St. Amant High School Freshman Academy breaks ground

Leslie D. Rose

On Aug. 4, St. Amant High School hosted a ground breaking ceremony for its upcoming Freshman Academy, to open for the 2015-2016 school year, when the school expects about 500 freshmen to enroll.

During the ceremony, Ascension Parish Superintendent Patrice Pujol said that the ground breaking is the beginning of a new era for Ascension Parish Schools.

The St. Amant Freshmen Academy is the first of three to break ground this year.

“Several years ago our instructional leaders decided to strategically improve our high school graduation rate, and lower the number of students who dropped out of school,” Pujol said at the ceremony.

“We recognize that because the freshmen year is so vital to getting off to a good start, we would provide our ninth graders with an experience unto their own.”

The largely attended event included a blessing of the grounds through prayer and the disbursement of holy water before the ceremonious ground breaking. St. Amant High School principal, Mia Edwards spoke, and the cheerleaders gave a performance before adding school spirit to the official groundbreaking.

The next school to begin construction on its freshmen academy will be East Ascension High School, next week.

“By putting our freshmen into classes with only other freshmen has been an experience that has yielding great results - both academically, and for their social adjustments,” Pujol said.

“In prior years, these students were placed into a separate wing, but today, thanks to the citizens of Ascension, through vital funding approvals, and to the expanding business and industries, whose growth has aided in additional sales taxes to our schools, we are digging important dirt and laying the foundation for strong students in a proved facility.

This time, next year, we will welcome well over 500 new freshmen into this Gator house!”

Pujol remarked on the low drop out rate of Ascension Parish Schools, and of its high graduation rate, with St. Amant High School graduating 91% of its students.