Monday, May 12, 2008

Keeping Our Eye on the Prize

As Advance Baton Rouge prepares for the possibility that BESE will award ABR the charters for Prescott and Glen Oaks Middle Schools and Pointe Coupee Central High School this Thursday, our organization wants to keep things in perspective.

The parents and the students will be our customers. We have to remember that always. We can't do this without parents and students. We need to know what works, what doesn't and what you think success looks like. If ABR doesn't know what your ideas are about what a successful school does, how can we redesign a school to meet your needs?

With that in mind, ABR has a vision statement that reminds us of these issues and keeps our goals in focus.

“Our goal is to change schools so we can change kids’ lives. If you provide children a strong and challenging education, they will have more options. And when you expose kids to different ways to think, imagine and learn, they dream bigger and strive to be more. That means a better job and a better life. When that happens, we all benefit. It improves our workforce, our economy and our society, regardless of what specific fields kids ultimately decide to enter. ABR’s promise to the parents of the Prescott and Glen Oaks Middle schools and Pointe Coupee Central High School is that, if we are awarded these charters, we will provide your children with an education that will give them more options and opportunities this Fall than they have today. And ABR hopes parents will hold our organization to that.”

We will post this vision statement on the blog from time to time to encourage communication and partnership between ABR, parents and students.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Myth and Facts Revisited

On May 1, we talked about some of the rumors going around in our Myth and Facts post.

One of the persisting rumors about our plans for Pointe Coupee Central High School is that students graduating from PCCHS will either receive a GED or something less than a full high school diploma.

Your diploma will say that you are a Louisiana High School Graduate of Pointe Coupee Central High School and will be accepted anywhere you choose to go to college, just like any other high school diploma. We promise.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

ABR Parent Charter Meetings

Advance Baton Rouge will hold a meeting for parents and students of Pointe Coupee Central High School tonight at the Pointe Coupee Parish Library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight. Parents and students will have a chance to see an overview of ABR's plans if it is awarded the charter by the state on May 15th. Another meeting will be held for PCCHS parents and students in two weeks - same day, time and place.

A meeting for parents and students of Prescott and Glen Oaks Middle Schools will be held tomorrow night, Thursday, May 8th, at the Delmont Gardens Library Branch from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ABR Responds to Monique 92

In response to our Myth and Fact post, Monique 92 wrote the following on Sunday, May 4th:

" a student of pointe coupee central high school i asked a couple of students about the uniform situation and we were wondering can u change it to black bottoms and red shirts????thanks for the help we are looking forward for this great takeover..."

First, this all depends on the BESE board approving our charter on May 15th. But this is what we're thinking Monique. We're thinking that we should get three recommendations from the students and let them vote. The considerations would probably revolve around existing school colors but it's certainly worth talking about. We're not going to open it up to tie-dye or pink and purple polka dots, but we'll let the student body consider pretty much anything within reason.

This also leads to a bigger issue. And that's students and parents having a voice in this process. And Monique we're really excited that you were the first person to kick it off and get the discussion going. We will be having a public meeting on Wednesday, May 7th at the Pointe Coupee Parish Library from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There'll be another meeting two weeks later on the 22nd - same day and time. We truly believe that in order to do our best, we need to hear from parents and students, what works, what doesn't work and what success will look like. So, Monique please tell your friends, their parents and people at your church that this is their opportunity to help ABR redesign the school they need most, And thank you again for starting the dialogue with us Monique.

If you have questions or comments like Monique feel free to post them here or email us at

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pointe Coupee Parish School District Parent Survey Clarified

In order to plan and budget for the 2008-2009 school year, the Pointe Coupee School District sent a survey home last week to the parents of 5th grade through 11th grade students asking them to indicate which schools their children will be attending. Advance Baton Rouge, which has applied for the charter of Pointe Coupee Central High School (grades six through twelve), wants to point out that parents are not limited by what they checked on the survey form. Parents can change their minds if they want. And if they made no choice at all or did not return the form, they will not be penalized in anyway. Parents who made no choice at all on the form will be able to choose later.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Myths and Facts About ABR's Plans If It Is Awarded Charter

Myth: ABR is going to eliminate sports
Truth: No, we’re not. We promise.

Myth: ABR is going to create whacked-out, off the wall classes and the curriculum is going to be hard.
Truth: The curriculum will not be any more challenging than what it is supposed to be now. If we receive the charters for the three schools, teachers are going to be teaching the Comprehensive Louisiana Curriculum just like they do now. Elective courses will be decided upon by students. You decided which classes you would like to take in addition to your core courses.

Myth: It’s going to be like a prison and it won’t be fun.
Fact: No cells. No clanking doors. Lots of fun. There’ll be a dance every month. One Saturday a month there will be a social element - field trips, trips to local colleges – things like that. If it’s not fun, you won’t come to school, so it has to be fun.

Myth: The students are going to have to go to school all day and almost all year long
Fact: Why would we do that? The school day will be eight hours long. Pointe Coupee students will get a longer lunch. The school year will be one week longer.

Myth: My diploma won’t be as good as other schools?
Fact: Your diploma will say that you are a Louisiana High School Graduate of Pointe Coupee Central High School and will be accepted anywhere you choose to go to college.

Myth: All of our favorite teachers are not going to be here next year.
Fact: ABR has asked all of the current teachers and staff at the three schools to apply to teach at the schools next year. We do have high expectations for them and have created a thorough application process to make sure that we have the best teachers in front of you every day.

If you have more myths you’d like to us address, send them to or post here on this blog as a comment and we’ll address them.

Teachers Continue to Show Interest

Teachers who want to continue to teach at their schools if ABR is awarded the charters came to the Shaw Center, 100 Lafayette Street, second floor conference room today and provided a writing sample and took a content area assessment. Future dates for teacher assessments are to be announced.