Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

Substitute Shortage led to Online Class Reschedule


A shortage of substitute teachers was the reason Lincoln Parish schools re-instituted the online/in-person schedules that had been used for the first nine weeks of the school year. The A/B schedule will be for grades 7-12 only. Schools had gone to full in-person instruction about a month ago.

Incoming District Superintendent Ricky Durrett said the shortage didn’t occur until the in-person instruction was under way.

Said Durrett, “When we’re on A/B day for seven through twelfth grade, they don’t need any subs because if I’m teaching a grade, and I don’t have kids – I’m doing it virtually that day – I can sub for those who are out.” He added, “That allows the subs we have to now all work in K through sixth, and cover those classes. We do realize that being in school every day is best, but right now by dong the A/B in the high school, when we do have somebody out, we can put a certified teacher in there to cover for it.”

Durrett said that C-19 cases were not significantly spreading among the students.

Assistant Superintendent Lisa Bastion cited figures backing up that observation.

Said Bastion, “Since August 19, the first day of school, 3.39 percent of our students have tested positive. We’ve had an influx of adults. Today, we have 43 employees out with either quarantine or having to isolate.”

Earlier in the meeting, the board heard from Business Manager Juanita Duke and benefits advisor David Charpentier regarding changes to the employee’s medical plans.

See here the memo and details of the plan.

Also notable in the meeting was the sales tax report for the month. With the addition of the new 1/2 cent sales tax, November collections were over $600 thousand greater than the 2018 and 2019 figures.

School Board Meets Tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 6:00 PM, STEM Center, 525 Tarbutton Road.

Here is the agenda.

School Board Meets Tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, November 10), 6:00 PM, Lincoln Parish STEM Center, 525 Tarbutton Road.

Here is the agenda.

Among the items to be discussed are ratifying a contract for newly hired District Superintendent Ricky Durrett, and consideration of health plan changes for 2021.

Here are the memos:

Ratify a contact for the new Superintendent

Consider 2021 Health Plan Changes

Comments @ School Board Mtg


Prior to yesterday’s vote at the Lincoln Parish School Board, several comments were made by board members and the public.

District 10’s Otha Anders led the invocation, saying “we ask please that You point out the one to lead us to the continued growth, achievements, and success we have had” in the school district.

Grambling resident Veda Emerson claimed that racism still exists in Lincoln Parish and the school system.

Said Emerson, “You are so stuck on color and dealing with what’s been going on for ever and ever in Ruston, Louisiana…We black folks are supposed keep our places, and stay in our places.”

David Ferguson, District 10 said some of the email and phone calls he received were racist.

Said Ferguston, “We as adults have to respect one another.”

Hunter Smith, District 7, said he wished that more people would be involved in the local schools, and not just whenever a major issue surfaced.

Said Smith, “Get involved. Run for office. Volunteer for PTA. Go to a sporting event. Show that you care all the time, and not just when major decisions are involved.”

Lisa Best switches to Durrett


After several impassioned comments from citizens and board members, the Lincoln Parish School Board moments ago voted 7/5 to appoint Ricky Durrett as superintendent of the district.

Switching her Monday vote for Lyons to Durrett was District Eight’s Lisa Best.

More reporting later.

Interviews Precede Split Vote


Last night’s 6/6 split vote of the Lincoln Parish School Board followed over 2 1/2 hours of interviews of the two candidates – Ricky Durrett and Byron Lyons. Both were given identical questions by board attorney Jon Guice, followed by executive sessions where the board members asked questions.

The public questions took about 20 minutes for each, while the secret questioning lasted about 45 minutes for Lyons and an hour for Durrett.

Guice asked about the future of education and virtual learning in light of the recent pandemic events.

Said Lyons, “We have to prepare for the new normal. We have to come up with some professional development and teach teach teachers how to teach differently in the new normal.”

Durrett noted that face-to-face teaching was best, and that virtual learning was not “the be-all, end-all that takes the place of a teacher in our system.”

Lyons noted that he was a native of Lincoln Parish, attended Hillcrest and Glenview, and graduated from Grambling High School. He said he had held positions of increasing responsibility in several school systems.

Durrett told of his 30 year career in Lincoln Schools, from teaching and coaching at Simsboro and Ruston High, to principal tenures at those two schools.

Another special called meeting has been set for tomorrow (Wednesday, October 21) at 4:00 PM, Lincoln Parish Stem Center, 525 Tarbutton Road.

Here is the agenda.

Tie Vote on School Supt


With two consecutive votes on signed paper ballots, the Lincoln Parish School Board tonight adjourned after the board split 6-6 between Byron Lyons and Ricky Durrett for the next district superintendent.

Voting for Durrett:

Voting for Lyons:

The board is expected to meet again in the next few days and try to break the stalemate. We will have additional reporting tomorrow on the interviews and related discussion.

School Board to Appoint Supt Today


The Lincoln Parish School board will this afternoon appoint a new superintendent to replace the retiring Mike Milstead, according to the agenda for today’s 4:00 PM meeting.

Interviews for the two candidates – Ricky Durrett and Byron Lyons – will start off the meeting, followed by adoption of procedures and then a final vote.

The meeting will be at the STEM Center building, 525 Tarbutton Road.

Two Lincoln Seniors National Merit Semi-Finalists


Two Lincoln Parish seniors were last night recognized as National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists – Caleb Phillips of Ruston High School and Eli Watson of Choudrant High School.

District Communications Coordinator Brandon Sutherland noted that Phillips maintains a 4.36 GPA and has played Bearcat football and soccer for four years. He intends to study chemical engineering in college.

Watson maintains a 4.1 GPA, and is also the Choudrant Cross Country team captain. He hopes to attend a military service academy and study engineering.

Both young men introduced their parents and thanked the schools for helping them realize their life goals.

The board set Monday, October 19, 4PM & 6 PM, to interview the two applicants for the district’s superintendent position – Ricky Durrett and Byron Lyons.

Durrett is the Lincoln Parish School District’s Secondary Supervisor and has been employed in the district in teaching, coaching, principal, and supervisory positions for many years.

Lyons was most recently Director of Human Resources for the Cleveland, OH Metropolitan School District, according to his Linkedin page. He is a Lincoln Parish native, and had applied for the job in 2015, when Mike Milstead won the appointment.

During the business part of the meeting, Business Manager Juanita Duke got approval to distribute the November salary supplement payment to employees. Those with teaching certificates will receive $3 thousand, and other employees will receive $1.5 thousand.

Here’s the memo.

Also, a resolution was adopted that lays out how some the $4.4 million in proceeds from the new 1/2 cent sales tax will be distributed, relative to future salary supplement payments.

Here’s the resolution.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tuesday


The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet Tuesday, October 6, STEM Center, 525 Tarbutton Road, 6:00 PM.

Here is the agenda.