St. Landry board votes to transfer elementary students

The St. Landry Parish School Board on Thursday unanimously voted in favor of transferring all students now attending an Opelousas elementary school deemed academically unacceptable to a nearby campus where state performance scores are higher.

According to the proposal, which requires approval at next month’s Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting, 196 Creswell Elementary students are scheduled to attend Park Vista Elementary, about half a mile away, for the 2013-14 school year.

State Department of Education officials indicated earlier this year that they planned to close Creswell, whose state test scores were rated academically unacceptable for four consecutive years.

Interim Superintendent Joseph Cassimere said Park Vista is the only school Creswell students can attend next school year.

The remaining elementary schools in Opelousas have state performances scores that are too low. Potential schools in other areas of the parish have too many students to accommodate those from Creswell, Cassimere said.

Included in the proposal are plans that will convert the present Creswell campus next year into a parishwide accelerated recovery program for fifth-grade students who have been retained at least once.

In addition, the proposal indicates the Creswell campus will accept students parishwide who want to enroll in a virtual school program for grades 7 through 12 using online instruction.

DISTRICT 6 VACANCY: Donnie Perron, who served as St. Landry’s interim superintendent for five months, was selected in a 6-4 vote to fill the District 6 vacancy created earlier this month following the death of longtime board member Ronald Carriere. The election to fill the seat is Oct. 19.

The board deadlocked 5-5 earlier in the meeting between selecting Perron and Bambi Polotzola, a former St. Landry teacher who now works as a statewide educator.

Board member Randy Wagley, who voted for Polotzola on the previous two rounds, changed his vote for Perron during the third round.

Voting for Perron were Wagley, Kyle Boss, Roger Young, Huey Wyble, Quincy Richard and board President Harry Fruge.

Those voting for Polotzola were Charles Ross, Anthony Standberry, Raymond Cassimere and Candace Gerace.