- Associated Press - Monday, July 6, 2015

NEW ROADS, La. (AP) - In his first week as Pointe Coupee Parish’s new school superintendent, Kevin Lemoine has already toured all five of the district’s campuses, met with principals and key staff and started crunching numbers for the district’s next fiscal year budget.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1CbCjuS) Lemoine’s agenda for his first year as superintendent includes reorganizing the district’s central office, shaving expenses to shrink an impending deficit in the district’s 2015-16 budget and establishing a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program at Pointe Coupee Central High.

“I’ve already looked at every school campus and made suggestions on changing some of the aesthetics,” Lemoine said Thursday, his second day on the job. “I’m telling everyone we want to make a different impression on the first day of school.”

Lemoine, who left his position as acting superintendent of the special school district with the state Department of Education, is walking into a school district that has been on a gradual climb toward academic success.

But there’s still a long way to go when compared to surrounding parishes.

Pointe Coupee’s overall district score sits at 78.8 percent, which is a C grade, according to the Louisiana Department of Education’s 2014 annual report.

School officials have previously said the district is losing children to surrounding parishes with higher grades like West Feliciana and West Baton Rouge, which received A and B grades, respectively, from the state last year.

Four of the district’s five schools are graded average or below average. The lone academic triumph is Valverda Elementary which has a B grade.

Lemoine’s $133,000 three-year contract with the Pointe Coupee Parish school system includes a number of performance targets concentrated on student achievement, the district’s graduation rates and student enrollment.

“Coming into a school system that’s already an ‘A,’ there’s little room for growth,” Lemoine said. “But here, there is more room for growth with fewer resources __ that’s the bigger challenge. The benefits can be tenfold if you’re successful though.”

Lemoine said he intends to present the School Board with a Central Office reorganization chart later this month that will eliminate several positions and streamline administrative services.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com


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