Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish School Board’ Category

Lincoln Parish School Performance Scores Jump

11/09/2017

Individual school scores for 2016/2017 school year

Lincoln Parish School Performance Scores (SPS) jumped for the 2016/2017 school year, enough to give the district an overall “A” grade, it was learned at Tuesday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB).

Assistant Superintendent Lisa Bastion told the board that overall, the district’s score increased 4.4 points, to 100.4.

Superintendent Mike Milstead said that that the process of improvement is a math problem.

“You break it down into component parts. Then you work on the parts where you have issues,” he said.

Three principals were on hand to collect performance bonus checks for their efforts in the score gains.

Pam Pruden, Dubach School Principal (8.7 point increase); Ricky Durrett Ruston High School Principal (3.7 point increase); Tony Antley, Choudrant High School Principal (9.4 point increase). All three gave credit to the teachers, pupils, and student’s parents for the improvement.

Prior to the full board meeting, the Building and Grounds committee heard from architect Mike Walpole on plans for a 10 thousand square foot STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) building planned for Ruston Junior High.

The building, primarily for the 7th and 8th grades at the junior high, would also be used for middle school student projects.

Walpole said that schedule calls for drawings and specifications to be ready for bid next spring, with construction beginning in the summer of 2018, and completion in time for the 2019 school year.

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Lincoln School Board Tuesday

11/06/2017

The Lincoln Parish School Board will meet Tuesday, November 7, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street. At 5:30 PM, the board’s Building and Grounds Committee will meet.

Here are the agendas.

RHS’ Ellis Aces ACT Test

10/04/2017

Davis Ellis (L), RHS Principal Ricky Durrett

Ruston High School Junior (RHS) Davis Ellis was recognized at yesterday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) for scoring a perfect 36 on the American College Test (ACT) college entrance exam. According to the organization’s website, of the 2.03 million 2017 high school graduates who took the test, only 2,760 scored a 36.

The test covers four skill areas, English, math, reading, and science.

In introducing Davis, ACHIEVE Coordinator Cathi Cox-Boniol noted that Davis is:

A state champion in the State Literary Rally in Algebra II, he is a two-time state qualifier in tennis, and after being part of Ruston High’s state championship FBLA Parliamentary Procedure team, he went on to rank in the Top Ten in that event at the National FBLA Convention.

Davis thanked the board for the recognition, his parents for their mentoring, and one other important thing in his life.

Said Davis, “Most importantly, I would like to thank God, for without Him, there is no reason for me to be.”

The board also took care of some business, approving several significant changes to the medical benefits for employees and retirees. Among the changes are increased co-pays for drugs and emergency room visits, an increase in drug deductibles, and an increase in the maximum out-of-pocket cost to $4500 from $3500.

See here the memo.

The changes were contemplated at last month’s meeting, but were deferred after doubts among the board members.

In his remarks, District Superintendent Mike Milstead commented on the “Enhanced School Calendar” program that will allow students to attend during the summer months. The pilot program will be at two schools, Glenview and Cypress Springs.

Milstead has often noted that the traditional summer break creates a “learning loss” for some students.

Said Milstead, “At some point we will give all schools that option. I vision down the road in the next 3 or 4 years a stand-alone site.”

School Board Meets Today

10/03/2017

The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet today (Tuesday, October 3) at 10:30 AM for its regular monthly meeting. The meeting location is different, and will be at Ruston High School, 900 Bearcat Drive, in the Teacher’s Lounge.

Here is the agenda.

Lincoln School Board Balks on Health Plan Changes

09/06/2017

Despite a year-to-date deficit of nearly a million dollars in the fund that pays for medical benefits for Lincoln Parish school district employees, the school board last night declined to make any significant changes to close that deficit.

Among the proposed changes were increased co-pays for drugs and emergency room visits, an increase in drug deductibles, and an increase in the maximum out-of-pocket cost to $4500 from $3500.

The board did approve one change, to allow a ‘closed formulary’ for drugs. That means only specific drugs in each drug class are covered.

Board insurance consultant David Charpentier was on hand to brief the board on the issue, along with Business Manager George Murphy.

“What we’re fighting primarily is a prescription drug issue,” said Charpentier. “The majority of it is a consequence of the Affordable Care Act,” he added. “Today, 40 cents out of every dollar the plan pays is for drugs.”

Board members apparently have been getting pushback from district employees, as several had questions about the proposed changes.

Superintendent Mike Milstead cautioned that employee medical costs are taking a larger bite from the district’s total budget every year.

Said Milstead, “There’s two things to me that we need to consider. One is that this past year out of a $71 million budget, we paid almost $10 million in this health care fund. So if that percentage continues to go against the overall budget, the ultimate thing that will come for us is taking money away from kids to pay our insurance costs.”

The board’s consensus was that the other plan changes would be reviewed and possibly adopted in the future.

In other business, the board approved capital spending for 2017-2018 that include $2.1 million for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Center for Ruston Junior High School, $500 thousand for two new special education classrooms at Ruston High School, $240 thousand for a new football scoreboard at Ruston High, and two classrooms at Simsboro School.

Additionally, the board approved a $500 increase in the November salary supplement checks. Employees with teaching certificates will receive $3000, instead of $2500, and other employees will receive $1500 versus $1250.

See here the board agendas and memos for the meeting.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tonight

09/05/2017

It’s a busy agenda for the Lincoln Parish School Board’s (LPSB) regular month meeting. The Building & Grounds Committee will meet at 5:30 PM, followed by the Finance Committee at 5:45. The full board will meet at 6:00 PM.

Among the notable agenda items are changes to the district’s medical plan (increases in deductibles and co-pays) and adoption of the FY 2017-2018 budget.

The meetings will be held at the Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here are the agendas and memos.

Lincoln Parish Public Schools Crank Up Next Week

08/02/2017

Lincoln Parish public schools will have a half-day of classes on Friday, August 11, with the first full day of classes set for Monday, August 14, Superintendent Mike Milstead told last night’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB). Teachers will report Monday for a meeting at Ruston High School.

Said Milstead, “I’ve always been excited about the first day of school. I don’t think that’ll ever go away.”

The board also reviewed the capital outlay plan for future construction.

Among the major projects planned for 2018 include a $2.1 million STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) center at Ruston Junior High, $500 thousand for two special ed classrooms at Ruston High, $800 thousand for sports facilities at the new Ruston Parks & Recreation complex on South Farmerville Street.

See here the outlay plan spreadsheet.

At the September board meeting, the Building & Grounds Committee will meet for a more detailed review of future plans, it was decided.

Business Manager George Murphy reported that sales tax collections had stabilized somewhat, with the past three months of collections showing a slight increase over the same period a year ago.

See here the report.

Lincoln Parish School Board Tomorrow

07/31/2017

The Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will meet Tuesday, August 1, 6:00 PM, Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.

There are significant personnel reassignments for August, which is normal during summer break.

See here the list.

LPSB Retireds to have Medicare as Primary Insurance

05/03/2017

Retired employees of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) who qualify will be covered by Medicare as their primary insurance vehicle, rather than the district’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield group insurance program, if a plan discussed at last night’s board meeting is adopted.

Qualified individuals are those LPSB employees who have had sufficient civilian employment (40 quarters) that paid into Social Security/Medicare, and are 65 years or older.

Business Manager George Murphy said that continuing losses in the district’s self-funded plan made the changes necessary.

Said Murphy, “We actually had a meeting today with David Charpentier about carving out a portion for retirees and setting that as a separate plan. The plan right now is to meet with retirees and get their feedback and see if their amenable to it.”

He added, “There’s a plan that Humana has where the federal government through Medicare picks up a higher percentage of the cost of the plan.”

Another change coming is a wellness check for active employees, Murphy said.

“Starting on July the First, through July the First through June the Thirtieth of next year, every active employee, and their spouse if they have one, HAS TO HAVE a wellness check,” he said.

Murphy also reported on tax collections for the month of April.

See here the report.

Prior to the full board meeting, the Executive Committee met and revisited Superintendent Mike Milstead’s contract extension and pay raise, erroneously enacted at the March board meeting.

The committee unanimously voted for the extension and raise, and the full board ratified their recommendation.

Asked by a reporter from the Ruston Daily Leader what was the “procedural error” made at the March meeting, Chair Lynda Henderson said, “We were supposed to have a public meeting, and it won’t happen again. It was a mistake.”

Board President Joe Mitcham distributed a comparison of the base salaries of other area school superintendents.

Finally, the board adopted tax millages for 2017. The rates are the same as 2016, with the exception of a Choudrant District 20 mil tax reduced to 18 mils, and a Simsboro District 7.75 millage cut to 7.25.

See here the memo.

School Board to Re-vote Supt Pay Raise

04/28/2017

Due to what is described as a “procedural error,” next Tuesday’s (May 2) meeting of the Lincoln Parish School Board (LPSB) will have mulligan on the March action to award Superintendent Mike Milstead a $10 thousand/year pay raise and contract extension.

From the memo and agenda:

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Robinson has noted a procedural error in the extension of the Superintendent’s contract at the March meeting; therefore, the Executive Committee will meet at 5:45p.m. on Tuesday, May 2, 2017,to consider the same.

Also, the Employment of the Superintendent policy-CED says the contract period can extend no longer than two years after the expiration of the term of office of the Board. Because board members’ current term ends in December 2018, instead of a full four year contract,the maximum time period for this contract is three and one-half years.

Lincoln Parish News Online had noted in a news story earlier this month that the March action was likely not valid because the committee that recommended the action did not have a public meeting.

The full board meeting is set for 6:00 PM at the Central Office, 410 South Farmerville Street.

Here is the agenda.