Northside High Revamp - KLFY News 10

Northside High Revamp

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Northside High School is undergoing staff changes now that Superintendent Pat Cooper's Reconstitution Plan is in action.

Cooper's plan allows principals full authority to hire and fire school staff without the board's approval.  Cooper says it's the final phase of the program to revamp Northside High.  Dr. Cooper says the staff members have not been fired, but instead put on displacement lists and are allowed to apply for other jobs within the parish school board.

But, some people wonder if these changes to Northside High are actually for the better.

Twenty six Northside High School faculty members will now be looking for new jobs since they won't be returning to their positions in August.

The decision comes on the heels of Superintendent Pat Cooper's reconstitution plan, which aims to improve Northside from its D- standing.

"We're putting academics first and I'm very pleased with the face that the principal has done a thorough analysis of these teachers she thinks can perform for those children and those who cannot have been asked to be displaced" says Dr. Cooper.

While the list of those displaced will not be released, one student says Football Coach Vince Derouen announced he won't be returning.

Without a coach, the football player says the team is having to organize their own summer work outs, and aren't sure how game season will go.

"I was surprised because through the whole off season we were together getting ready for the season and when he told us that, it just hit me hard. It's my coach I've been with him since my sophomore year" says NHS Sr. Jaquell Carter.

One school board member approved Coopers plan, but as a Northside graduate, he doesn't agree with the changes the principal has made.

"The only update I'm getting from the community because I didn't get an update from the school board or notification from the central office. I'm getting it from the community that 'hey, there's rumors this person is gone, that person is gone. And that's not what's best for Northside High" says District 4 board Member Tehmi Chassion.

But Cooper says he's put his trust in principal Melinda Voorhies and change must be made.

"Northside has a 59% graduation rate. That is sinful. Those children deserve better that community deserves better than that and we're gonna give them better than that" says Dr. Cooper.

Caroline Balchunas

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