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School Board, city work on deal for use of M.D. Shannon

The St. Mary Parish School Board met Thursday night to consider approving an intergovernmental agreement with the Morgan City government for the use of Shannon Elementary School.
“In August, Mayor [Morgan City Mayor Frank] “Boo” Grizzaffi came in front of the board for the use of Shannon Elementary for recreational purposes. That usage has gone on since the school closed and we have been maintaining that building, preparing it, and cleaning up afterwards,” said Dr. Teresa Bagwell, superintendent of St. Mary Parish Schools.
“This intergovernmental agreement will not only put those cleaning and maintenance type issues on a shared basis with the city, but the city is also committing to pay monthly utilities with St. Mary Parish School Board,” Bagwell said.
The intergovernmental agreement will give both the city and the school board shared usage and some shared responsibility.
The motion to approve the agreement was passed.
The School Board considered funding and giving permission to advertise for the replacement of three sets of bleachers at Berwick High School. Two sets of the bleachers are on the baseball field and one set is on the softball field.
The cost to replace the bleachers is $35,000 and comes out of District 2 maintenance fund.
The motion to approve the funding and permission to advertise for the work was passed.
Kevin Derise, chief technology officer for St. Mary Parish Schools, presented the board with a long-range technology plan.
In that plan, Derise wanted to highlight for the board what the funding for technology portion of the proposed sales tax would be used for.
On Dec. 12, St. Mary Parish School Board approved a resolution calling a special election in May to levy a 0.5% sales and use tax. The purpose is to increase teacher salaries by $3,000 per year and support personnel by $1,500 per year.
A portion of the funds would be used to support the increasing demand for technology in the classroom.
“I just wanted to stress that what we are trying to do is get more student devices in student’s hands. With that additional money, that is what the revenue would be used for, dedicated to student’s devices to eventually get to a true 1-to-1 with all students,” Derise said.
“Another good thing is, since it would be a recurring amount of money every year, we could guarantee a refresh to where in four-or five-year cycles, as student devices wear out, we would have a steady supply to make sure the student’s devices are up to date,” Derise said.

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