Collins Hosts Reception for Schools with Community Stakeholders in District 4
BATON ROUGE, La. – On Wednesday, January 18th, School Board Member Dawn Chanet Collins hosted a New Year’s Reception for the schools in East Baton Rouge Parish School System, District 4. Collins invited community stakeholders who reside or do business in the district such as elected officials, public education advocates, and small business owners.
Attendees included Senator Regina Ashford Barrow; Council-persons Donna Collins-Lewis, Erika Green, and LaMont Cole; business owners Jason Gardner of Vivid Images, Jeremy Jackson of State Farm Insurance, and Denise Harris of REMAX Preferred Choice; as well as, public education advocates Rev. Reginald Pitcher and Anthony Troy Dennis. Also present were Johnny Anderson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor John Bel Edwards and Darlene Fields, Congressman Cedric Richmond’s representative for the Baton Rouge area.
The theme of the event was “Moving District 4 Forward.” Community participation was “better than anticipated,” said Collins. Over 50 community stakeholders were present. She stated the purpose of the event was to “begin building a strong relationship between the schools in the area and the community – the village – because that is the only way the schools will truly prosper.”
Collins continued, “I promise to bring this type of event to the district at least once a year. It’s so important. Many parents in this area would like to see these schools enhanced so that some of the best programs the district has to offer are right here in their own back yards. Right now, many parents feel compelled to send their kids to options on the other side of town,” Collins continued. “I’m excited about moving forward, and I believe this is something Superintendent Drake is eager to do as well.
“I will also be doing meetings specifically for parents and care givers who reside in or send their children to schools in District 4,” said Collins.
Some highlights from the meeting included attendees being made aware that though both North Louisiana and South Louisiana experienced cataclysmic flooding in 2016, the Louisiana Department of Education has not made any provisions to accommodate students who have not been able to prepare for the state’s first mandatory computer-based testing this Spring. Superintendent Drake has already reached out to the state for a waiver, and State Senator Regina Ashford-Barrow committed to working with her colleagues to address the issue.
Collins also said, “I was excited that some attendees told me they’d like to assist our schools by donating books to our libraries and revisiting a partnership with Belair High to bring back the DECA Club. I know other partnerships will soon follow.”
The nine schools in District 4 are: Belair High School, Brookstown Middle Magnet, Greenbrier Elementary, Howell Park Elementary, La Belle Aire Elementary, Northdale Superintendent’s Academy, Park Forest Elementary, Park Forest Middle, and Villa Del Rey Elementary.
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