Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Officials with EBR Schools face pushback from community over 'Smart Start' plan

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BATON ROUGE - Following an hours-long discussion, the EBR Schools Committee voted 6-2 to advance a proposed school-year calendar. 

During the meeting, 100 teachers and parents gathered in protest, adamantly against the proposed calendar. The outspoken group highlighted the yet-to-be-resolved rift between officials with East Baton Rouge Parish's school board and a number of area teachers.

Parents and students  also joined in the dispute, many siding with teachers in opposition to the plan crafted by the Board's new Superintendent, Dr. Sito Narcisse.

The plan, known as 'Smart Start,' would have EBR schools back in session at the end of July and teachers returning to campus as early as July 19.

Some teachers said they felt blindsided by the plan, adding that they're becoming frustrated by the number of drastic adjustments they've been required to navigate.

In hopes of addressing these concerns, Dr. Narcisse met with teachers, parents, and students on Wednesday night.

The meeting revealed a common complaint from teachers, parents and students. All seemed to point to a lack of communication between education leaders and members of the community who are directly impacted by their decisions.

During the meeting, one young student expressed this by speaking up and saying that officials didn't seem to be putting students first in their decision-making.

The student, Maverick Hobbs, said, "It's somewhat offensive to us. Like, we worked as hard as we could this school year, through everything, and then to be told that we should have been brought to a higher standard is insulting to all the effort that we put into it, and all the energy and all the time that we put into school."

The school board is scheduled to meet Thursday evening at 5 p.m. to discuss the Smart Start Plan and other issues.

The Plan will be voted on at the end of the month.


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