SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES PLAN TO BUILD STEM & ROBOTICS CENTER
The Livingston Parish School Board approved plans to convert two buildings on the former Southside Elementary campus into a new STEM & Robotics Center for Denham Springs High School.
The new center will offer classes in partnership with LSU designed to enrich student learning in science, technology, engineering and math. The center will be run by the administration at Denham Springs High School. Some of the courses planned for the center include Computational Thinking, Digital Storytelling, Intro to Engineering, as well as a suite of courses focusing on digital media and engineering.
Under an approved recovery plan by FEMA, the district will demolish all but two buildings on the Southside Elementary campus. Those two buildings, which are valued at $2.1 million, will be restored to house the STEM & Robotics Center. The demolition of most of the campus and refurbishment of the two buildings are expected to complete before the start of the school in August 2019.
DISTRICT RECOGNIZES LOCAL SCHOOLS OF EXCELLENCE
Livingston Parish Public Schools recognized 24 schools that were named 2018 Schools of Excellence. The schools’ principals or designees were present at the January 24 school board meeting to receive placards of recognition for their schools. Pictured, from left to right, are: (front row) Kathy Rodosta, Albany Lower Elementary; Stacey Viator, Levi Milton Elementary; Marty Henry, South Live Oak Elementary; Jo Jean Saucier, Albany Upper Elementary; Cassie Phelps, Maurepas School; Donna Sibley, Doyle Elementary; Lindy Gill, French Settlement Elementary; Kris Roundtree, Holden School; Beth Jones, Live Oak High School; Lee Hawkins, French Settlement High School; Lynette Wheat, Lewis Vincent Elementary; Julie Dugas, Freshwater Elementary; Lauren Kennedy, Juban Parc Elementary; (middle row) John Hill, Albany Middle; Michelle Wheeler, Live Oak Elementary; Michell Stone, North Live Oak Elementary; Kelly LaBauve, Eastside Elementary; Gail DeLee, Denham Springs Elementary; Kim Freeman, Albany High School; John Chewning, Springfield High School; Ken Magee, Denham Springs Freshman High; Kelly Jones, Denham Springs High School; Bryan Wax, Denham Springs Junior High; Dwayne Dykes, Springfield Middle School; (back row) Livingston Parish School Board Members Frank Parrino (seated) Devin Gregoire, Jeff Cox, Bo Graham, Brad Sharp, Buddy Mincey, Jr., Bradley Harris, Jan Benton and Kellee Hennessy-Dickerson; and Superintendent Rick Wentzel.
Livingston Parish Schools recently recognized 24 schools that were named 2018 Schools of Excellence by the Louisiana Department of Education for their academic progress. The state’s Schools of Excellence include those schools that earn Top Gains status, which is a designation for academic progress at an “A” level; and Equity Honorees, which recognizes schools in the top 10 percent in Louisiana among targeted subgroups, including special needs students, English learners and economically disadvantaged students.
Nine schools earned Top Gains and Equity Honoree recognition: Denham Springs Elementary; Denham Springs Freshman High; Eastside Elementary; Holden School; Juban Parc Elementary; Live Oak High School; North Live Oak Elementary; South Live Oak Elementary; and Springfield High School.
Three schools earned Equity Honoree recognition: Albany High School; Denham Springs High School; and French Settlement High School.
Twelve schools earned Top Gains recognition: Albany Lower Elementary; Albany Middle School; Albany Upper Elementary; Denham Springs Junior High; Doyle Elementary; French Settlement Elementary; Freshwater Elementary; Levi Milton Elementary; Lewis Vincent Elementary; Live Oak Elementary; Maurepas School; and Springfield Middle School.
COMMUNITY STEM CAFÉ OFFERS FUN OUTING FOR LOCAL FAMILIES
Albany Upper Elementary Fourth-Grader Wyatt Bull shows his 4-year-old sister, Dakota, how to use air pressure to launch a rocket made from a plastic drinking straw during the STEM Café on Saturday at the Livingston Parish Literacy & Technology Center in Walker.
More than 200 students and their parents gathered at the Livingston Parish Literacy & Technology Center on January 26 to engage in learning activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math through a variety of hands-on games, exercises and demonstrations – many of which were made available by the Livingston Parish STEAM Express.
The Community STEM Café was presented by a variety of educational and professional groups from Southeastern Louisiana University, the Northshore Technical & Community College, the State of Louisiana, Livingston Parish Public Schools and independent STEM educational groups.
Livingston Parish Schools Instructional Technology Facilitator Nikki Lavergne said the local turnout for the event, which was the first to be held in Livingston Parish, exceeded expectations, including the popularity and demand for access to the STEAM Express, which is a mobile learning laboratory that is equipped with learning activities for students and parents. The mobile classroom can be customized to focus on any field of learning and adapted for any age group.
“It’s just so exciting to see our students engage in learning activities, to have their parents engage in the activities with them, and for students and parents to leave with plans to seek out more educational materials on their favorite subjects,” Lavergne said.
Soaud Henni and her son, Wascom Henni, learn how to create an electrical charge from a banana during Saturday’s STEM Café, which was held at the Livingston Parish Literacy & Technology Center in Walker. Wascom Henni is a pre-kindergarten student at Juban Parc Elementary.
SPRINGFIELD HIGH SENIOR ADVANCES TO NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLAR FINALIST
Springfield High School Senior Andrew Larpenter.
Springfield High School Senior Andrew Larpenter has advanced to become a National Merit Scholarship Finalist, making him eligible for one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships to be awarded this spring.
“We were excited to hear the news for Andrew,” Springfield High School Principal Spencer Harris said. “He has all the ability and drive to be one of the most successful people to come through our school. We congratulate him on this national honor and wish him the very best for a bright future.”
To enter the National Merit competition, Larpenter had to take the PSAT test during his junior year of high school. From the 1.6 million students who met entry requirements for the 2018 competition, approximately 16,000 were selected as semifinalists. From that list, 7,500 finalists were chosen.
STEAM EXPRESS COMMUNITY OUTREACH PLANNED FOR MARCH 11
The Livingston Parish STEAM Express will headline a community outreach event in the South Denham Springs residential area of Eastover Estates on Monday, March 11 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. near the Light of the Word Church at the corner of Aztec Drive and Chickasaw Avenue.
Educators with STEAM Express will be joined by volunteers from the Livingston Parish Library, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, Might Moms, Assess the Need, Stewart Medical Center, Jackets Against Destruction Decisions and teachers from Southside Elementary and Southside Junior High School to offer a variety of learning activities, games and food for local families.
“Taking learning into our communities is at the very heart of what we envision with our STEAM Express mobile classroom,” Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy said. “This will be our first true community outreach effort, and we are excited about partnering with others in our parish to engage our students and parents where they live.”