Educators and parents continue to push back against EBR School’s ‘Smart Start’ plan

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Wednesday, East Baton Rouge School’s Superintendent, Sito Narcisse spoke to educators and parents about his ‘Smart Start’ plan.  

Educators say, the past year has been an adjustment for both them and their students and calls the ‘Smart Start’ plan, inconsiderate and draining. 

“I believe every single child can learn, but the teacher is the key” says East Baton Rouge teacher, Robin Clark.

The long time Pre-K teacher is questioning the proposed plan that would start the 2021-2022 school year eight days earlier. 

Like Clark, other educators and parents weighed in during Wednesday’s meeting at Glen Oaks High School. 

“This is a travesty that they are not considering what teachers as well as parents that have already decided what they were going to do with their children” said East Baton Rouge Association of Educator’s President, Valencea Johnson

 According to East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools:

“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:


  • Smart Start School Year
  • Professional Development Week for Educators
  • Leadership Development Week
  • Parent Engagement and Development Week


  • $1,300 Stipend for Employees
  • Expanded Free Summer Enrichment Opportunities
  • Expanded Athletics and Tutoring for Elementary, Middle and High School Students


  • Expanded Literacy & Math Supports
  • Expanded Social & Emotional Supports
  • Additional Nurses & Social Workers

The plan also includes starting the school year July 28, eight days earlier than initially planned.

“If there is any compromise that we talk about those things and resolve them, that’s the biggest thing. Right now, we’re dealing with Covid, teacher walk outs we’re dealing with coming to the end of the school year where we’re talking about how far our students have fallen on the totem pole” says East Baton Rouge School Board Member, Dadrius Lanus

Despite Wednesday’s town halls and the strong pushback, teachers feel the Superintendent’s proposal will move on as planned.

“I think the decision has already been made, but I need to be a part of this process so I’m here and yes I taught a full day this morning,” said Clark.

Clark says, although some of the adjustments are small, the little things have a huge impact.

“Am I willing to do the work? Yes. Happy to do the work? Yes. Able to do the work? Not if we’re not rested,” says Clark.

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