What’s next with RPSB’s ‘Better Facilities’ strategic plan?

The Rapides Parish School Board has announced a major change to their controversial 'Better Facilities' strategic plan.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:48 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - One day after changes were made to the Rapides Parish School Board’s ‘Better Facilities’ strategic plan, parents gave their reaction on how they feel about where the plan stands now.

The plan will create a pre-K through 12th-grade academic and performing arts academy at Bolton High School, but the plan now will not include closing Alma Redwine and Horseshoe Drive elementaries, as it did originally.

RPSB will now begin to form an advisory committee that will focus solely on establishing the academic and performing arts academy.

“There was a comment made about some people who called a school board member and said they wanted to be on it, he said I would like to have their name in the hat,” said James Lucas, who has a child at Bolton. “That seems to me like you’re saying ‘hey, I want my guy to be first.’ So at that point are we going to let them decide how many of their friends they want on it, then fill the rest of the spots? Or is it all going to be randomly picked? Which one is it going to be?”

Jackie Brunson is the President of Alma Redwine’s Parent Teacher Organization. Brunson also feels that progress has been made but said there is still more that needs to be done.

“Once again you have knocked us down to being second or third,” said Brunson. “Now your priorities are Bolton, Phoenix and Rapides Academy, which is great on that perspective. But from our perspective, we want our parents to understand that we are important, our schools are important, our kids are important and our teachers are important. So why don’t you let us know what is going on with our school and are we going to be on the chopping block again next year?”

The next school board meeting is scheduled for April 11.

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