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EBR Schools holds two town hall forums for its strategic plan

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BATON ROUGE - The repercussions of COVID-19 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 for learners through a series of proposed changes to policies.

The strategic plan, based on a report commissioned by Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse, is available for members of the community to analyze and provide feedback on.

Parents and other stakeholders will be able to offer opinions on the plan during two town hall-style meetings that will be held this week.

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

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

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

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

Additionally, the plan calls for the formation of parent organizations at every school.

In addition to delegating a crucial role to parents, the plan recommends the addition of a new hands-on style teaching technique to the curriculum.

The new technique would educate students in the subjects of law/justice, art, and language immersion. School officials hope this innovative teaching style would succeed in holding student's interest and assist in keeping them away from negative influences.

The plan also refers to administrative pay as "arbitrary and unfair," and advises restructuring the principal and administrative salary schedules. It says, "a new pay scale should be developed for principals and Central Office administrators."

Should the plan be implemented, principals would be re-evaluated after serving at one location for five to seven years. The report touches on the reason for this, stating, "Principals' sustained periods of consistent service on one campus site is actually shocking. While there are clear exceptions, most school leaders experience declining effectiveness after five years."  

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

The reason for this, officials state in the report, is because, "The District's dropout rate is alarming. The District has limited programs to address this problem which leaves too many former students on the street without a diploma. Opening a school devoted to students who have left before graduation will help students, reduce the dropout rate, and increase District revenue." 

The strategic plan was drafted after Dr. Narcisse and his team assessed the condition of the school system by conducting more than 35 interviews and visited a number of EBR facilities.

A draft of the strategic plan is available here


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