Members of the Avoyelles Parish School Board and the public will have a chance to ask Dr. William Gordon questions concerning his recommendations for the Avoyelles Parish School System. He will answer those questions and concerns during meetings on Monday and Tuesday by appointments set up through the central office. The full board will have a special meeting on Tuesday night to vote on his recommendations.
On November 18, Dr. Gordon presented his recommendations to the full board on what he thought would improve the public education system in parish. The board hired Dr. Gordon earlier in the year after Federal Court Judge Dee Drell and the U.S. Justice Department recommended the school board hire an “expert” to evaluate its school system.
“Dr. Gordon will meet with individuals or small groups of people throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday,” Avoyelles Parish School Superintendent Dwayne Lemoine said last week. “Whoever wants to meet with him needs to set up an appointment.”
Gordon’s plan calls for the closure of the middle schools starting with the 2009-2010 school year, but re-opening them after establishing one large high school in a few years. His recommendations also included eliminating door to door bus routes, reducing “zone jumping,” enhancing teacher recruiting and doing away with the block funding system.
Dr. Gordon will also attend the school board meeting on Tuesday night, which will begin at 5 p.m. If the board votes to adopt his recommendations, those recommendations will be sent to Judge Drell for final approval. The U.S. Justice Department must also sign off on the recommendations.
Board members are hoping the recommendations are turned over to the judge around the first of the year. They are also hoping if a hearing has to be held it would be held sometime in January because Dr. Gordon will be out of the country for a couple of months.
Board members are concerned that waiting until after Dr.Gordon returns from his trip would make it hard for the board to implement the plan before the next school year.