WEBSTER PARISH, La (KTAL/KMSS) – Kids left the buses and returned to Webster Parish Junior High and Minden High School campuses this morning.

Both have the highest enrollment since the pandemic but are dealing with teacher shortages. Officials said more teachers have moved up into administration, administrators are moving up into district roles, and college graduates are returning to help with teaching. The district also saw five-point growth in academics.

School safety is the main focus as students return to campus. Webster Parish has mandatory backpack checks, security cameras, school resource officers, and a new gate to enclose the campus.

“We also have additional police on campus. This year we went to clear backpacks to make sure we can see everything that’s coming in our schools. Every day we do metal detector checks on our students. This has become a part of our norm, though. Our students know they keep a vital role in keeping everyone safe here on campus,” said the Principal of Minden High School, Dr. Becky Wilson.

“That way, we can lock down our campus. Because it is a rather open campus, but we have many safety procedures and policies in which students are required to knock on doors before they enter if it closed and during class time, and teachers are required to keep all doors locked, and windows closed,” said Principal of Webster Junior High School Bewanichi Sheppard.

Minden High School will host a “Meet the Tide” community get-together on Aug 25. Webster Junior High will host a series of family-student game nights.