EBR schools seek feedback on education system strategic plan

BATON ROUGE — The repercussions of COVID-19 have made the 2020-2021 school year a particularly difficult time for students in East Baton Rouge Parish, and school leaders are now aiming to improve the educational experience of learners through a series of proposed policy changes.

The strategic plan, based on a report commissioned by Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse, is available for community members to review and comment on.

Parents and other stakeholders will be able to give their opinion on the plan at two public meetings to be held this week.

The first meeting is scheduled to take place at Scotlandville Magnet High School on the evening of Tuesday, June 15 at 6 p.m.

The second will be at Liberty Magnet High School on Wednesday, June 16 at 4:30 p.m.

The strategic plan, which nears final approval on Thursday, proposes that parents play a central role in certain areas of the educational experience.

First, in addition to listing the expectations of the local school board, the plan also lists the expectations of parents.

Additionally, the plan calls for the formation of parent organizations in each school.

In addition to delegating a crucial role to parents, the plan recommends adding a new practice-style teaching technique to the curriculum.

The new technique would educate students in the areas of law/justice, art, and language immersion. School officials hope that this innovative teaching style will succeed in keeping students interested and away from negative influences.

The plan also refers to administrative pay as “arbitrary and unfair” and advises to restructure the main and administrative pay grids. It is said that “a new salary scale should be worked out for directors and central office administrators”.

If the plan was implemented, directors would be re-evaluated after serving in one location for five to seven years. The report addresses the reason for this, stating that “prolonged periods of constant duty by principals at a campus site is indeed shocking. Although there are clear exceptions, most principals experience a decline in effectiveness after five years.

In addition to changing the way principals would operate in their positions, the plan calls for the opening of a dropout recovery school.

The reason for this, according to officials in the report, is that “the district’s school dropout rate is alarmingly high. The district has limited programs to address this issue which leaves too many former students on the streets without a diploma. “a school dedicated to students who left before graduation will help students, reduce the dropout rate, and increase district revenue.”

The strategic plan was written after Dr. Narcisse and his team assessed the state of the school system by conducting over 35 interviews and visited a number of EBR facilities.

A draft of the strategic plan is available here.

Janice G. Ball