EBRPSS Superintendent Rolls Out Additional Details of Smart Start Plans

Press Release Apr. 1 2021

Wednesday, March 31, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System announced a Smart Start return to campuses to allow increased time for professional development and classroom time. The focus will be on ensuring employees are prepared to identify and address all students’ greatest areas of need, and that they feel confident creating individualized learning plans centered around student diagnostic results. As students return eight days ahead of schedule, they will be reacquainted with peers and the classroom environment to ensure they are prepared for a return to rigorous instruction. This work will be vital as the school system works to overcome lost classroom time due to the pandemic.

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 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.”

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

As these phases and work plans continue to develop with staff and community input, EBRPSS will provide updates on the district website, ebrschools.org.

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