worked tirelessly to keep the system running and students learning. She urged parents to check the school board website because information often changes more than once a day.
Online instruction continues and numerous wi-fi connections are available for those who do not have it. Teachers also have paper packets available for those who request it. They have been distributed at the schools as well as Central Office. Page said she has had as many as four to six electronic meetings daily.
As for school feeding, it has resumed at several locations and food service workers dispensed 10,182 meals in two days this week. The meals are drive-through pick up and a student need not attend the school where they request food. Page said Mayor Lee Posey personally delivered food to one family that was unfamiliar with the pickups. Sheriff’s office personnel have made similar deliveries. Page said there have been donations of food, masks, gloves, boxes and cartons in addition to time from volunteers. Anyone wanting to help at the food dispensing sites should contact the food service manager or principal because of guidelines that must be followed.
As an example of generosity, Natchitoches Regional Medical Center personnel met with food service employees on a Saturday to go over guidelines for handing out the food. In other business, the school board went into executive session to discuss two items.
After the meeting, they decided to accept the resignation of current superintendent Dale Skinner effective April 19 and create the position of consulting superintendent, the job Skinner will hold from April 20 to June 30 when his contract expires. He will receive the same compensation he has received as superintendent. Skinner has been ill and not in the office full-time since January.
The second item was to discuss the Eloi’s contract. He will assume the job of superintendent Monday, April 20 at an annual salary of $123,000 with an annual automobile allowance of $7,200. Eloi will also receive the two sales tax checks employees receive twice a year.
In another matter, the board rewarded Page with a $10,000, one-time salary supplement. The unanimous vote recognized work that Page has done since January that began with the search for a superintendent and ramped up with the COVID-19 crisis. Board member Reba Phelps said Page was the last one to leave the building at night and had gone above and beyond her normal duties. “She earned every single penny, always with a smile on her face,” Phelps said. Eloi then thanked the board and said the cooperation he had seen from the board, staff, employees and community during the Covid-19 crisis had been awe-inspiring. “We’re going to keep moving,” he said. “This is your district. Let’s own it together.”