EBR Begins the 2011-2012 School Year
- August 12, 2011
Students and parents were laden with new, colorful backpacks and plastic bags full of school supplies Wednesday morning, August 10, in school hallways across the East Baton Rouge Parish School System.The first day of the district’s 2011-2012 school year went relatively smoothly, and some 43,420 students were decked out in their uniforms and shiny shoes as they attended classes.Registered Student Enrollment increased substantially over this time last year – by more than 800 students.
Students were joined Wednesday by about 3,400 teachers, and they, staff and administrators are wasting no time in getting new academic initiatives up and running and continuing tried-and-true measures to keep the momentum on school and student test performances on the upswing.
When test scores for the district’s Academically Unacceptable Schools (AUS) were released by the State Department of Education recently, two schools, CapitolMiddle School and WinbourneElementary School, were removed from that list.Also, although the state score for success cut-off for schools labeled AUS is now 65 – a 5-point increase from last year, all new schools in the district added to the AUS list this year have a score of above 60. Next year, the state cut-off number is expected to increase to 75.
“Because of the initiatives we have in place, I am pleased to announce Belfair, Claiborne, Jefferson Terrace, La Belle Aire, Park Forest, Sharon Hills and White Hills elementary schools improved their school performance scores to above 75 last year,” said district Superintendent John Dilworth.“Therefore, these schools have been removed from the state’s Academic Watch List.”
Last spring, the district also reported an overall increase in test scores. Since 2007, our District Performance Score has increased by 9.7 points, the System’s third consecutive annual increase. In addition, the graduation rate increased to 60 percent for on-time graduates, and the drop-out rate decreased from 10.2 percent to 5 percent this past school year.“Now, we intend to stay the course and continue this trend of improvement and growth,” Dilworth said.
One way the district is doing just that is by establishing the CareerEducationCenter, which opened its doors as a charter school this week, as well.This is a school catering to students to ensure they are career and college ready after graduation.Before the charter began, district administrators met with local business leaders to find out what types of classes the School System needs to offer students to ensure it meets future employment needs and prepares children for those endeavors.
The district also continues working closely with the District Attorney’s Office to decrease the number of truant students in the School System.Each school has an attendance clerks who have been trained to help combat truancy.Now the district is closer to moving ahead with the cooperative agreement to create a one-stop social services site at the old LouisianaSchool for the Visually Impaired.These cooperative endeavor agreements are between the district and the state of Louisiana’s Division of Administration, the East Baton Rouge City/Parish, the District Attorney’s Office and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.“We collectively believe the state facility will work well, because its location lends itself to easy accessibility by the families we seek to serve,” Dilworth said.
This week, School Board members and administrators were excited to open the newly constructed ClaiborneElementary School.This is a re-merger of the Upper and Lower Claiborne schools developed while the new site was under construction.The $17.2-million, two-story school totals 94,698 square feet – enough to house 825 students in grades Pre-K through 5.This is the 10th new school built in the district since voters approved a 1-cent sales tax dedicated to improving education in 1998.
The district continues to follow the tax plan as approved by the voters to build and renovate schools and be fiscally responsible in those efforts.For example, in the fall of 2009 the School System opened the renovated DufrocqSchool, which is an updated elementary facility on South 19th Street.
Currently, Baton RougeMagnetHigh School students have temporarily been located to the former LeeHigh School site as we conduct renovations on this historic, four-story main building and other areas of the site on Government Street.What will be approximately $45.9-million in renovation work began last July on the 17-acre site to renovate the existing building constructed in 1926.Plans are to open it in the fall of 2012.Renovations also are underway at LaSalle and Melrose elementary schools.
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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