Zachary enrollment continues climb

The Zachary Community School District expects an enrollment increase of more than 100 students for the upcoming school year, Superintendent Scott Devillier said Thursday.

As of Thursday, enrollment in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades first through 12th was 5,490, according to a report given to the School Board on Thursday.

Personnel Director Yolanda Williams said the count amounts to 113 more students than the district had last year.

Zachary has been the top-ranked school district in the state for eight consecutive years.

Devillier said the trend has been to have increases of about 100 students in recent years.

Students begin classes Monday. Teachers and other employees have been on the job all of this week, with teachers attending a variety of training sessions.

“I’ve never seen our teachers so relaxed at the start of school,” Executive Director of Academics Michelle Clayton told the board, explaining that the five-day block of in-service training has given them time to prepare for the return of students.

“They feel like they’ve had enough time to get everything ready,” she said.

Construction is underway at Zachary Elementary School’s campus, where third-grade students attend classes. A new two-story addition will be added, along with new administrative areas.

Construction is expected to be finished by the start of the next school year.

A new building at the Port Hudson Career and Technical Center is nearing completion after a series of delays, but, as a satellite of Zachary High School, the Flanacher Road facility will offer vocational instruction in auto mechanics and construction crafts.

Until the new building is finished, the students will use a temporary building on the campus for introductory instruction, including safety in the labs, Devillier said.

The board on Thursday approved new job descriptions for five key central office employees that Devillier said “will get us better aligned in the academic department.”

Diane Stone, supervisor of curriculum, will become supervisor of secondary school programs English-language arts, while Gwen Longmire will direct elementary education, data management and No Child Left Behind federal programs.

Longmire’s former responsibility for technology programs will be shifted to Adonica Duggan, who also is responsible for the district’s communications.

Tammy Wood, who supervises special programs and science courses, will get the added responsibility of overseeing the district’s social studies curricula.

Karin Lawless, supervisor of accountability and testing, will add oversight of mathematics programs to her duties.

Williams said the new job descriptions will help in cross-training the central office employees.