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     The Evangeline Parish School Board Wednesday heard from Superintendent of Schools Darwan Lazard deny rumors that plans were in the works to reduce the number of employees working for the school system. Lazard said it is true that the school budget is based on school enrollment. He confirmed to board members and the general public Wednesday that the student enrollment from October to February has decreased by 44 students. “The reduction rumors are not true. We do not have a R.I.F. (reduction in force) about to begin,” he said. The superintendent remarked “It is too premature to speculate since the state legislature is still meeting to decide on such matters as funding the public schools.” Lazard said “ However, we have to live within our means. We cannot live by drawing down our savings, “ he commented.

   The superintendent announced that the public will be invited to a special open house at Ville Platte Elementary May 24 at 8:30am to formally introduce the French immersion program to parish public schools.  In the fall, both Ville Platte Elementary and Mamou Elementary will begin a French Immersion program for students in the early grades with assistance from Codofil and the state. Expected to be in attendance at the event will be Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, the State Education Superintendent, along with Codofil representatives. KVPI plans to broadcast the event with a live remote for those who are at work and could not attend.

  Chataignier Elementary school Prinicipal Peggy Edwards along with members of her staff including David Ardoin and Melissa Coreil made a special presentation to board members on the programs going on at the school. The Pre-K -8th school has made great strides in overall test scores by having its school grade improve to a B ranking. The school has 340 students enrolled.

   In other business, the school board:

--received a report from County Agent Todd Fontenot and 4-H Agent Kim Deville; Deville said there are 22 4-H clubs in parish schools. She announced four 4-H students were awarded national trips to New York and Washington D.C.;

--received news from Supt. Lazard that a special fund received from the 2016 state legislature will be distributed to school employees at the following rate: $214.28 to professional staff and $96.43 to support personnel.

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