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Bossier Schools is taking proactive measures in regard to the water situation and free chlorine burn affecting the City of Bossier City and parts of Benton and Haughton.

The district has been in communication with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and been assured the water is safe to drink. However, as a precaution, we will be checking all water fountains for proper water pressure and flushing water lines to minimize any chlorine taste and/or odor before students return from Fall Break on Tuesday, October 16. Parents with concerns about drinking water are also welcome to send bottled water to school with their child.

Information on Naegleria fowlerif, the amoeba present in a recent water sampling in the southern part of Bossier City, can be found here: http://ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/1696

According to the Centers for Disease Control, preventative measures to reduce the risk of Naegleria fowleri include the following:

 

DO NOT allow water to go up your nose or sniff water into your nose when bathing, showering, washing your face, or swimming in small hard plastic/blow-up pools. ·

DO NOT jump into or put your head under bathing water (bathtubs, small hard plastic/blow-up pools); walk or lower yourself in. ·

DO NOT allow children to play unsupervised with hoses or sprinklers, as they may accidentally squirt water up their nose. Avoid slip-n-slides or other activities where it is difficult to prevent water going up the nose. ·

DO run bath and shower taps and hoses for five minutes before use to flush out the pipes. This is most important the first time you use the tap after the water utility raises the disinfectant level. ·

DO keep small hard plastic/blow-up pools clean by emptying, scrubbing and allowing them to dry after each use. ·

DO use only boiled and cooled, distilled or sterile water for making sinus rinse solutions for neti pots or performing ritual ablutions. ·

If you need to manually top off the water in your swimming pool with tap water, follow the guidance below:

DO ensure that the filter is running and top off your pool by adding water directly into the skimmer box. The hose should not be submerged into the skimmer box or pool water. Hold the end of your hose in the air at least two inches above the flood-level rim of the skimmer box. This can be accomplished by securing the hose to a heavy object such as a chair or cinder block above the skimmer and ensuring the hose will run into the skimmer box without the hose being submerged. ·

DO NOT top off your pool by submerging the hose in the body of the pool. ·

DO keep your swimming pool or hot tub adequately disinfected before and during use. Adequate disinfection standards are listed below: For pools, keep pH levels from 7.2 to 7.8. If you are using cyanuric acid-free chlorine, use between two and 10 parts per million. If you are not using cyanuric acid-free chlorine, keep chlorine levels at one to three parts per million. ·

For hot tubs and spas, keep pH levels from 7.2 to 7.8, and keep either free chlorine levels from two to four parts per million or free bromine levels from four to six parts per million. Residents should continue these precautions until testing no longer confirms the presence of the amoeba in the water system. The water system will notify residents when that occurs. 

 

For more information, visit the City of Bossier City website at: http://www.bossiercity.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=120

Posted 10/13/18

 

Photo of Allison MayfieldBossier Schools Adapted Physical Education teacher Allison Mayfield is a champion for students with special needs, whether it be in the classroom, at Special Olympics, coaching them for GUMBO or officiating the games.

It is her long-standing dedication and commitment that has earned Mayfield the prestigious Louisiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (LAHPERD) Ellen Gillentine Award for Adapted Physical Education Teacher of the Year.

“I am passionate about my students and their specific needs,” Mayfield said. “I seek to nurture the whole child through every area. I have a good relationship with many of my students and their parents. I feel my program incorporates activities that are exciting and educational, but challenges each student! During an APE class, my students are given many opportunities to move through exercise, music and fun games!”

Mayfield now advances to the Southern District for consideration at the next level. Meantime, she will be formally presented the Ellen Gillentine Award at the LAHPERD Convention in November in Baton Rouge.

Bossier Schools congratulates Allison Mayfield for being chosen for this distinct honor and thanks her for making a profound impact in her students’ lives each day.

Posted 9/11/18

Col. Custer present challenge coin to a studentBossier Schools was honored to take Col. Sara Ann Custer, Commander of the Mission Support Group at BAFB, on a recent school tour at Waller Elementary, Rusheon Middle and Bossier High. She recently moved to Barksdale and wanted to visit.

A special moment was when Col. Custer presented her challenge coin to Waller first grader Tre'von Burns, Rusheon Principal Reginald Williams and Bossier High JROTC Cadet Col. Zane Kuhns.

Col. Custer encouraged them to look up Lt. Col. Lee Archer, Jr. who was a fighter pilot in the 332nd Fighter Group, commonly known as the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.

Archer was one of the first African American military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps, the U.S. Army Air Force and later, the U.S. Air Force. His image, along with a fighter plane, is emblazoned on Col. Custer's personal coin as a special tribute.

We enjoyed showing Col. Custer around and greatly appreciate her visit to Bossier Schools.

Posted 8/30/18

Group photo of the 2018-19 Bossier Parish Teachers of the Year
The Bossier Parish School Board recognized the 2018-19 Teachers of the Year at its August 16 meeting.

These 33 educators represent their individual schools. Attached is the full list of Teachers of the Year. Three advanced to become district winners. They are: Brooke West, Waller Elementary; Spencer Kiper, Elm Grove Middle; and Chyrisse Moore, Benton High. 

Kiper then went on to win at the regional level and ultimately was named Louisiana's 2018 Overall Teacher of the Year, which is the highest honor in the state.

Congratulations to each of these educators who are recognized by their peers and administrators as being exemplary in the classroom.

Posted 8/22/18

Photo of teacher hugging School Resource Officer as he holds Star of Valor awardThe first day of school for Plantation Park Elementary kindergarten teacher Lindsay Burns is one she will never forget, nor will Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Deputy and School Resource Officer Chris Slopak.  

Burns had not had the chance to eat, so during quiet time she popped a piece of fruit in her mouth. When it became lodged in her throat, Burns ran out into the hallway, not wanting to cause panic among her young students. Enter SRO Slopak, who was filling in at Plantation Park. He was only days on the job as a School Resource Officer for Bossier Schools.

“I was here at the right time and the right place,” Slopak later said.

He immediately sprang into action and after performing the Heimlich maneuver on Burns, he was able to dislodge the obstruction. The kindergarten teacher credits this valiant deputy for saving her life.

“I feel thankful that he was there for me … he saved my life,” Burns said. “I don’t think I would have lasted much longer had he not been standing there.”

At the August 16 Bossier Parish School Board meeting, SRO Slopak was given the Award of Excellence medal, showing visible emotion when Burns was given the honor to hang it around his neck. Days later, Deputy Slopak was the center of attention at a surprise assembly at Plantation Park, where Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington bestowed the Star of Valor award to him.

The Star of Valor is the highest award presented by the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and SRO Slopak was the first to receive it this year. Sheriff Whittington said he has only awarded it a handful of times, underscoring its significance.

Slopak and Burns are now bonded for life by the law enforcement officer’s heroic actions.

“When we put our uniforms on every day, we’re not thinking about that type of scenario, though we are trained for those situations,” Deputy Slopak said. “We’re more on a high alert, always trying to be aware of our surroundings. This is just part of the job that comes with it, and I’m just glad I was here when I was.”

Posted 8/21/18

Photo of Karyn Flowers and Superintendent holding cookie cakeKaryn Flowers could easily sub as the main character in the book “Where’s Waldo?” because you just never know where she will pop up.

One minute the Instructional Services Supervisor is collaborating with the Curriculum department or attending to librarians’ needs across the district; the next, she is driving a forklift in heels and unloading pallets of textbooks. Fast forward a couple of hours and Flowers is then likely to be found pallet jacking a load of paper to the Print Shop, which she oversees for the district, as well as the Green Box. It is all in a day’s work for this former science teacher and librarian who wears many hats.

“Looking for Karyn Flowers in her office would be the last place to check,” said Instructional Services secretary Diane Pang. “When orders back up, you can find Karyn running deliveries to schools because she does not want any student or teacher to be without their materials. Karyn may be a supervisor, but she is also one who is not afraid to get her hands dirty.”

When asked what would surprise people most about her job, Flowers laughed and said “the sheer volume of materials that go out year-round to schools. In July and August, we are like FedEx at Christmas.”

Bossier Schools is a family affair for Flowers. Both of her parents are former BPSB educators. Her husband teaches at Airline Their two children attend Bossier Schools. And she thinks of all the kids in the district as being hers.

“If they don’t get materials, those could be my own kids,” Flowers answered when explaining why she oftentimes works nights and weekends to ensure everything is delivered to schools come Monday morning. “And my husband, as a teacher, I don’t want to go without, either. I try to put myself in their position.”

Her dedication and genuine concern for Bossier Schools are why dozens of submissions poured in to nominate Flowers as the first Gold Star winner of the 2018-19 school year. She was at a loss for words when Superintendent Scott Smith strolled in with an entourage to surprise her with the news she was the winner for August.

“Everything I do is behind the scenes, so I am amazed and overwhelmed that people thought about me at all,” Flowers said. “I’m humbled, honestly, and stunned and overwhelmed. I don’t know that I have the words.”

One of her biggest cheerleaders who was in on the surprise, Stockwell Place Elementary librarian Kim Howell, cannot say enough about Flowers’ role as a tireless advocate for Bossier Schools’ 36 librarians.

“Her previous title was as a librarian at Parkway High School, so she understands the life of a librarian. What a librarian faces each school day. The impact an excellent library program can have on our students.”

Howell went on to say, “We could use a whole parish full of Karyns. Big hearted, tougher than nails, beautiful inside and out, with a feisty spirit and a can-do attitude … cheering us on, screaming OUR names instead of her own, working overtime to make sure our ‘banners of praise’ are hanging just so.”

Plantation Park librarian Carrie Gauthier added, “She pushes for us to have meetings, change policies that are outdated, and just has our backs in any and all issues that may arise. And this on top of all the jobs she is assigned to do. She tries her best to put us first on her priority list. When your supervisor puts emphasis on your job above her other duties, (that) makes you feel important and want to work hard for her.”

And, as Lisa Neuman pointed out, “she does it with a smile on her face and love in her heart.”

Flowers said it is the people she works with that make the difference, then laughed and said “because I definitely don’t come to work to pick up boxes of books everyday!”  

The conversation then took on a serious tone as Flowers’ eyes teared up.

“I don’t think this Gold Star is just for me. It’s the department. They are the cogs in the wheel. I’ve always said I have the hardest working department in the district, even though Stacy Roge (BPSB Maintenance Supervisor) may argue about that.”

Karyn Flowers is, indeed, a stand-out at Bossier Schools with a heart of gold who now has a Gold Star award to match.


Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Bossier Federal Credit Union for sponsoring the Gold Star Award, which is now in its seventh year. Know someone exemplary that works for Bossier Schools and deserves a Gold Star? Nominate them by clicking here. 

Posted 8/13/18

Photo of a child walking toward school busChildren across Bossier Parish awoke Wednesday morning with a sense of anticipation, coupled perhaps with a few butterflies, about it being the first day of school.

Any nervousness quickly disappeared, though, when students met their teachers, saw old friends and greeted new ones that are now a part of the Bossier Schools family.

Click here to see how much fun the first day was and 'Like' Bossier Schools on Facebook if you have not already. It is one of the many ways we share information about all the great things happening throughout the district. 

We are looking forward to a great 2018-19 school year! 

Posted 8/9/18

Photo of 2019 LA Teacher of the Year Spencer KiperLook no farther than Elm Grove Middle School in Bossier Parish to find the 2019 Louisiana Teacher of the Year.

STEM educator Spencer Kiper was named the top educator in the state July 27 by the Louisiana Department of Education at the 12th annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards Gala in Baton Rouge. Kiper will now go on to represent Louisiana at the 2019 National Teacher of the Year competition.

This is the first time Bossier Parish has had the overall state Teacher of the Year winner. A proud graduate of Bossier Schools, Kiper teaches middle school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) enrichment and is heavily involved in building a stronger cyber presence in the region.

His accolades are many. Kiper has spent four summers as a professional development specialist for the Space Academy for Educators program at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He is also a Henry Ford Institute Innovator of the Year recipient; Civil Air Patrol National Aerospace Educator of the Year and was most recently tapped by STEM Revolution to travel to Dubai to train teachers from United Arab Emirates about innovative STEM instructional practices.

During his acceptance speech, Kiper praised the educators that have made an impact in his life and inspired him to be the teacher he is today. He also gave special recognition to Elm Grove Middle School Principal Jennifer Armond for being an exceptional team builder who has further contributed to his success in the classroom.

Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith, who attended the awards gala to cheer on Kiper, said “Over the next year, he will be a great ambassador for Bossier Parish and the Louisiana as he competes for our state at the national level. Spencer has a great chance nationally because of the excellence he brings to this profession every single minute of the day, both instructional and non-instructional.”

As part of his prize package, Kiper received keys to a new Mercedes Benz for the next year, Community Coffee for the teachers’ lounge at Elm Grove Middle for a year and more incentives, all made possible by the nonprofit organization Dream Teachers.

Posted 7/28/18