In a lopsided quarterly joint meeting of the Lafayette Parish School Board and Lafayette Parish Consolidated Council — six school board members attended but only two council members (Don Bertrand and Jay Castille) showed up — topics ranging from a pilot program for online curricula to the swine flu to traffic congestion near schools during drop-off and pick-up times were discussed.

The elected officials were briefed the upcoming Lafayette Parish eCampus, a pilot program that launches Oct. 1 and will offer high school students the opportunity to take courses and make up classes on-line. They were also briefed on a survey parents of public school students will be asked to fill out on whether they would like the H1N1 flu vaccine available at their children’s schools.

The joint body also discussed seeking Safe Routes to School grant funding to help build sidewalks near schools around the parish where traffic gets congested as parents queue up in cars and SUVs to drop-off and pick-up their children. District 6 LPSB representative Greg Awbrey says it’s a problem at “pretty much all the elementary schools that don’t have driveways.” The idea behind the sidewalks is to make the schools more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, thus reducing the number of drop-offs and pick-ups. “For instance, Prairie Elementary has a lot of neighborhoods around it and behind it, but there’s no way to get from the neighborhood to the school without walking in the street or in the ditch,” Awbrey explains. “So, students can’t walk. And if they’re not more than half a mile from the school, they don’t get bus transportation.”

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