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Lafayette Parish School School System Principals Report In on Day 2

Lafayette Parish public school principals continued to report positive news at the end of the second day of the new school year. After schools reported their Day 2 enrollment numbers, based on physically counting students, it is estimated that an additional 1,327 students reported to school today. Also, the total number of students reportedly leaving area charters to enroll in Lafayette public schools now stands at 105.

Here’s what principals said about what happened on Day 2 and what to expect beyond:

Dana Schmersahl, principal at J.W. James Elementary said, “The first two days of school, our teachers are busy collaborating with their students to develop and write their classroom philosophy, classroom management plan and classroom procedures. The students are practicing these procedures. Monday, our fifth grade students will begin training each grade level with our PBIS [Positive Behavior Intervention Support] procedures and expectations. Each class in every grade level will rotate through stations to learn the expectations and procedures. The stations are: the car rider area, bus area, cafeteria, halls, bathrooms and playground. After these presentations, these procedures/routines are practiced several times a day. We have found that once students engage in helping to make the procedures/routines, they have ownership; therefore, they abide by these standards that they helped create. It is at this point that we truly begin with our academics.”

Jeffery Jeanette, principal at Carencro Middle noted that they “are off to a strong start and will continue to build on the momentum [they] have gained.”

“Live Oak Elementary students enjoyed another great start today with breakfast in the classroom and all students arriving on time. Returning students served as great role models for the over 75 new students to the school by following school-wide expectations as they arrived and reported to class. Students arrived happy and enthusiastic and ready to learn! The best compliments were from parents and staff. Parents complimented that everyone is so helpful here. New staff members expressed appreciation for the support they received from the veteran staff and that everything ran so smoothly on the first day of school!” said principal Stacy Danos.

Renee White, principal at Alice Boucher Elementary said, “Today was absolutely GREAT! Students and teachers were very eager to begin Day 2 of school. Mr. Craig [Chief Administrative Officer] came by to find out if we were in need of any assistance. He also walked around and observed for a little while. Our students participated in rotations to different PBIS stations (hallway, bus, bathrooms, etc.) Teachers and students continue to practice routines and procedures. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten are continuing to [undergo testing].  My team is absolutely phenomenal and working overtime to ensure that the first days of school are fantastic!”

Katherine Rayburn, principal of Duson Elementary said, “We began the day looking each and every student in the eye as they got out of cars and buses and said, ‘Good Morning!’ We are teaching students to respond in kind. It is a beautiful way to start the day. The students were greeted at classroom doors by teachers with the same greetings being exchanged. Our students are happy and feel loved. This is the first thing that needs to happen in order for students to have a successful day. My assistant principal and I have been in classrooms all morning and we both sense such a positive energy in students and teachers. The student engagement is at a very high level.  Teachers are engaging students with meaningful instructional activities and building relationships. Teachers are very happy and seem to have a new sense of purpose. They are ready to really focus on student learning and what we will do when students don’t learn. Our in-service days renewed all of us. We know that the value we bring is directly related to how we grow our lowest performing students. This emerging school is dedicated to advancing!”

Many principals also expressed their thanks to Central Office staff for their support and assistance in schools these first two days. Parents are reminded to call 521-RIDE for questions about transportation or 291-HELP with all other questions. We would also like to remind parents that attendance is compulsory, and it is a key component to a successful education.