School board in Ascension wants input on rezoning options

Ascension Parish School Board considers rezoning which could change where children go to school

ASCENSION PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Heads up parents in Ascension Parish, the school board there is looking at plans for rezoning, which could change where your child goes to school in the future.

Growth is visible for Ascension Parish schools. Included in that growth is three new primary schools, one of which is still under construction, and one that opened just in time for the Fall semester.

“Since I’ve been on the board for about 17 years, we’ve built 12 new schools. I’ve seen the growth, and this is another continuation in that,” said Ascension Parish School Board Vice President Troy Gautreau, District 7 Seat A.

But with that growth, comes growing pains.

“So we’ve got major overcrowding in our primary schools [in] the Prairieville area, in the Central area, and the Dutchdown area,” said Gautreau. A breakdown of those numbers is below:

  • Bullion Primary, which opened for the 2019 school year, was built to alleviate overcrowding at Prairieville Primary and Oak Grove Primary.
  • Bluff Ridge Primary is under construction and will open up in Fall of 2020 to alleviate Dutchtown Primary and Spanish Lake Primary.
  • Sugar Mill Primary is opening in Fall of 2021. To alleviate Central Primary and Duplessis Primary.

That also means school zones will have to be re-drawn.

“So we’ve got three plans drawn up for public input,” said Gautreau.

Mom of 3, Ruth Mapel, says one of her children currently attends Duplessis Primary and would be heading to the new Bluff Primary on Highway 73. However, enrollment is being halted by complications.

“We are located 0.8 miles from the new school. So less than a mile to the new school, but yet my kid can’t go to that school because we’re not in the same school zone,” said Mapel.

She doesn’t understand why her children would have to possibly take a bus to another school when a new school is closer to her home.

“You don’t put a line of .8 miles away from a brand new school being built. That school should be in the center of that school zone, not on the edge of a school zone,” said Mapel.

“Redistricting is one of the hardest things you’re going to do as a school board member. It’s a challenge, but the school board is responsible for drawing boundaries,” said Gautreau.

For any parents interested in learning about the possible new zones, the board wants input at 2 meetings next week in Prairieville and Geismar, on October 29 and 30.

To view the different plans and find more information about the meetings, click here.

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