Tangipahoa School Board OKs redistricting plan

The Tangipahoa Parish School Board adopted a new redistricting plan Tuesday night that would shift the boundaries of members’ districts.

Board President Christina Cohea said state law requires every school board in the state to approve a redistricting plan by Dec. 31.

The new plan was developed by Dannie P. Garrett III, of Redistricting LLC, to compensate for the increase in population since the 2000 census in Districts A and H.

It will not affect the number of districts, but will shift the size of the area each board member represents, officials said.

Other business taken up by the board included:

HEALTH SERVICES: The board approved an agreement with RKM Primary Care to provide behavioral health services beginning Jan. 1.

“Discipline has been a hot topic and major challenge for the school system and teachers,” director of special education Virginia Peco said. “The history speaks for itself.”

Ten behavioral specialists were hired after the school district received federal stimulus money.

Two years ago, when the money ran out, the district reached out to RKM Primary Care in Clinton to provide behavioral help for students in Tangipahoa schools, Peco said.

“It is not just for special needs children, it’s for all the children at the school,” said Bret Schnadelbach, chief financial officer for the School Board.

The board would fund the startup costs, estimated between $30,000 and $35,000, but the program would later become self-funded, Schnadelbach said. The startup costs would pay for two social workers and one additional worker.

Schnadelbach said the program would be introduced to Hammond Eastside Elementary Magnet School, Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori School, Hammond Junior High Magnet School, and Woodland Park Elementary Magnet School, with hopes of expansion to additional schools in the future.