Lafourche Parish School District, Louisiana
|Lafourche Parish School District|
|Superintendent:||Jo Ann Matthews|
|Number of schools:||29|
|Website:||School Home Page|
|Board of Education|
|Board president:||Rhoda Caldwell|
|Term length:||4 years|
- 1 About the district
- 2 Superintendent
- 3 School board
- 4 Budget
- 5 Teacher salaries
- 6 Schools in Lafourche Parish School District
- 7 Academic performance
- 8 Issues
- 9 Contact information
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
About the districtLouisiana in Lafourche Parish. The seat of parish government is Thibodaux. Lafourche Parish was home to approximately 97,141 residents according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau.
Lafourche Parish underperformed compared to the rest of Louisiana in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 15 percent of Lafourche Parish residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 21.4 percent for Louisiana as a whole. The median household income for the parish was $50,574 compared to $44,673 statewide. The poverty rate in the parish was 14.5 percent compared to 18.7 percent for the entire state.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.
The superintendent of Lafourche Parish School District is Jo Ann Matthews who was appointed to the position on January 1, 2006. She is the first woman to serve as superintendent in the district. Prior to her appointment, she worked as a special education teacher, assistance principal, principal, supervisor of personnel and interim superintendent in the district. She graduated from Thibodeaux High School in 1981.
Lafourche Parish School District is overseen by a school board comprised of 15 partisan members who are elected to represent geographical districts for four-year terms. The partisan affiliation in the table below represents the affiliation which the officeholder held in his or her most recent election.
|Lafourche Parish School District|
|Louis E. Thibodaux||1||Democratic||January 1, 1999||December 31, 2018|
|Rhoda Caldwell||2||Democratic||N/A||December 31, 2014|
|Richmond "Rev" Boyd Jr.||3||Democratic||January 1, 2003||December 31, 2018|
|Marian Fertitta||4||Republican||January 1, 2011||December 31, 2018|
|Stella C. Lasseigne||5||Democratic||N/A||December 31, 2014|
|Gregg P. Stall||6||Republican||January 1, 2011||December 31, 2018|
|Gary Foret||7||Democratic||January 1, 2003||December 31, 2018|
|Ronald Pere||8||Democratic||January 1, 2007||December 31, 2018|
|Julie Breaux||9||Democratic||January 1, 2007||December 31, 2018|
|Dennis "Jean" Chiasson||10||Democratic||January 1, 2007||December 31, 2018|
|Clyde "Joey" Duplantis III||11||Democratic||January 1, 2011||December 31, 2018|
|Ann Bouvier Sanamo||12||Democratic||January 1, 2011||December 31, 2018|
|Al Archer||13||Democratic||January 1, 2003||December 31, 2018|
|Larry Pitre||14||Democratic||N/A||December 31, 2014|
|Lawrence Mounic||15||Democratic||January 1, 2007||December 31, 2018|
School board elections
The 15 school board members are elected concurrently by district in partisan elections. This means that regular school board elections are held every four years with all members being up for re-election at that time. Additionally, all members are elected by a geographically defined district which they represent. Fifteen seats were up for general election on November 4, 2014. The next general election will be in November 2018.
School board candidates in Louisiana are elected by majority vote, which means the winner must receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the general election to win the seat. Runoff elections are held between the top two candidates for races where no candidate receives a majority. Candidates who are unopposed at the end of a candidate filing period are considered elected as of that date.
Any member who at the end of his or her term has served more than two and one-half terms in the last three consecutive terms cannot be re-elected in the following term. However, they can be re-elected following the one term break. These term limits take effect with terms beginning on or after January 2015 and does not apply retroactively to terms started prior to that date.
Public participation in board meetings
The Lafourche Parish School Board maintains the following policies on public testimony during board meetings on their website:
It is the policy of the Lafourche Parish School Board to conduct all meetings in full view of and with welcomed participation by the public. A public comment period shall be held before the Board discussion (if any) relative to an agenda item and before any vote is taken on a motion made in reference to an agenda item.
The Lafourche Parish School Board recognizes its obligations ordinarily to have open meetings as well as to promote efficiency of its meetings. To achieve this goal, the Lafourche Parish School Board recognizes that its rules regarding public comment must be content-neutral and may only relate to such matters as time, place and manner of a speaker's comment. The Board recognizes that it has the unquestioned right to control disruptive conduct by members of the public. However, the Board realizes that it may neither exclude specified groups of speakers nor may it categorically prohibit discussion of certain matters.
REQUEST FOR ITEM TO BE PLACED ON AGENDA BY INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS
All delegations or individuals who wish to appear before the School Board shall submit their requests as follows:
The decision of the Advisory Committee to deny a request to place an item or topic on the Board’s agenda shall be in writing, and this decision shall be made part of the School Board record.
Nothing herein shall prevent a Board Member from requesting that an item be placed on the Board’s agenda. No Board member shall be denied the right to have an item placed on the published agenda of a Board meeting. (See Policy BCBD).
There shall be a five-minute time limit imposed on any speaker or group. The Board by a two-thirds vote may extend this time limit.
Individuals addressing the Board shall not use “Fighting Words” and “Obscene Words” which are defined as follows:
The President of the Board shall read the following statement at Board meetings to each speaker or group whose request to address the Board is included on the agenda:
The President of the Board may recognize persons at the Board meetings for the purpose of introducing such persons. However, such a person is not entitled to take up business before the Board unless the item in which he/she is interested has been placed on the agenda of that meeting or unless a motion to permit such a person to take up business before the Board is approved by unanimous consent of the Board members present. The right to address the Board is not an invitation to debate Board members on certain issues. The Board, in its discretion, may address questions to persons who address the Board after the presentation is completed.
Political candidates shall not be allowed to address the Lafourche Parish School Board in view of obtaining support. The Board takes its responsibilities seriously to maintain its meetings with a strict nexus to the mission of the educational needs of its students. Thus, any item on the agenda that would not fulfill this fiduciary duty shall not be considered. However, political candidates will be welcome to mix with Board members and assembled people before, at recess, and after Board meetings.
Members of the public who wish to speak on agenda items at a Board meeting may do so by:
In the event that the Board should add an item to its agenda after the Board meeting begins, the Board President shall orally request of the audience whether anyone in attendance would like to speak on the added agenda item. Each person indicating a desire to do so shall be given an opportunity to address the Board on each agenda item added. The Board shall delay deliberations on that agenda item until such time as all interested members of the public have had an opportunity to speak.
—Lafourche Parish School District website, (2013), 
The table below displays the budget for the Lafourche Parish Public Schools:
|Expenditures by Category|
|School Year||Staff Expenses||Student Services||Operational Expenses||Debt Service||Other||Budget Total|
|Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget|
Teacher salaries in Lafourche Parish School District are categorized based on higher education achievement and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate courses with raises at credit intervals. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees. Additionally, teachers can receive merit pay based on an evaluation of their effectiveness.
The following table details the salary schedule for teachers in the 2013-2014 school year:
|Degree level||Minimum salary ($)||Maximum salary ($)|
|M.A. + 30||45,200||54,200|
|Ph.D. or Ed.D||46,700||55,700|
Schools in Lafourche Parish School District
Lafourche Parish School District served 14,323 students in the 2011-2012 school year. The district does not publicly archive enrollment data.
Lafourche Parish School Distric operates 29 schools listed below in alphabetical order:
|Lafourche Parish School District|
|Bayou Blue Elementary School||North Larose Elementary School|
|Bayou Blue Middle School||Raceland Lower Elementary School|
|Bayou Boeuf Elementary School||Raceland Middle School|
|Career Magnet Center||Raceland Upper Elementary School|
|Central Lafourche High School||Sixth Ward Middle School|
|Chackbay Elementary School||South Lafourche High School|
|Cut Off Elementary School||South Larose Elementary School|
|East Thibodaux Middle School||South Thibodaux Elementary School|
|Galliano Elementary School||St. Charles Elementary School|
|Golden Meadow Lower Elementary School||Thibodaux Elementary School|
|Golden Meadow Middle School||Thibodaux High School|
|Golden Meadow Upper Elementary School||W.S. Lafargue Elementary School|
|Larose-Cut Off Middle School||West Thibodaux Middle School|
|Lockport Lower Elementary School|
|Lockport Middle School|
|Lockport Upper Elementary School|
Louisiana administers three main sets of tests to measure the academic performance of K-12 students: DIBELS Next, iLEAP and End-of-Course tests. Additionally, districts are given a letter ranking of A-F based on performance across all grades of students.
The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills test, also known as DIBELS Next, is administered to K-3 students statewide. The test places students into one of three categories. Those who meet the benchmark levels are placed in the "core" category, indicating they only need core reading curriculum going forward. The other two categories indicate students who need "strategic" or "intensive" intervention in reading education. The following chart outlines the percentage of students in the district in each of the categories:
|DIBELS Next results|
|Testing date||Kindergarten||1st grade||2nd grade||3rd grade|
|Core (%)||Strategic (%)||Intensive (%)||Core (%)||Strategic (%)||Intensive (%)||Core (%)||Strategic (%)||Intensive (%)||Core (%)||Strategic (%)||Intensive (%)|
iLEAP and LEAP
|LEAP and iLEAP percentile ranks|
|Year|| Mastery and
| Basic and|
Louisiana 3rd through 8th grade students statewide are tested annually in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These tests are called iLEAP and LEAP.
On both tests, students can earn the following scores:
The table on the right compares the percentage of district students scoring either mastery and higher or basic and higher on the iLEAP and LEAP with the statewide averages. The percentage of mastery and higher is not available prior to 2013 results.
High school students in Louisiana take end-of-course tests in algebra I, geometry, English II and III, biology and U.S. history. The students receive one of the following four scores on each test:
In the 2013-2014 school year, 68 percent of students taking end-of-course tests across all subjects in the district earned a grade of good or excellent. This was up 4 percent from 64 percent in 2012-2013.
District letter grade
Louisiana uses a letter grade system of A through F to describe school performance scores. The table on the right outlines the district's letter score by year. The scores are based on the following measurements:
|A-F Letter Grade Results|
Board member battery charges
On September 12, 2014, District 11 representative on the school board Clyde "Joey" Duplantis III (D) was charged with simply battery of a 14-year old student. The alleged incident took place on August 24, 2014, at a fundraiser event for the school marching band. Witnesses reported that Duplantis pinned a student to the wall by either his shirt or throat and jabbed the student with a dodge ball after the student did not immediately leave the court after being "out" in a dodge ball game.
In an interview with the police on September 8, 2014, Duplantis stated that he grabbed the student by the arm and touched his chest while explaining the rules of the dodge ball game.
The school district does not have a policy to handle "incidents in which a board member is charged in a student-related incident." Duplantis was not suspended from the board and proceeded to win a second term in the 2014 general election. The investigation is ongoing.
Board term limits
On November 6, 2012, Lafourche Parish voters elected by over 78 percent to instate term limits. Terms won in the 2014 election were the first to be affected by the change. Starting with terms that began on or after January 1, 2015, any member who, at the end of his or her term, has served more than two and one-half terms in the last three consecutive terms cannot be re-elected in the following term. However, they can be re-elected following the one term break. The limit does not apply retroactively to incumbents, thus allowing them to potentially serve up to 12 more years.
| Parishwide School District Local Option|
Term Limits Proposition (2012)
|“||LOCAL OPTION ELECTION
Within Lafourche Parish School District: Shall the number of terms of office that any member of the school board may serve be limited to three consecutive four-year terms?
- Louisiana school districts
- List of school districts in Louisiana
- Lafourche Parish School District elections (2014)
- School board elections portal
- Lafourche Parish School District
- Lafourche Parish, Louisiana
- Louisiana Department of Education
- Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA)
- Louisiana Department of Education, "District and State Graduation Rates (2005-2006 to 2012-2013)," accessed November 24, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed June 17, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, Quick Facts," accessed September 3, 2014
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Results," accessed September 2, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- Lafourche Parish School District, "JOANN R MATTHEWS," accessed December 3, 2014
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES," accessed September 2, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Lafourche Parish School District, "B SECTION POLICY - SCHOOL BOARD OPERATIONS: BCBI Public Participation," November 2013
- Lafourche Parish Public Schools, "Budget Statements," accessed December 11, 2014
- Lafourche Parish School District, "2013-2014 Salary Schedules," July 1, 2013
- Louisiana Department of Education, "DIBELS Next," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "Test Results," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "Annual Assessments," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "End-of-Course Tests," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "Performance Scores," accessed November 24, 2014
- Louisiana Department of Education, "School Letter Grades," accessed November 24, 2014
- WWL, "School board member charged with simple battery against student," September 12, 2014
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "HOW ARE CANDIDATES ELECTED?," accessed September 2, 2014
- Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Election Results," accessed December 4, 2014