A Community of the Old and the New Celebrate the Renovation of The Dufrocq School with Song, Dance, History Lessons
- September 1, 2009
It was built on a Civil War battleground. The original building was completed in 1922. It was named for the area’s first mayor, for whom the street (now 19th, then Dufrocq) originally was named, as well. The newly renovated The Dufrocq School has a lot of history under its belt, and it’s looking to make a lot more in the future with a grand re-opening held Thursday, August 27.
Following a two-year, $20-million renovation that allowed it to open for the 2009-2010 school year, The Dufrocq School celebrated this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The old and the new have been married at this now total 77,347-square-foot site to create a larger and more modern school. Offering traditional, Montessori and academic magnet programs, the school has a state-of-the-art multi-media center, wireless capabilities, spacious classrooms and an outdoor garden, according to Principal Mary Robvais. It’s a big leap from the original school opening’s Victrola record player and glass photo slide machine, according to East Baton Rouge Parish School System staff.
Former Dufrocq Elementary School ducks, or students, regaled the audience with tales of the past. This included Martha Helen Conner Byrd, a student of the Class of ’42. For instance, in March 1923, the Dufrocq School News indicated the site included 20 classrooms with adjoining or connected cloakrooms, 14 entrances and 16 teachers for 500 students. State-of-the-art equipment for that time filled the school, including: a moving picture machine, a mimeograph machine, a Keystone Lantern slide viewer, two hectographs (early forms of copiers), Lantern (glass) slides for geography and art instruction, a Victrola record player and records and a piano. At that time, students walked to school, sometimes stopping at McArthur’s Pharmacy to sharpen their pencils. They also walked home for lunch everyday, as did most of the teachers, who also lived in the Garden District.
Today, beautifully refurbished and enlarged, the school gives Garden District residents the chance to once again send children to a neighborhood school. Starting in the 2010-2011 academic year, the MicroSociety will be an exciting school-wide addition that puts learning theory into practice by incorporating real-world experiences into basic curriculum, helping students apply classroom learning to real life. Students create a microcosm of the real world, and each has a role in running it.
Principal Brister in Washington, D.C., to Accept McKinley Middle School’s Second Blue Ribbon Award
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, Principal Herman Brister (pictured, left) and the school’s Teacher of the Year, Lynn Williamson (right), were in Washington, D.C., accepting McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School’s National Blue Ribbon Award from U.S. Department of Education’s Director of National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Aba Kumi (center). The event, which recognized some 314 schools from across the United States, was held at the Omni Hotel. Click herefor story.
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