Zachary school officials said they were pleased with the opening of the new school year.
Superintendent Scott Devillier said the start of the 2015-16 school year on Aug. 10 was the smoothest he’s experienced yet.
“There was lots of preparation that went into the first day of school, from First Student bus transportation to the teachers and paraprofessionals in the classrooms, everyone involved worked together to make it a very smooth first week back,” said Devillier during an Aug. 18 School Board meeting. “We had a great opening convocation, and there are lots of exciting things happening in Zachary schools.”
Board member Heidi Vessel, the mother of a Zachary student, said she was impressed by the vibe at her daughter’s school.
“Everyone was helping everyone and there was an overall sense of excitement in the air, more than what a new school year typically brings. It felt different somehow,” Vessel said.
The rest of the board agreed.
The board approved several personnel changes, including the approval of a two-year administrative contract for Kimberly Littles, who has been named assistant principal of Zachary Career and Technical Center.
Patrick Jenkins is principal of Copper Mill Elementary School this year.
Formerly the district’s operations manager, Jenkins has served in an interim capacity as principal of Zachary Elementary and as principal of the district’s Port Hudson Career Academy before it became Zachary Career and Technical Center.
In other business, the board talked about its plan to comply with a new state student privacy act.
District officials said they have sought an opinion from the state Attorney General on the policy concerning student privacy and education records.
Known as Act 837, the act prohibits the collection of certain information and the sharing of student data. Devillier said protecting the rights and information of students is the district’s main concern, but equally important is to determine a way that allows for specific identifiable information to be released to the right parties in the right manner.
A release of information form has been sent home to every parent of every child, as well as a second form for athletes.
“Every athlete will have a new form for every sport, and a list of who we can release the information to will be on the form,” said Devillier. “If parents don’t sign it, then their child will not be acknowledged in the local news, on school websites, grades or transcripts won’t be shared, and that student may just miss out of a scholarship opportunity.”