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Emerge Charter School for autistic kids will remain open after possibility of closure

1 year 2 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, January 25 2023 Jan 25, 2023 January 25, 2023 10:57 PM January 25, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge School Board unanimously voted to renew the charter for Emerge, the only school in the state for autistic kids. 

But at one point, it seemed like the school was in trouble, and could have had its doors shut for good. 

It appeared the school was failing according to metrics the East Baton Rouge School Board uses. The problem, according to the CEO of the school Deanna Whittle, the data needs to be interpreted differently because the school is for kids with autism. 

"We measure and pull data differently than how the EBR team pulled the data," Whittle said. "I think if we can all sit down and talk about it, I think we can all come together and say 'guys we need to reset goals.'"

Parents showed up to the School Board meeting Wednesday emotional, pleading with the board to keep the school open. 

Charles Blaize, the Chairman of the school, says the school shutting down would be horrible for the kids. 

"A lot of our kids come to this school without any verbal skills whatsoever, they use talkers and would not make it in a traditional setting," Blaize said. 

The Board ultimately agreed to renew the school. 

The principal of the school, Linda Brown, says she was both relieved and elated with the decision. 

The school and the board will meet in the coming months to discuss the renewal. 

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