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Students look toward college as school prepares to shut down for good

The school’s impending closure and how to assist students in furthering their education elsewhere were among primary concerns at this month’s meeting of the Sojourner Truth board of directors, April 17.

Juniors and seniors were scheduled to attend a college fair on Thursday at Landry High School to talk with representatives of several Louisiana colleges.

So far 18 students have been accepted by a two- or four-year college or university and financial aid tops $147,000. Forty-seven students are eligible to graduate, depending on exit-exam results.

The administration will be distributing a calendar to students and parents detailing the end-of-year testing schedule in an effort to encourage participation. The average attendance for March was 180 students, and attendance was strong for the recent exit exams, with only one student absent.

Exit exam results will be available May 18, at which point the school will know which students will need remediation classes.  The Recovery School District has agreed to conduct the classes, but the school will incur a cost. Details for the classes are to be determined.

The group of board members and administrators displayed some confusion over exactly what must transpire before the school shuts down.  Board member Ryan Mast said that the school is working off an RSD close-out guide to tie up all loose ends, but an administrator was not sure whether the school had received the RSD guide.  The person in charge of shut-down operations was not present to answer questions. May 31 is projected to be the last day of operations.

The administration asked the board to consider awarding students athletes their jerseys at an upcoming event. Board chairman Robert Burvant said he appreciated the invitation and would look into whether it’s appropriate under terms of the grant.

Finance chair Keith Crawford reported that school finances are stable.  Current figures project a year-end surplus of $153,000, all of which will likely be used to pay vendors.

Before the conclusion of the meeting, Sybil Favrot resurrected the issue of the school’s missing computers.  As reported in January, the school could lay its hands on only 18 of 62 computers. An updated count was not available, but Burvant said enough are available to  conduct testing. They’re under lock and key, Mast said.

The 45-minute meeting ended with the board going into executive session.

In addition to Burvant, Mast and Crawford, members present included, Lawliss Turner, Ryan Mast, Sybil Favrot, Victoria Johnson and Annie Balart Michaels.  Board members Elizabeth Rhodes, Alice Parkerson and Charline Wright were not present.  Four administrators and three members of the public were in attendance.


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