BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– The East Baton Rouge School Board has agreed on a calendar for the 2021 school year.
The vote was 7-2. Board members Connie Bernard and Dawn Collins voted against the plan. They and a majority of teachers and parents, wanted the original calendar formerly voted on.
Students will return to school on Wednesday, Aug. 11, while teachers will be back in the classroom on Monday, Aug. 2. Additional changes include adjustments to holiday breaks. Fall break will be Oct. 8-11, and Spring Break will be April 12-18. Officials say the board is saving more than $15 million with this option.
This modified plan brought in a lot of pushback from the community. “It was absolutely not what any parent wanted,” Corhonda Corley said. “We already made our plans for the summer, so now every parent would have to change plans they made.”
Some educators say they are happy it’s not the original Smart Start plan that would have had them back in class by July.
“They did listen to our voices our concerns,” Candita Sims, Vice President of EBR Educators said. “We didn’t get everything that we wanted, but we were heard.”
Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse’s original proposal was to have students back in the classroom eight days earlier, starting at the end of July, as well as adding two weeks of professional development training.
Narcisse sent a letter to the board after receiving feedback from the public and modified one of the calendar options with some other adjustments.
Some of the new proposed changes to the calendar include no early dismissal days in September, December, and May and seven days of professional development compared to five for the March calendar.
Narcisse says he’s satisfied with the board’s vote.
“Every step is a good step,” Narcisse said. “I like that we have a process where we are listening to a lot of people.”
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