LIVINGSTON — Despite $10 million in budget cuts for this year, students and parents should not notice much difference when Livingston Parish children return to school Friday, Superintendent Bill Spear said Thursday.
“I don’t think, as far as instruction, the students or parents will see any difference at all,” Spear said. “Our hope is that they don’t notice any change whatsoever.”
The cuts would also not result in longer bus rides for students, Spear said.
Teachers may notice an extra student or two in their classes due to a refiguring of the parish’s staffing formula, Spear said.
The school system, which had around 24,600 students last year, is expecting to gain about 300 students for 2011-2012.
The School Board also voted in July to eliminate step raises for employees and remove three workdays from the calendar.
This year’s first few weeks of classes should be better because no new schools are coming online in Livingston Parish this year, Spear said.
The Juban Parc Elementary and Junior High schools, near Denham Springs, opened at the start of last year, and South Fork Elementary in Walker opened in November.
“Last year, we were not only moving students around, but teachers,” Spear said.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office will assign deputies to each of the school zones in the parish Friday, according to a press release.
School speed zones vary, and motorists will need to take special care when approaching schools, said Chief Criminal Deputy Jason Ard in the release.
“It’s not just about school zones, it about school buses,” Ard said. “It’s a first day, so there’s a lot more cars on the road.”
School officials said that coaches, band directors and teachers have been warned about the dangers of the heat.
“Principals go over it at faculty meetings,” said John Watson, one of the district’s assistant superintendents.
There is no official district-wide policy as far as time outside in the heat, Watson said.
The National Weather Service has issued an “excessive heat warning” for Livingston Parish through 7 p.m. Friday, according to the service’s website.
Heat index values could reach 107 to 114 degrees Friday, the website says.
Other matters coming before the board included:
CARLISLE TRIBUTE: Board members paid tribute to long-time board member Louis “Loody” Carlisle Thursday night.
Carlisle was elected to the board in 1986 and served until 2010.
“He always had a smile on his face, he never met a stranger,” said Board President Malcolm Sibley.
“We didn’t always vote the same, but he was always a friend,” said Sid Kinchen.
Carlisle died July 27 at the age of 82.