SLIDELL, La. - The Thursday morning celebration, complete with applause, at Abney Elementary School kicked off the first day of classes in St. Tammany Parish, one of the first districts in the New Orleans area to start the school year.
But with that first school bell comes the start of lesson plans created off of the controversial Common Core standards.
The future of the assessment testing that goes with those standards is now lingering in a legal battle between Governor Bobby Jindal and state education leaders. St. Tammany says its tailor-made curriculum, which go further than the Common Core standards, won't be affected.
'We're not gonna wait for that,' said Superintendent Trey Folse. 'In St. Tammany Parish, I think we have a great track record of success. I know we have a guaranteed curriculum that meets, exceeds the minimum standards from the state. I know we have the best teachers around.so we're gonna continue to do what we do.'
Principals say they, and their staff, are taking that guidance in stride. 'It's a very rigorous curriculum already, it does a very good job of educating students, so we just follow that curriculum and our teachers are very comfortable with that,' said Abney principal Mike Alford.
This year's theme in St. Tammany is 'Moving Forward' and leaders say that's going to continue regardless of what's going on in the courts. Folse said, 'Our track record shows we have a curriculum that meets the needs of our students and our students are successful with that curriculum.
We're certainly going to follow the law, we're going to do what's required of us from the state, but we're also going to continue to do the things that have made St. Tammany Parish a school system that parents believe in.' So school is officially in session, whether the Common Core battle rages or not.