The Chair called the meeting to order and read the following call: HONORABLE MEMBERS OF THE SCHOOL BOARD

Parish of St. John the Baptist


Dear Board Member:


Upon call of the President, the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board will meet for a Board Workshop at East St. John Preparatory School, 400 Ory Drive, LaPlace, Louisiana, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.


An agenda for the meeting is attached.



Dr. Lynett Hookfin



ITEM 1.  Call to Order, Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance


The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:45 p.m. She called for a moment of silent meditation and the Pledge of Allegiance.


ITEM 2. Roll Call of Members:


PRESENT:          Holden, DeFrancesch, Jones, Johnson, Schum, Wallace, Triche, Mitchell

ABSENT:            Burl, Keller, Sanders


There were 8 members present and 3 members absent. 


ITEM 3. Public Comment.  Dr. Lynett Hookfin - Discussion of district immediate- and long-term cost savings measures


Public Comment.  Derron Cook:  Asked the Board to reassure employees that the Board isn’t talking about reducing salaries.  He stated that there are rumors circulating regarding that and they want reassurance that if cuts are made, we start from the top and work down.  He also asked that administration please have conversations with employees regarding what’s going on.


Supt. Hookfin introduced Mr. Wayne Francingues to speak about cost savings by offering Medicare Advantage.  He stated that up to $300 per retiree, per month could be saved, resulting in a $1.2 million/year savings.  Discussion was held regarding this topic.


Dr. Hookfin presented the following facts:

·         We are overstaff by $9.2 million annually

·         We will do a 13% cost savings by department

·         Recommended we develop a 5 year strategic plan to obtain and keep a healthy budget.

·         In order to qualify for the loan we need, we must put things on paper, showing steps being taken to reduce our spending and cost-cutting measures


Dr. Hookfin gave the following examples of Staffing Model Recommendations:

Option 1:  K-3 – 1:26; 4-12 – 1:33; 1 Asst. Principal per 450 students

Option 2:  K-3 – 1:24; 4-12 – 1:31

Option 3:  K-3 – 1:22; 4-12 – 1:29


Option 1 reduces staff by 170 ($9.3 million savings)

Option 2 reduces staff by 163 ($8.9 million savings)

Option 3 reduces staff by 154 ($8.5 million savings)


Mr. Sanders arrived at 5:28 p.m. and was recorded as present.


Mr. Tommy Naquin stated that without the pending loan, SJBP would run out of cash by August.


Dr. Hookfin stressed that even with financial constraints, academics will remain her priority.


Mrs. Mitchell stated that she would like to see a 4th Option, more of a blend of staffing models and closing sites.

Dr. Hookfin gave a list of cost saving ideas for the Board to consider:

·         Relocate Milesville staff and close/sell the property

·         13% Reduction in every department

·         Move STEM students to GMMs

·         Initiate a Staffing Model

·         5-10% School reduction in spending

·         Combine WSJE with WSJH at WSJE

·         Closing Redirect & Alternative Programs

·         Move 5th Ward students / close site

·         Centralize bookkeepers


Ms. Holden stated for the record that she does not want the west bank schools to be combined.  Mrs. Schum suggested moving the 6-7 grade students to the high school and that would help with the staffing issues, but a concern would be moving the small children to the same campus as the high school students.  Mr. Claude Hill, principal of WSJH spoke against this move, citing the fact that WSJH is the highest rated school next to JLO.  Another suggestion brought up was to redistrict the high school to include some east bank students in the west bank population.


Mrs. DeFrancesch left the meeting at 7:57 p.m. and was recorded as absent.


Extensive discussion was held regarding all cost-saving ideas.


ITEM 4.  Public Comment.  Board Items of Interest


Mrs. Schum asked about the school lunch program and if we could find out why we have such a large deficit.


Mr. Sanders asked about the status of the Purchasing Director and the CFO.  Dr. Hookfin stated that we’ve had no luck in hiring a CFO, but there is a Purchasing Director who has been offered a position and we are waiting for him to accept.




The agenda having been completed, and there being no further business, there was a


MOTION BY:    Jones

SECOND BY:   Wallace

MOTION:           Motion for adjournment.

There were no objections.

The motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.







Dr. Lynett Hookfin, Superintendent/Secretary                                 Nia Mitchell-Williams, President