LAFAYETTE — Students formerly zoned for the now-closed N.P. Moss Middle School begin school Monday at new schools.
But how many were affected by the rezoning won’t be known until school starts, school officials said.
The 13 census tracts that comprised the Moss zone were divided among five middle schools: Acadian, Carencro, Edgar Martin Middle, Lafayette, and Paul Breaux.
Principals said this week they’re ready to meet their new students’ needs.
“They’re part of us,” said Alvin Lasseigne, Acadian Middle principal.
Lasseigne said he expects only about 30 new Moss students this year.
“We already had many of them because they came to us or Lafayette Middle” because of choice transfers, he said.
The two sites had been the choice for students who wished to transfer from Moss to a higher-performing school based on Moss’ low performance scores.
Moss’ repeated low performance prompted the School Board to vote to close it to prevent a possible state takeover of the campus.
The school’s enrollment had been depleted over the years through student transfers to other higher-performing schools or to specialized schools of choice programs.
Only a third of the nearly 900 students zoned for the school attended Moss in the past school year, officials have said.
The building is now the site of the David Thibodaux Career and Technical High School. The high school will continue to house a schools of choice academy in science, technology, engineering and math — STEM.
At least 27 zoned Moss students who attended STEM last year will return to the program.
District officials had projected the potential impact on the five sites ranging from as low as 28 additional students to as many as 165.
No new portable buildings were needed at any of the five sites to help offset increased enrollment, said Lawrence Lilly, deputy superintendent of human resources and operations.
District officials have assured that the rezoned students will be provided additional resources to help them succeed at new sites.
The district planned to offer summer enrichment programs to provide additional support to students affected by the rezoning, but there was little interest
in the program, said Louise Chargois, district director of curriculum and instruction.
Schools will have the use of Moss’ equipment, with computers and other technology divvied among the five sites, Chargois said.
About $117,000 in Title I federal funds attached to Moss has been reserved to provide academic services to the rezoned students, said Phyllis Bartlett, district director of federal programs.
After the school year begins, students’ needs will be assessed, she said.
“The dollars will be going to children who need additional support,” Bartlett said. “Some students may not need remediation services.”
School counselors are prepared to help students acclimate to their new environments, said Bobby Badeaux, principal at Edgar Martin.
“Any time students have change they have mixed emotions,” Badeaux said. “Our counselors are well aware that there may be some anxiety with these kids. We have high expectations of them — just like our other students.”