CENTRAL, La. (BRPROUD) — Central School District is expanding several campuses and will work on increasing phonics this school year.

“Central is a true community school system,” says Central’s Superintendent, Jason Fountain.

All five schools of the Central community school system, are getting ready for some major upgrades this year.

“The big thing that you’ll see is just some of our facility improvements,” Fountain says.

The School District is spending over $25 million on Central High School alone. Adding a second gymnasium, upgrading classrooms, and renovating commons areas.

“We’re also building a new Central office building, thanks to some state funding that allowed us to do that over at our football stadium, we’re doing a lot of renovations over there,” says Fountain.

However, with having a great school system, the large budget also leaves some left over for elementary school kids.

Superintendent Fountain says, “We’re adding the 15 classrooms here at Tanglewood. This allowed us to take the temporary buildings off the site, so this is very exciting for Tanglewood.”

Tanglewood Principal, Megan Brown, says they’re putting a new focus on literacy this year. She’s been working in the Central School District for many years and wants nothing but the best for students.

“We are hitting phonics a little bit harder this year and we are just making sure that all students are challenged in the area of Literacy. And we are also departmentalizing this year, which means students will have a teacher for reading and a different teacher for math,” says Principal Brown.

Unfortunately, according to the Louisiana Department of Health, they are finding that COVID-19 is still escalating with the Omicron subvariants.

Principal Brown says that Central and Tanglewood’s protocols for COVID-19 have not changed dramatically. “We are still doing the protocols where if you know, where your children are sick and not feeling well we’re asking the parents to keep their children at home. Give us a call and let us know what’s going on,” she adds.

The school districts is looking forward to seeing more parents and student involvement this year.

“One of the challenges over the last two years, was parents not being on campus as much because we were so tight with all the COVID protocols,” Fountain says.

“We’re hoping that we can have more events where parents can come on campus and eat lunch with their students,” Brown adds.

The mission of the Central community system is for its students to have growth each year.

“Our goal is to prepare our kids from Pre-K all the way up to high school to be ready for their next step,” says Fountain.

The First day of school for Central is Thursday, Aug. 11. It is Principal Brown’s and Superintendent Fountain’s favorite time of the year.

“That’s when our buildings come to life! And that’s what is so exciting for us when the students walk into the building, it just brings life and that’s what we’re about” says Fountain.

Superintendent Fountain has a special message for the start of the school year, to view it, click here.