BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – With the new school year starting in six weeks, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System Superintendent shed some light on what students and staff can expect as they return to the classroom.
In his first full school year as superintendent, Sito Narcisse is tackling how to bring students back into the classroom. While there are about 450 students signed up to learn virtually, those who are back in the building will not be required to wear face masks per the governor’s recommendation.
“We think it should be more of a choice for that,” Narcisse said. “Not necessarily a requirement. So in some communities they want to do that, others not. Where we’re standing on that issue is to look at it as a choice unless something changes.”
Principals from across the district will be meeting in July to go over safety protocols. During the pandemic many students fell behind in school. Narcisse said they are exploring extra programs to help get kids back on track.
“Working with our providers we’re trying to get more after school programs,” Narcisse said. This year may deal with a little bit more of extending the day and what that looks like for a child. Once the school day is over, going into a program.”
A major goal of his is to expand early education. He touted the growth in pre-K and the new law to make kindergarten mandatory.
“We’re even expanding plus a thousand more seats than we had from the year before,” Narcisse said. “I have been talking a lot about trying to make sure that we get early childhood education as a part of our DNA in our school system.”
He also said it is crucial for students in east baton rouge to learn to read and write before they get to a formal classroom to be more successful in their educational career.
The superintendent also shared that around half of school staff members are reported to be vaccinated and they are working with kids 12 and up to encourage them to also consider the vaccine. It is not mandatory at this time.