A committee of the Lafayette Parish School Board that has proposed a number of potential changes to the system’s Schools of Choice organization and operation for the coming year will be meeting again Saturday morning to approve those changes.
The meeting, set for 9 a.m., will feature a review of the proposed changes to the program, followed by a series of votes to approve the changes.
“Every single decision in the proposal was a well thought out decision,” said Schools of Choice Marketing and Recruiting Coordinator Azdeh Yazdi. “we looked at every single possibility, every single element of it.”
With now more than 6,000 students in the parish’s academies, Yazdi says the program has evolved and that it is important that the rules and policies follow suit.
“So we are at a point right now where it really can’t continue the way that it is because, at one point or another, it’s just going to break,” Yazdi said.
One of the proposed changes is new nomenclature, which could result in the existing programs being referred to as magnet academies.
Several other changes involve modifications to the application process.
“The issue of sibling priority, that has generated a significant amount of interest and feedback from the community,” said LPSS Superintendent Donald Aguillard.
As the policy stands, once a child is admitted into one of the Schools of Choice, upcoming siblings get priority seeding.
“Out of 892 applicants at J. Wallace James, 74 percent of those got in because they has a sibling go to that school,” Yazdi said.
The administration is also proposing the elimination of the “A” and “B” lists, a system that was designed to give economically disadvantaged and minority students a better chance of landing a schools of choice slot.
Other changes lie within the language immersion programs and include possibly limiting enrollment. Aguillard said these changes ultimately benefit the students. He said he considers the Schools of Choice program one of the finest examples of what the school district can offer and wants to see it continue to succeed.
After being approved in committee, the changes will still have to go before the full school board for approval to take effect.