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RPSB passes motion to reconfigure ‘feeder schools’

Two schools will close, two will become head start centers
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - The Rapides Parish School Board has moved a motion to reconfigure feeder schools for Peabody Magnet High School and Bolton High School.

The decision was made on a 7 to 2 vote, with board members Sandra Franklin and President Willard McCall voting against the motion. McCall says the decision would come back to bite the board.

The reconfiguration would close two campuses: North Bayou Rapides Elementary and the Hadnot Hayes campus, which houses the Rapides Training Academy.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes:

-Reconfigure Peabody feeder schools:

  • Change Acadian Elementary, Martin Park, Alma Redwine to Pre-k to 5th-grade schools
  • Change AFS (Arthur F. Smith) to 6th through 8th grade
  • Reconfigure W.O. HALL as Head Start Center
  • Move “RTA” (Rapides Training Academy) to “RAAPS” (Rapides Alternative School) location
  • Close the Hadnot Hayes campus that houses Rapides Training Academy

-Reconfigure Bolton Feeder zone:

  • Change D.F. Huddle, Mabel Brasher, Rugg to Pre-k to 5th-grade schools
  • Change AMMS (Alexandria Middle Magnet) to 6th through 8th grade
  • Extend Mable Brasher attendance zone to include North Bayou students
  • Close North Bayou Rapides location
  • Reconfigure JPE (Julius Patrick Elementary) to Head Start Center

Some big concerns with these changes include the distance that some students will have to travel if they’ll no longer be able to attend their neighborhood schools. Superintendent Jeff Powell presented a chart that shows the furthest address of a student from each school.

Another concern is school employees being displaced and left without a job.

Powell says, “We look at our policy and procedures for when you’re closing sites and things like that. You know there are obvious implications there that you may not need as many employees, you know when you put all of them on one site versus having them on a separate site. So again, we’ll be following policy and procedure to address that.”

These changes are said to be in place for the 2021-2022 school year.

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