BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC Local 33)(FOX 44) – The Emerge School for Autism held a ceremonial groundbreaking today on the Emerge campus at 7784 Innovation Park Drive.
The ceremony included messages from Melissa Juneau, CEO of The Emerge Center, Jean-Paul Perrault
Board Chair of The Emerge School, Leigh Bozard, Principal of The Emerge School, and Shelton Jones, Executive Director of The Emerge Foundation.
“Today is an incredible milestone for Emerge,” said Melissa Juneau. “Not only is The Emerge School the first and only public charter school in Louisiana exclusively designed for children with autism, it is also a significant extension of The Emerge Center’s successful interdisciplinary therapeutic model. We look forward to seeing our campus grow with the addition of a freestanding building for the new school.”
“The Emerge School provides an innovative public education option for children in our community,” said Jean-Paul Perrault, Board Chair of The Emerge School. “The launch of the school is driven by our decades-long commitment to respond to the needs of families who seek our services.”
Based on a child’s Individualized Education Plan and unique needs, he or she receives therapies that may include Speech, Occupational and Applied Behavior Analysis from Emerge Center staff along with Special Education instruction. This combination of therapeutic support with specialized education all on one campus sets the school apart.
In its first year of operation, the school has served twenty students within two classrooms at The Emerge Center.
A growth campaign for the school began in 2018. To date, $1.673 million has been raised towards a $2 million goal. Growth campaign donors include:
Construction of the new 7,000 square foot building is expected to be completed by the spring of next year. Until then, the school will temporarily operate out of Polk Elementary. Once fully built out, the school will be able to accommodate approximately 48 children.