State Department of Education Identifies Ryan Elementary as Model School
- Feb 13, 08
Faculty and staff at Ryan Elementary School operate by the motto, “every child, whatever it takes.” This attitude helped Ryan Elementary earn a school performance score above 80, while serving a high number of racial minority students and students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. Their success caught the attention of the Louisiana Department of Education.
During a press conference on Wednesday, February 13, State Superintendent Paul Pastorek singled out twenty schools across the state which earned high test scores among students traditionally deemed difficult to educate. “It can be done, it is being done, right here in this parish,” said Pastorek. In his remarks, he acknowledged the unique challenge Ryan Elementary faces as a choice school. Students who attend underperforming schools in East Baton Rouge Parish and are eligible to enroll at Ryan cannot do so until October. It is up to Ryan Elementary Principal Darlene Brister and her staff to get the students caught up as quickly as possible.
Brister credits the school’s team environment as the primary source of its success. “We have teachers interacting with teachers, students interacting with students, and teachers interacting with parents, it is truly a social learning environment,” Brister said. East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Superintendent Charlotte Placide points to Brister as the key to the school's success. “It takes great leadership,” Placide said. “And that’s what this school has here in Mrs. Brister, a great instructional leader.”
President of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Linda Johnson, says schools experiencing this type of success are models to be cloned at other schools in East Baton Rouge Parish and across the state. “It’s exciting to be in Louisiana and have 20 schools succeeding with high poverty and high minority. Typically, what we do is go to other states,” Johnson added.
Pastorek also tapped Brister as his first recruit to serve on a Principals Advisory Committee. He said this group will help educate him on the challenges, strategies and solutions in educating students from low income families.
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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