It's back to school on Monday
Berwick Junior High student council members continue the St. Mary Rocks trend Thursday by painting rocks and shells with inspirational messages. The rocks will be distributed throughout Berwick. (The Daily Review/Shea Drake)
Budget cuts, consolidations and staff changes means students and parents will see some changes when St. Mary public schools resume classes Monday.
Preparations and some innovative measures are underway.
St. Mary now maintains 21 schools for grades pre-K through 12 and an alternative program.
With the closing of M.D. Shannon Elementary in Morgan City and J.A. Hernandez Elementary in Franklin, new consolidated bus routes have been added on the east and west ends of the parish.
Parents can go to district’s website www.stmaryk12.net to find routes under the transportation department.
There are four types of bus routes. The new routes are listed as consolidated east or west end routes. And regular routes are posted as east end and west end routes.
Bus routes at the beginning of the year are tentative, said St. Mary Transportation spokesperson Mike Ortiz. The routes need about two weeks of school to get settled.
The district is cautioning parents about the importance of opening day attendance. Students will be marked absent if they are not present Monday.
Elementary and junior high students are allowed 11 absences during the school year.
High school students must be present 94 percent of the required instructional time to receive Carnegie credit. This means students are allowed six absences per semester.
Students are expected to wear uniforms the first day of school.
School supply lists can be found on each school’s website. Due to budget cuts, the allotment for school supplies and science materials were not granted to schools this year.
Meal prices increased for the new school year. Lunch will cost 10 cents more.
Students in grades pre-K to fifth grade will pay $1.70 and grades 6-12 pay $1.95. Breakfast increased by 5 cents. All breakfast meals will cost 80 cents.
Students can pay for meals daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Acceptable methods of payment are cash, checks, or money orders. The district also uses www.myschoolbucks.com only payment system.
All students will receive applications for free and reduced-price lunches. Only one application needs to be completed per household. Online applications are also available on the district’s website.
Applications for free and reduced-price lunches must be received and processed by Sept. 20.
Students in grades 6-12 are allowed to bring cellphones to school. But phones must be turned off, completely powered down. Phones should be kept in a car or locker during regular school hours.
Pre-K to fifth-grade students are not allowed to have cellphones on school grounds for any reason.
The district’s cellphone policy has been in place since 2011. State law does not permit students to use or operate electronic telecommunication devices without authorization from a school principal.
Following the closing of Shannon Elementary, Principal Shantell Toups will be the new principal at J.S. Aucoin Elementary. Former J.A. Hernandez Elementary Principal Charles Foulcard was appointed to Bayou Vista Elementary as assistant principal. Carol St. Germain will be principal of Bayou Vista Elementary.
For more information about St. Mary Parish schools, call 337-836-9661.
Private school start date information:
—Central Catholic High, Aug. 10.
—Hanson Memorial High, Aug. 10
—Holy Cross Elementary, Aug. 8.
—Holy Cross pre-K and kindergarten students, Aug. 15.
—Immanuel Christian, Aug. 10.