LUTCHER — St. James school officials have held a series of primary school meetings for parents and teachers who have been struggling to learn more about the state’s new Common Core educational standards, specifically in math.
School Board members said Tuesday that they have fielded questions from parents and even their own family members who are concerned about some confusing and frustrating aspects of the math assignments.
Parish Schools Superintendent Alonzo Luce said he wondered how the district can inspire hope and purpose when previously successful students are now receiving D’s and F’s in the new Common Core standards.
Older primary school students are now expected to learn Common Core lessons without much experience in the subjects, he said.
Luce said he would have preferred the state to implement the new standards in stages based on grade instead of at such a rapid pace.
Struggles with Common Core are not expected to end anytime soon, as students will take a few years to adjust to the curriculum, Luce said.
“It’ll be a while before we work through this,” Luce said.
In other business Tuesday, the School Board voted unanimously to keep the school system’s property tax rates at the same 43.67 mills for the 2014 tax year as it was for 2013.
Jim Mitchell, parish schools administrative business services director, estimated an increase of about 3 percent in property tax collections, barring any major changes to tax rolls.
Last year, the same millage rate collected about $18.1 million for general fund operations and about $5.3 million for debt service obligations, Mitchell said.
Also on Tuesday, the School Board unanimously agreed to appropriate $1,000 for eight students involved in Future Farmers of America to attend the 87th National FFA Organization Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky, on Oct. 29-Nov. 1.
Board member Patricia Schexnayder thanked agriculture teacher and FFA adviser Felix Landry for volunteering his time to take the students on trips like this.
Board member Ken Foret agreed with Schexnayder’s positive assessment of Landry and his passion for teaching.
“He means it when he says he loves what he’s doing,” Foret said.