May 16, 2014 01:51
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"A school board needs to hold itself to a high standard of professionalism so that everyone involved in the conversation about our kids and our schools can be held to the same standard."

A community report focusing on various issues affecting the Lafayette Parish School System was released Thursday following a month-long series of round table discussions.

The participating organizations included the 100 Black Men of Greater Lafayette, the705, Community Foundation of Acadiana, Concerned Citizens for Good Government, Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Greater Southwest Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce, State of Greater Black Lafayette, United Way of Acadiana and the Upper Lafayette Economic Development Foundation.

The discussions involved more than 100 representatives from the involved organizations and focused on such issues as school system governance, Common Core State Standards, charter schools, and the "100% In. 100% Out." plan.

According to Thursday's report, which included opinions from various participants - the quotes weren't attributed to any one person but represented the overall opinions expressed during the discussions - one of the major concerns involved professionalism among school board members: "A school board needs to hold itself to a high standard of professionalism so that everyone involved in the conversation about our kids and our schools can be held to the same standard. They've got to be creative, receptive facilitators who receive concerns and even criticism with a spirit of cooperation and collaboration."

Another big topic involved Superintendent Pat Cooper's plan to ensure a 100 percent graduation rate, which means increased access for students to health care professionals. One respondent, according to Thursday's press release, begged the question: "How is a kid who is sick or hungry supposed to learn?"

A presentation will be delivered in two weeks detailing a "common vision" developed during the discussions. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, at Acadiana Center for the Arts.

Click here to view a full copy of the report released Thursday.

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