Baker Heights Elementary now houses pre-K and first grades. Pupils are then sent to Bakerfield Elementary for second and third grades, to Park Ridge Elementary for fourth and fifth, to Baker Middle for sixth through eighth, to Baker High School for ninth through 12th.
The transitions to new schools every few years are a detriment to students’ academic growth, officials said.
The restructuring arrangement would house pre-K through fifth grades at Baker Heights and Bakerfield. Park Ridge would become a magnet school for first through fifth grades. Superintendent Ulysses Joseph estimated 25-30 percent of the student body is worthy of magnet status.
Baker Middle would remain with sixth through eighth grades and the high school, ninth through 12th.
High points of the restructuring would increase leadership roles for students and involvement opportunities for parents.
It would also increase teacher retention, student enrollment and curriculum offerings with an emphasis on integrated technology.
The restructuring proposal was presented by Dr. De’Ette Perry, director of secondary education, and Iris Walker, director of elementary education.
The board approved the plan by a vote of 3-2, with Doris Alexander and Troy Watson voting against it. Alexander wanted to wait for input from the state and Watson wanted to add teacher evaluation and career development.
E. Russell Armstrong, School Turnaround Office, Office of Innovation, La. Dept. of Education, came for the presentation and said his office is “here to help. Reach out to us for assistance.” Deadline for a school improvement grant is March 4 , and he urged the board to apply.
In other business, 19 substitute teachers were appointed at $75 per day, a new school system organizational chart was approved, and a contract was renewed with LSU to provide a mathematics coordinator for the primary mathematics curriculum for Grades K-6.
The next regular meeting of the school board will be 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 1.