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One-stop place for Port Arthur students, parents

By Lorenzo Salinas



School may still be out for the summer, but a Port Arthur school was packed all day Tuesday.

Port Arthur Independent School District held its annual One Stop Student Registration event Tuesday within the gymnasiums of Memorial High School. A wealth of services was offered, including technology demos, a job fair and student registration.

Attendance records, while unavailable at the time, appeared high.

Media Specialist Kristyn Hunt Cathey said when the event opened at 9 a.m., there was already a line of people wrapped around the building waiting to get in.

“I think we could safely say we’ve seen several thousand people so far,” Cathey said. “I’m really excited for the new (school) year. It’s going to be a great one.”

From left to right: Tayshaun Young, Karen Young Jones and Peter Stasio stop by the Port Arthur Public Library table in the gym at Memorial High School for the district’s One Stop Registration. (Lorenzo Salinas/The News)

Principal for William Travis Elementary School Israel Taylor Jr. was on hand representing his school and helping new and established students prepare for the next school year.

“One Stop Registration is something we put into place several years ago to make it a one-stop place parents could come and register all their school-age children,” Taylor said.

Taylor emphasized the convenience of having a single, centralized location for parents to come and get much of their school-related errands done.


Registration tables were set up in the main gymnasium of Memorial, where grades pre-K through 12th were set up along the black and red bleachers. Another gymnasium was being used to preview new classroom technology.

Tables supporting different nonprofit organizations like Port Arthur Public Library and Samaritan Counseling Center were also set up.

Children’s librarian Carolyn Thibodeaux was representing the library and helping folks get books in their hands.

“I’m here to encourage everyone to get a TexShare card and to get people better acclimated with the PTA here,�� she said.

TexShare is a program that allows its members to borrow books and other physical materials from participating Texas libraries. The Effie & Wilton Hebert Public Library in Port Neches is one such participating member.

Wilson Early College High School has a table set up at One Stop Registration at Memorial High School for parents to register their kids for the new school year. (Lorenzo Salinas/The News)

Further along, Larneka Lavalais with Samaritan Counseling Center was giving out information for students and people in need.

“I feel there’s a need for students of all ages to receive help if they need it. Life happens no matter how old or young you are,” she said.

As an example, Lavalais cited the PTSD many individuals suffer from as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey. If it rains, it may bring up bad memories for several people.

“So, things happen in life that could affect how one performs in school as well…” Lavalais said. “And that’s why we’re here. To have access to therapy is a good thing.”

“We may not have as many students as we had before (Harvey), but we definitely want to keep the ones we have,” Cathey said.

“You can register your students, you can find out more information about transportation,” Taylor said. “There’s usually a nurse on site to where you could verify and get information about any immunization your students may need.”

Shannon Freeman brought her daughter to get registered for the seventh grade. It was their first year to register with Port Arthur ISD. They had come from Sabine Pass.

Freeman said the process went very smoothly.

“There’s a little bit of everything when you come to One Stop Registration from a dentist at La Costa Dental all the way to the banking to make sure you have money to afford back-to-school outfits,” Taylor said.