Feb 1, 2012 11:40 PM by Maddie Garrett

School Board Approves Northside H.S. Plans for Overhaul

A landmark decision was made at Wednesday night's Lafayette Parish School Board meeting, as the board voted almost unanimously to move forward with plans to overhaul one of its worst schools, Northside High.

The plan could potentially mean big things not just for Northside, but other schools down the road. Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper will enact a plan for an academic turnaround, renovations and repairs at Northside and he hopes if it works, the plan will be a model for other low performing schools in the parish.

"I feel pretty amazing. I feel amazing for the Northside students and community, I feel amazing for this board, I feel amazing for our staff. I really think this was kind of critical moment and we came together. And it's not like we're always going to agree on things but we've proven that we can," said Cooper.

The plan calls for $1,887,704 to be spent on improving academics;including bringing in a new principal and a team of eight other administrators to get the school back on track.

Another $2,250,634 will go toward repairs and renovations as well as maintenance.

"I'm absolutely confident, it's not that it's not been well thought out, I've been doing this for 42 years, we've done this before. You know you put all the pieces together, you get the right people and it'll work," said Cooper.

The plan's approval was good news for Northside parent Marcus Allen, who said the overhaul is worth every penny.

"You're either going to pay it on the front side by trying to put what is necessary to prevent and to lower drop-outs, suspensions, or you're going to pay for it on the backend through incarceration, through the community. So I think an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,"said Allen.

This plan is in place through June, when the school board and administrators will re-assess the progress and possibly take this plan and team on the road to other schools.



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