Livingston lengthening school day to make up lost time

Livingston Parish public school students, like students in East Baton Rouge are facing longer school days for the next several weeks to make up time lost to January’s icy weather.

School Superintendent John Watson said Friday that the number of minutes to be added to each day will vary by school, generally five to 10 minutes, although some schools may shorten recess periods.

He said some schools have already adjusted their daily school hours and that others would follow suit soon. Parents and students will be notified of the new schedules, he said.

Watson briefed Livingston Parish School Board members at a meeting Thursday night on how the system is making up the time lost due to the icy weather.

In addition to slightly longer school days, he said, a day that was set aside for professional development will now be used as a full day of school so the system can assure students spend the full amount of time in school that is required by the state.

“We certainly appreciate the help we received from many authorities and agencies during this time of severe weather,” Watson said. “It was a learning experience for us.”

In other business Thursday, the School Board voted unanimously to join in a lawsuit that St. John the Baptist Parish School Board filed against the state over the state’s current formula for funding schools through the Minimum Foundation Program.

Livingston Parish School Board attorney Mark Boyer told the board that joining the suit won’t cost the board anything. He added that the law firms bringing the suit will only be paid if the legal action is successful.

The School Board also unanimously approved its audit for 2012-13 on Thursday.

Don McLean, with the accounting firm of Hannis T. Bourgeois, LLC, presented a lengthy review of the audit and told the board that it was a “clean audit … the best you can get.”

The School Board went into an hour-long executive session to discuss what was listed on its official agenda as “an investigation of possible misuse of leave policies.”

The item was placed on the agenda by board member Keith Martin.

When the executive session ended, board chairman Malcolm Sibley said that no action was taken on the matter and that there would be no report on the discussions.

Advocate staff writer Heidi Kinchen contributed to this article.