DISTRICT TO REBUILD SOUTHSIDE JUNIOR HIGH AND SOUTHSIDE ELEMENTARY AT SAME LOCATION
As part of the district’s flood rebuilding effort, it will rebuild Southside Elementary and Southside Junior High on the same 27-acre location at 26535 Highway 16 in Denham Springs where the current Southside Junior High now stands.
Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy said the combined campus will house two distinct schools – Southside Elementary for K-5 students and Southside Junior High for 6-8 students – but they will share some facilities and recreational space to reduce duplication where possible and maximize cost savings.
“This rebuilding plan offers us an opportunity to be more efficient and create a safer environment. For many years, district officials have wished to relocate Southside Elementary because of traffic and safety concerns; this combined campus design allows us to address those concerns and maximize our resources,” Murphy said.
The district recently received an approved funding plan from FEMA to rebuild all three schools that remain closed since the August 2016 flood. The third school, Denham Springs Elementary, will be rebuilt at its original location on Range Avenue near the high school.
FORMER SOUTHSIDE ELEMENTARY LOCATION TO BECOME DENHAM SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL SATELLITE CAMPUS
The former Southside Elementary campus on Range Avenue in Denham Springs will be rebuilt into a satellite campus for Denham Springs High School where digital media and emergent technology courses will be offered to students in grades 9-12.
The satellite high school campus will use digital media curriculum from the LSU STEM Pathways program. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
Assistant Superintendent Joe Murphy said FEMA managers approved having the district demolish all but two buildings on the Southside Elementary campus – the multi-purpose building and cafeteria building, which includes five classrooms and a large meeting space. The district will fully restore those facilities and convert them to educational space for the high school. Those buildings are valued at $2.1 million.
Murphy said the demolition and refurbishment of the surviving structures will be completed before the start of next school year.
“Having access to these existing facilities opens up opportunities for students to earn dual college credit, additional Carnegie credits and industry credentialing,” Murphy said.
DOYLE HIGH TEACHER RESPONDS TO EMERGENCY CALL
When Doyle High School Teacher Matthew Stumpf received an emergency page from the Fire District 6 call center that a Livingston Parish school bus was involved in a fiery crash near Satsuma, he quickly called for an administrator to take over his classroom and rushed to the scene.
As a volunteer fire fighter and emergency medical response instructor, Stumpf is trained to manage such emergencies. “But when you hear that a school bus is involved, it’s scary. I knew I had to respond to do what I could for the kids,” he said.
Stumpf joined other fire fighters from Fire Districts 4, 6 and 7 at the scene to extinguish flames that had engulfed the 18-wheeler truck cab that had slammed into the back of the bus. Their quick action stopped the fire from spreading to the truck’s fuel tanks or the nearby damaged school bus.
“I certainly will take this experience back to the classroom and share it with my students,” he said. Stumpf teaches emergency medical response and sports medicine classes at Doyle High School. He is a former High School Teacher of the Year winner in Livingston Parish.
“My students will want to learn from this real-life example, and I will have the joy of sharing what I do in a meaningful way. It’s why I do what I do,” Stumpf said.
FRENCH SETTLEMENT HIGH SCHOOL RECEIVES $200,000 GRANT TO EXPAND AP PROGRAM
French Settlement High School recently received a $200,000 National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) grant from ExxonMobil, which will be utilized over a three-year period to expand the school’s Advanced Placement (AP) program. AP classes include college-level curricula as part of the course instruction. Students who earn a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP exam may be eligible for course credit at many colleges and universities.
“This grant has enabled us to expand our AP course offerings and help to equip all of our teachers with the tools they need to challenge our students to perform on a very high level,” French Settlement High School Principal Lee Hawkins said. “Our students have embraced our mission statement at FSHS, which is ‘Exceed Expectations. All Day. Every Day.’ as evidenced by the fact that nearly one-third of our student body is enrolled in at least one AP course.”
Hawkins said he plans to add an AP math course to the high school curriculum next year, and another AP computer class and AP science class the following year.
LIVE OAK HIGH SCHOOL BREAKS GROUND ON NEW BASEBALL-SOFTBALL COMPLEX
The district will soon begin construction on a new $6.8 million baseball-softball complex at Live Oak High School. The complex will include artificially-turfed fields, covered grandstands, coaches’ offices, team locker rooms, an indoor hitting facility, press boxes and lights.
School officials and community leaders recently participated in a ground breaking ceremony for the project, which is expected to be completed by next school year
NORTHSHORE TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE BREAKS GROUND ON NEW WALKER CAMPUS