The Vernon Parish School Board announced it will be expanding its hours for a youth program.

Instead of offering just half days, Head Start will be a full day to spend with four year olds looking to prepare for preschool.

"My job as the director of Head Start is to provide the educational leadership that is necessary to build a program," Curtis Clay said. "We are assigned to low-income families. Not only do we need to make sure those kids an education, but my job is to make sure that family grows. I try to make sure that the families grow and that mom and dad, but a lot of the cases just mom, are able to make a better life for themselves. It's not just a job."

Head Start is a program that allows three and four year olds a chance to get caught up before attending their first year of school.

Anacoco Elementary, East Leesville Elementary, Hicks, Hornbeck, North Polk Elementary, Pickering Elementary, Pitkin and Rosepine Elementary all offer the program.

"Early childhood education is being pushed nationally, statewide and locally," Superintendent James Williams said during the meeting. "There is a much stronger push on early childhood education than there ever has been. I can tell you from experience that Head Start, at one time, was a place where four year olds would go color, eat and take a nap. Mr. Clay and his staff have expanded that program where we have quality instruction going on with these four year olds."

At its meeting on Tuesday, the school board also updated its student dress code.

The dress code states that students are not permitted to wear body armor, but it has amended to allow bullet-resistant backpacks.

Hub Jordan announced at the meeting that the Vernon Parish track teams will be sharing a timing device for its home meets.

The Flash Timing FT-FAT200 Fully Automatic Timing System includes a 200 frames per second finish line camera, wireless starter unit, USB radio and Flash Timing software that allows the user to record and view current races while reviewing previous races on another screen.

The school board will also be updating its general funding accounting software after piggybacking off Franklin Parish School Board's request.