On Tuesday, the Vernon Parish School Board approved a graduation policy, one which parallels the one recently adopted by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

On Tuesday, the Vernon Parish School Board approved a graduation policy, one which parallels the one recently adopted by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).

According to the policy, “the Vernon Parish School Board, in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), shall require students, in order to be eligible for graduation, to successfully complete at a minimum the requirements mandated by BESE and outlined in the Louisiana Handbook for School Administrators, Bulletin 741. The school board may impose additional requirements as it deems necessary.”

Six years ago, BESE’s policy also read, “In addition to completing the minimum Carnegie Units of credit, the students shall also be required to pass certain components of the Graduate Requisite Exam as required by BESE. Remediation and retake opportunities shall be provided for students who do not pass the test.”

However, the revised policy was approved by BESE in June of this year and was unanimously approved by the board.

In addition to approving the graduation policy, the board received an update from the Transportation Committee.

Gerald Cooley, of District 8, spoke of the district’s need for 11 buses for the upcoming school year, which begins on Aug. 12. As a result, Cooley made three motions in regards to this situation.

The first motion was to purchase six buses, which are currently being leased, at a total cost of $157,933. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

The second motion was originally made to purchase five new buses at a total cost of around $383,000, including the finance charges. However, the board approved the purchase of these five new buses, pending the approval of the finance charges associated with the costs.

The third and final motion from the committee involved leasing a space at the Leesville Industrial Park for the next 10 years at a cost of $1,200 per month. The space will be used to house the district’s school buses.

Later in the meeting, Superintendent James Williams informed the board of a tentative date for the groundbreaking for the new South Polk Elementary, set for 10 a.m. on Aug. 14.

In addition, Williams said a press conference is scheduled be held at 12:30 p.m. on July 31 at the School Board Office in regards to the Pete Taylor Partnership of Excellence Award in the category of Outstanding Partnerships.

In other news, the board tabled a motion to accept or reject the low bid to refurbish the track at Leesville High School, while voting to reject all bids for refurbishing the track at Pickering High School.