BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Next year, Capitol High School could become the newest medically-focused school in East Baton Rouge Parish. Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse presented his plan to the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Tuesday.
“We are excited as we get closer,” he said.
Students will have the option to enroll in a program focusing on technology, healthcare, liberal arts and management. But BESE wants to know how this will work during a national teacher shortage. Narcisse says the school will have non-traditional teachers including hospital staff and people within the industry.
Students will most likely have to meet GPA requirements in order to enroll in their desired pathway program. Those details are still being determined.
“We don’t want kids just to graduate high school degrees. That is in the past,” said Narcisse. “We want children and families to save money, two, to have industry-based certifications, and three, have advantages to college and career work.”
Capitol High Alumni Association President Cleve Dunn said the district is doing a good job at conserving the school’s history.
“Many of these programs are used as attracting families and students because families and students want to prepare for adulthood,” said Dunn.
Last week during a public meeting some community members expressed to the state they want Capitol High to have an option for a traditional degree.
BESE members questioned if a focused plan is really what community members want and if the school system has enough time to go through with renovations.
“I believe that those neighborhood kids ought to have a pathway that is a university pathway that is independent of their GPA,” said Dr. Belinda Davis, BESE at-large representative. “This goes to my concern about kids as 14 or 15-year-olds that might not be ready for college enrollment.”
East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Dadrius Lanius said the school is heading in the right direction.
“For the very first time you have a collaborative situation and the state working together to do what’s best for kids,” he said.
The East Baton Rouge School Board will vote on the plan in September.