EBR Schools providing details about “Smart Start” including the possibility of more school days during 2021-2022 school year

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – COVID-19 has presented challenge after challenge this past year, including for local students and teachers.

EBR Schools are looking to address one of those challenges by presenting some changes to next year’s school schedule.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is providing details about those potential schedule changes below:

EBRPSS employees will return to school buildings two weeks ahead of schedule to participate in professional development activities focused on closing achievement gaps and accelerating student learning. The proposed calendar amendments are as follows:

  • Smart Start Return to Campuses Timeline

07.12.2021

  • Professional development week for principals and leadership

07.19.2021

  • Professional development and employee in-service week

07.28.2021

  • First day of school for EBRPSS students

According to the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, Dr. Narcisse would like to “add eight school days to the district calendar to address learning gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

These changes await a school board vote on April 22.

“We know all too well the costs associated with prolonged periods away from the classroom,” said Superintendent Sito Narcisse, Ed.D. “We must reintroduce students to in-person instruction as soon as possible to assess the greatest areas of need.”

EBRPSS Superintendent Sito Narcisse is providing additional details about the proposed Smart Start plans:

As a part of EBRPSS Superintendent Sito Narcisse’s proposed plan, all Smart Start participants will receive compensation at their regular rate of pay for these additional days in the 2021-2022 school year. Moreover, a $1,300 stipend will be proposed, pending board approval, for all EBRPSS employees to receive in August. This stipend is to recognize the dedication of employees who sacrificed so much for students during this most challenging year.

Smart Start is a significant piece of a much larger puzzle in the district’s proposed plans for CARES, ESSER II, & ESSER III funding. If approved, additional dollars will be allocated through the following three phases:

PHASE I

· Smart Start School Year

· Professional Development Week for Educators

· Leadership Development Week

· Parent Engagement and Development Week

PHASE II

· $1,300 Stipend for Employees

· Expanded Free Summer Enrichment Opportunities

· Expanded Athletics and Tutoring for Elementary, Middle and High School Students

PHASE III

· Expanded Literacy & Math Supports

· Expanded Social & Emotional Supports

· Additional Nurses & Social Workers

“Smart Start impacts are not limited to the classroom, this shift is our way of supporting both the emotional and academic needs of students while ensuring that the wellbeing of staff, student and families are prioritized,” said Superintendent Narcisse, Ed.D. “Along with the extra school days and enhanced professional development, we will roll out added supports for the community through reimagined parental engagement.”

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