NEW ROADS — The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board spent the tail end of its regular meeting Thursday discussing setting the character of its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Academy through school uniforms and mascots.
The board decided to table a vote on picking uniform colors for the new program, which will open on the Pointe Coupee Central High campus this fall, after a spirited debate over a student recommendation to have orange-and-purple uniforms.
But the board easily reached a unanimous consensus to have an eagle as the school’s mascot — a recommendation also driven by student input.
Superintendent Kevin Lemoine said community interest in the district’s new STEM program has exceeded his expectations, with the district receiving enough applications since Jan. 4 to already fill its inaugural sixth-, seventh- and ninth-grade classes.
Lemoine has said previously the academy will be made up of sixth- through ninth-grade students the first year, with plans to expand to fifth through 10th grades the following year.
Admission for the STEM academy, like the programs in Iberville and Lafayette parishes it’s modeled after, will require students to have at least a 2.75 GPA or higher and exemplary behavior records.
“We still a few vacancies left for eighth grade,” Lemoine said in an interview following the board meeting. “We received approximately 330 to 340 applications. If we get any more, we may consider expanding with some additional sections.”
However, what those students will be wearing every day to class remains a mystery.
According to a student survey, students attending the academy would like to wear uniforms consisting of purple shirts with orange logos and orange shirts with purple logos.
But several board members took issue with the choice — mainly having students wearing the orange shirts.
Board member Frank Aguillard said he received several calls from parents who didn’t like that color scheme.
Board member Chad Aguillard agreed.
“I think it’s admirable the students had an opportunity to weigh in. I just can’t swallow the purple and orange,” Chad Aguillard said. “I think it’s something we need to think about as board.”
“I don’t have a problem with the colors,” board member Brandon Bergeron said later. “I want to see a sample first. Because once you make that decision, that’s that.”
Lemoine promised to provide samples to the board at its next meeting in April following the board’s decision to table the matter.
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