Aug 14, 2013 6:40 PM by Chris Welty

Challenges Ahead for Lafayette Parish Schools

Students across Lafayette Parish are facing homework assignments this evening after summer break officially ends.

Today, Superintendent Pat Cooper welcomed students and faculty as they arrived on campuses across the district. More than 30-thousand students are registered this school year. Cooper says this is a rough estimate and the district will have solid numbers in the coming weeks.

As the buses roll in, schools are facing challenges.

Excitement fills the air at L. J. Alleman Middle School as more than 11-hundred students pour onto campus.

Principal Kathy Aloisio met with students before classes.

"I think we have to be honest with them and if we start off the first day letting them know our expectations, than I think they'll meet our challenges," said Aloisio.

For her, implementing the state's common core curriculum is a major undertaking, one she wants students to take seriously. The new goals define what students need to learn each year to stay on track for college and careers. Educators say the curriculum is more demanding for students.

Teachers have trained and received tips to focus their lesson plans.
Nicole Rebstock, a seventh and eighth grade math teacher, says she can handle the challenge.

"I studied the material as soon as it was released and was teaching myself things I didn't understand," said Rebstock.

She's looking forward to implementing the new methods, but says students need to be ready to stay ahead of the curve. "We'll keep pushing them to do their best and rise to the challenge."

Principal Aloisio says, "You're going to have to pay attention in class, listen to your teachers and do your homework. You can't get behind, if you do, you may not catch up."

Aloisio says the school infrastructure is another challenge at L. J. Alleman.
The main buildings are more than 60 years old. Also, more than half of all classes are taught in portable buildings. Walkways to those classrooms do not have awnings, leaving students exposed to the elements like today's rain.

Today, there no major transportation issues were reported.

Superintendent Pat Cooper says minor "hiccups" are normal in the first week of the new year. One of the biggest adjustments in busing was the last minute transfer students from Alice Boucher and J.W. Faulk.

If you have questions about transportation, log onto or call 521-RIDE.

School zones are in effect in most Acadiana school districts.

Lafayette police are running what they call "Operation Give Kids a Brake."
They are saturating school zones with officers with a "zero tolerance" policy for speeders. If you are ticketed in a school zone, expect to pay double the normal fine for speeding.

"We will be monitoring and watching all the school zones within the city limits of Lafayette. Our main goal is to make sure kids make it to school safely and make it home safely," said Sergeant Billy Soileau of the Lafayette Police Department.

Chris Welty



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