May 17, 2014 20:21 More parents needed for advisory group More parents needed for advisory group Members to weigh in on issues facing school system BY Marsha Sills| firstname.lastname@example.org May 17, 2014 Comments More parents are needed to fill out seats on a new Lafayette Parish school system parents advisory group. The goal is to have one parent from each of the district’s more than 40 schools represented in the group to meet with the superintendent on issues facing the district, said Heather Blanchard, a founding member of the parents organization, Parents Empowered. Superintendent Pat Cooper enlisted the help of Blanchard’s group to help find interested parents to serve on the advisory group. “So far, we have 23 and have some spots open,” she said. “We’ll get there.” Parents Empowered recently wrapped up a series of “Cafeteria Conversations,” town-hall style meetings with Cooper and district supervisors on issues such as the budget, facilities, Common Core State Standards, and health and wellness programs in the schools. The series provided an opportunity for parents and the community to speak directly with Cooper and learn more about district programs. Later this summer, excerpts from the meetings will be made available online through the support of LUS Fiber, which taped the sessions, Blanchard said. At least eight parents signed up for the parents advisory group at the Cafeteria Conversations, Blanchard said. Parents interested in participating in the advisory panel can contact Blanchard at email@example.com. The group also has a Facebook page where parents can find more information. Blanchard said the group hopes to have the advisory group in place by summer to start meetings with Cooper to prepare for the new school year. Recently, Cooper withdrew proposed teacher contract and sick policy changes from the school board’s May 7 meeting agenda, citing the desire to discuss them with several advisory groups, including the new parents advisory panel. Follow Marsha Sills on Twitter @Marsha_Sills.