BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — After two years as East Baton Rouge Parish School System superintendent, Dr. Sito Narcisse held his first “State of the Schools” address.

Narcisse said part of his focus this school year is on student achievement and staff development.

“We want to provide more access to kids to accelerate their work from cradle to career,” he said. “Make sure kids are ready to read at kindergarten, third grade readiness, middle high school transition. Providing kids opportunity with certifications, getting them ready for TOPS.”

Superintendent wants to make the school district one of the highest-paying school systems in the state within three years. It’s an issue that’s packed school board meetings as teachers demand higher pay.

“In recognition of our teachers’ amazing work we’re excited that we’ll be providing new stipends to them this school year and salary increase starting the following year,” said Narcisse.

New recruits now get sign-on bonuses, which Superintendent Narcisse said is helping with vacancies. In July, the school board passed a stipend of 7,500 dollars for new CORE teachers.

“We’re about 70 vacancies down right now, and that’s decreasing because we’ve been hiring constantly with signing bonuses,” said Narcisse.

The school system is still working to hire at least one full-time resource officer at each school. But Narcisse says safety remains a priority.

The school district’s mantra for the 2022-2023 school year is “Nothing is Impossible.”

“There are children who may not have a stable home life. Some may not even get a proper dinner. As a school district, it is our job, our job to fill the needs of the students we care for each day,” said Narcisse.

Narcisse also discussed LEAP scores, literacy initiatives, and more. The full address is available below: