Safety, dean posts open

The application deadlines for new safety officers at several Lafayette Parish public high schools and for a dean of students at Carencro High School are fast approaching.

A safety officer will join the campuses of Lafayette, Acadiana and Comeaux high schools to assist school resource officers — police officers — with campus surveillance. Moss Preparatory, the district’s alternative site for students removed from school for discipline issues, will receive two safety officers.

Applications for the new positions will be accepted through Feb. 12.

At Carencro High, an additional school resource officer will be added in lieu of a safety officer. The campus already has a Carencro police officer. The second police officer will begin work as soon as a contract is finalized with the school system, said Carencro Police Chief Carlos Stout.

The cost for the position is estimated at $45,000 — $10,000 less than the safety officer position that was proposed for the Carencro campus, Stout said.

“We’re able to provide a post-certified police officer for about $10,000 less than what it would cost to put a civilian there,” Stout said. “An additional officer will help with reducing any type of school issues or situation that come up.”

Last week, the parish School Board approved the safety officers and school resource officer positions as part of a schools safety package. The package also included recommendations to hire a new assistant principal for Lafayette and Comeaux high schools and a dean of students for Carencro High. The cost of the new administrative positions is estimated at $75,000 each.

The application period for the dean of students position closes on Feb. 8. The person will be in charge of discipline and the campus’ positive behavior support interventions, which is a system that rewards students for good behavior, said Carencro High Principal Ken Roebuck.

The position will allow Roebuck and two of his assistant principals to spend more time as “instructional leaders” rather than disciplinarians, he said.

“The problem that we’ve always had in the past is we’d get so bogged down and swamped in discipline that we couldn’t get out into the classrooms,” Roebuck said. “Now, my principals can get out there and work with teachers. A principal out there in the building is going to reduce behavior, problems, as well.”

Additional help is available for students who need extra support for success, Roebuck said.

The board approved his request for an additional counselor, who started work on Monday, he said.

“She’s going to track and monitor those kids who may need extra resources,” Roebuck said. “The kid that perhaps, for whatever reason, has fallen behind academically and is frustrated, so they’re acting up discipline-wise.”

Roebuck said the counselor position brings Carencro’s counselor staffing up to the level of other large high schools in the district. Other campuses had five counselors, where Carencro had four, he said.