The Lafayette Parish School Board is deferring a motion to have the superintendent examine the issue of enrollment between Southside and Comeaux High School.
School Board Member Britt Latiolais was the one who brought up the issue and wanted to make clear that this isn’t a rezoning proposition.
“You definitely don’t want one school to go by the wayside and one grow out of hand.” said Latiolais.
Over the last three three years, Comeaux High has seen enrollment fall from 2,000 to around 1,200 students while Southside, its neighboring high school, has seen its population rise to almost 1,700.
“I don’t think we’ve addressed Comeaux or concerns of constituents that go to Comeaux.” said Latiolais.
Jeremy Hidalgo believes it’s too soon to have this conversation because Southside phased in grades and this is the first year it has all four grades.
“We didn’t let enough time pass. We didn’t let that school acclimate to the new environment. There will never be a large influx of students into Southside or out of Comeaux High School.” said Hidalgo.
Demographer Mike Hefner who helped zone the two schools, points out that Southside isn’t only thing affecting Comeaux’s enrollment
“The demographics are pretty complicated. There are a lot of moving parts, cause we have a lot of choice programs, magnet programs that students can enroll in. They don’t have to go to the school within the zone that they live in.” said Hefner.
Latiolais added those at Comeaux concerned about the future of school.
“You lose administrators, you lose staff. You lose faculty and with that you lose programs. It’s valid concerns that the people of Comeaux have. I think they just want some answers, good, bad or ugly.” said Comeaux.
Demographer Mike Hefner says he won’t have an accurate picture of the demographic shifts of the south end of Lafayette parish until the beginning of 2020.