Coming on the heels of the push for South East Baton Rouge Parish School District, the proposal for a Baton Rouge Achievement Zone has been introduced. The Achievement zone will mostly encompass schools in the North Baton Rouge community. It’s goal is to provide a strong educational foundation and community support for learners in the failing and low-performing schools of North Baton Rouge.
Many schools in North Baton Rouge have been failing and low-performing due to several factors such as changing population demographics over the past 7 years, in addition to existing problems caused by social conditions such as poverty, lack of parental educational attainment, parental involvement and positive reinforcement, and neighborhood violence. The factors have caused schools in these areas to dramatically decline in a short span of time.
The Advocate’s Charles Lussier attended the Baton Rouge Press Club on Monday April 30, 2012 where Recovery School District Superintendent Patrick Dobard discussed plans for the Baton Rouge Rouge Achievement Zone. During this meeting, according to Lussier, Dobard stated:
“We have a critical needs patient, and we have just have been doing triage for the past decade. Let’s not become distracted about politics and governance, and let’s focus on what we can do to move from a war zone to an achievement zone.”
Mnay of the schools will be converted to charter schools which are designed to be more focused on providing individualized education. Charter schools implement the latest best practices, educational research and technologies to enhance instruction to better engage learners. Moreover, charters are designed to foster parental and community involvement. As a result, the schools themselves become healthy, productive learning environments where are stakeholders share an active role in education.
A project of such massive effort as this is necessary to make the necessary changes to ensure that these students are in attendence at school and their educational needs are being met. Indeed, these students need more than strictly academic direction. Many of them come from homes where parents and guardians are either neglectful, abusive or both. Even if needs such as food and shelter are being met with the help goverment assistance, parental management of these resources heavily influence how they will truly help their children.
Children coming from these areas who live in devastated, dysfunctional homes often come to school for refuge. They view school as a safe haven. However, facing problems as heavy as those as of adult burdens, some of these students often have difficulty focusing on the objectives of learning and academic achievement. Their mental and emotional state often impacts their behavior and causes them to act out in class as well as against teachers and classmates. Thus, major discipline issues arise in schools in these areas.
It is the goal of the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone to provide school and community support to these students as well as the parents of students who are taking a proactive role in their child’s life and education. Recovery School District schools that will be joining the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone are:
- Capitol High School
- Istrouma High School
- Glen Oaks Middle School
- Dalton Elementary
- Lanier Elementary
For more information about the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone, visit Recovery School District Louisiana.
For more articles from The Advocate’s Charles Lussier on the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone, visit:
School ‘Achievement Zone’ proposed for north BR
BR Achievement Zone touted