School Board Meets for Retreat

The February St. John the Baptist Parish School Board retreat started with a reminder.

“We all made pledges to our community,” School Board President Patrick Sanders said as he handed out copies of newspapers featuring profiles from the board’s 2018 campaign. “I’m delivering this as a reminder of our commitment we made to the community, the commitment we made to ourselves. We have about 6,000 kids who are in our care. We have some serious work ahead of us.”

Finances, district performance, special education, safety and security and more were on the agenda for the retreat, which is held twice a year.

Supervisor of Informational Technology David Andras spoke about the need to upgrade technology in the district, including laptops, cybersecurity protection and security cameras. He said the district is currently working on the possibility of adding a new pathway for students in partnership with VeraPro and Dell that would allow students to earn their CompTIA A+ and Dell certification. Students enrolled in the program would complete internships through VeraPro that would include repairing laptops at their schools.

“It could possibly be a win-win situation, not only for us, but for our students,” Interim Superintendent Cory Butler said. “We would save money and at the same time we would be training students for careers in the computer industry.”

St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre and School Resource Officer Cpl. Larry Williams addressed board members about how the district could improve security at its schools.

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching Vice President of Services Vicky Condalary discussed the results of the annual teacher survey that gathers feedback on TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement that was implemented in the district during the 2017-18 school year. Hamilton reported that the TAP retention rate in St. John the Baptist Parish is 73 percent, higher than average as is the number of teachers who approve of the ongoing applied professional growth provided through clusters, in which master teachers offer feedback to mentor teachers to coach teachers in the classroom.

David Trautenberg, principal of Align K12, observed the two-day retreat and at the end offered his feedback. Align K12 is an educational consulting firm dedicated to helping school districts optimize resources by aligning financial expenditures to students’ outcomes