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OneRouge Community Check-In - Week 66

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

Week #66

'Our Kids, Covid, and School Safety'

Meeting Notes Prepared by Zoë Haddad (Walls Project)

Charles Lussier (The Advocate)

  • Covering schools in EBR for about 20 years

  • Article I wrote last fall on the history of EBR schools going back to the days of integration in the late 60s/early 70s: 50 years after desegregation order, Baton Rouge schools look nothing like what was intended

  • Gives context for how we got to where we are today

  • To summarize, East Baton Rouge was a growing community after WWII with a massive influx of people into the area. But as with all the south we had separate schools for Black and white children. That started to change incrementally in the 60s with a massive integration shift in September 1970, at least on paper. Just because you tell people you’re going to school together doesn’t mean you do. Baton Rouge High is an example - all white, quickly became majority Black, then the community turned it into a Magnet and it became mostly white again.This started the movement of families to private schools. The state actually funded segregation academies that were all white. We had a pre-existing parochial system. The fragmentation started then and has continued. We had a desegregation order in 1981, the cross town busing, further fragmentation with suburban movement, and then the charter school movement in the 90s. School accountability, schools closing...that’s about the time I came in. I spent most of my early days in federal court trying to figure out what was going on. After federal control of the school district left, we saw a lot of changes. That’s when those charter schools really kicked into gear. We also saw with the Jindal administration the arrival of vouchers, we’ve seen a major movement towards virtual schooling even before the pandemic...choice has become the thing. You go to suburban areas and you don’t see choice like you do in the city. Baton Rouge has a traditional school district but layered on top is a whole variety of choices that didn’t use to exist. And now with the pandemic we have even more choices that have popped up. It’s a long way from 1970 when there was one school district and not too many private schools.

  • We’re seeing a lot of the same shifts as other metropolitan areas.

  • Everyone’s trying to find good educational choices for their children, they’re trying to find a workplace, something that brings the community together and uplift the community

  • It’s a massively more complex than it was

  • You have a whole lot of independent schools, online schools, etc.

East Baton Rouge School Updates

Superintendent Narcisse (East Baton Rouge School System)

  • Three major areas we’re going to focus on moving forward:

  • All schools are our schools - it doesn’t matter where you are, what type. We’re trying to make sure we unify our school systems.

  • Pushing hard on early childhood across the system. Pushing hard on our literacy work. Started meeting with our school leaders trying to get our folks into a mind set to understand it’s important to expand our partnerships.

  • Pushing into the space of Associates Degree and industry based credentials, working hard with our partners on that and making an announcement later in the year about dual enrollment

  • Also put positions adding spaces in our community work, working with Out of School providers, trying to gear up in a way that we can start getting the system closer to communities, getting partners connected in the work we’re doing regardless of the school

  • Huge Back to School bash coming up at the Raising Cane’s River Center from 10:00 - 4:00. If you are interested in being a part of that let us know! Trying to get a lot of community services and things in that space. Super excited to have sponsors like ExxonMobil and other great sponsors

  • Some of the major things I know on the mind of our community would be COVID - the Governor’s actually going to say something today to help guide it but we’re going to announce the full COVID rules August 3 with our Health Advisory Committee.

  • Once we’re clear on that I’ll make sure we have specific things we’re going to do - there’s some pieces we’re not going to change like frequent hand washing and additional cleaning. I know people really want to know what the spacing is going to look like, if kids are going to wear masks or not wear masks. We’re going to talk through that.

  • The Strategic Plan was approved yesterday. We have some data/test scores...we wanted to try to show the road map for the next five years. I hope everybody sees that every school that’s a part of EBR - whether traditional, magnet, charter, whatever - all these kids are our kids. It’s important we’re pushing them to have clear performance metrics so that performance is happening in a way that families and communities can feel we are getting progress in our system

  • We want our partners to see where they fit in the plan - we’re using the plan as a platform around how we do everything. I’ve seen a lot of aspirational but not performance driven plans so we’re going to make sure we’re monitoring and updating what our performance is for every child, and moving towards a growth metric. It’s important we have kids measure themselves and not this school vs. school. And as many of you already know, we’ve broken the city up into five regions and within those five regions look at how we allocate resources, support and work with partners

  • We are working with Social Emotional Learning, we’re going to have a Fair Assessment of the School system in that way, talk about what our next moves will be in terms of that work...we’ve added additional social workers across the system

  • It’s going to feel a little different - we have to have a quality of standard and then we work with community and school leaders to get to that standard

  • Last night also gave a Facilities Review, started working with a facilities master plan...Going to have board members go out to communities to get feedback on what we should be doing with land and be more efficient

  • One ask to the group: continue to make our conversations about children, and not about other stuff. I’m excited that this group keeps that focus and that work. I’ve been trying to make sure I get to every space to talk to people and get engaged in our work every day. We can’t do this work without all of you.

  • Finally, I’m pushing to create the first Performing Arts 6-12 in the city - we want to engage the communities a little more for the next month or two, take some board members to see some around the country. We want to keep folks engaged in that process.

Chris Meyer (New Schools for Baton Rouge)

  • For decades, as Charles pointed out, we’ve seen opportunities for really the wealthy and well informed in our communities. And nobody begrudges any family for doing what they’ve got to do to get their kids access to the most quality education they can but the reality here in BR is that many of our students and families have been left behind

  • Particularly with what we’ve seen over the last year with the pandemic, nationally I think a reckoning is coming. There are polls that public school enrollment may be down 15% come this fall, you’ve seen a rise in new school opportunities across the country that families taking advantage of

  • Here in BR we’ve been fortunate that we’ve had a city that, while many have exercised by moving to the suburbs, taking advantage of private schools, enrolling in magnet schools, we’re finally a city that over the last decade has begun to open up and proven quality options

  • We’ve scoured the community and the country to find the best school options we can to help those schools grow

  • This fall we’re opening four new schools which are already fully enrolled - specifically BASIS in Mid City, Helix which operates the mentorships school and are starting two new middle schools to ultimately grow to high school models, really innovative aviation and legal academy, and then IDEA is opening its third campus and taking on a formerly struggling charter school that it’s adopting

  • Excited about these opportunities to continue and grow in partnership with the school district and the state

  • Ultimately Baton Rouge will be a leader offering families that have typically not been able to either navigate those processes or don’t have the ability to write a tuition check

  • We want all kids, all families to have access to great schools and not be defined by where you live and how much money is in your bank account

  • I’m really proud that some of the schools we’ve been fortunate to work with have shown the fastest growth in the state

  • One thing Tyler and I wanted to highlight today is that we’ve been deepening our schools partnerships with families

Tyler Litt (New Schools for Baton Rouge)

  • Families, Schools, and Communities Connect has expanded from a pilot that Mrs. Gwen has lead

  • Started off with three schools - Basis, Emerge, and Redesign - in 2019 where we were able to support 125 families to a truncated spring session this past spring where we supported 1,000 students and their families

  • Hoping to gain new partnerships with our schools and the community

  • OneRouge has really shown us the power of working groups - we want to have whole group sessions but also breakout sessions that focus just on affinity groups like ELL students, students with exceptionalities, etc.

  • Unleashing our community asset resource map this year to support school liaisons with access to social services and other resources

  • Genius is evenly distributed but opportunity is not

  • As part of my shameless plug, if you impact children, if there’s anything you can do to support the betterment of our community, contact me.

Dr. Sarah Barlow (Baton Rouge Community College)

  • One of the most exciting things for us is that we’ve sought and gained approval from the nursing board to admit our largest and most diverse nursing cohort for the Fall of 21 (90 students)

  • Game changer for the college and region in terms of ability to respond to the current need

  • This is something we hope to continue to grow upon

  • Going to begin building a new nursing building at the Mid City site...Great opportunity to grow the RN and LPN program

  • Also had a couple additional programs in our Computer Science field with Cybersecurity and Application Software Developer

  • Working every day to respond to workforce need

  • For the fall, right now we’re continuing to offer courses in multiple modalities: we have high flex, hybrid, face-to-face

  • Plans A, B, C, etc in place to pivot as our daily monitoring impacts the look of the fall

  • Another exciting component that has come out is that students now have the ability to go in and make modifications to their stated income for financial ai, so if you have a student who submitted their 21/22 FAFSA but have experienced an alteration in income you can go in and change that

  • We’ve combined Division of Adult Education with Technical Education

  • Provides more access to those pursuing their high set equivalency to earn IBCs to complete the high school classes and get credentials needed to enter the workforce

  • We’re very excited for the Glen Oaks opportunity that will begin this fall - students entering the ninth grade will begin their first college class in pursuit of ending high school with an associate's degree

Dr. Girard Melancon (Baton Rouge Community College)

  • Average age of our students is around 28/29, previous years 30-40% of our students had some experience of college and are looking to re pivot or accelerate their careers

  • 60-70% are disconnected young adults

  • Now in our 8th month piloting the Snap 50/50 training program

  • Also dealing with disconnected populations with our ExxonMobil partnerships since 2012

  • That has grown into the Baton Rouge Healthcare training initiative focusing on pathways with very competitive hospitals working with commonalities in allied healthcares

  • Three new programs:

  • CDL launching in September. Nationwide there’s a driver shortage. The average wage is $61k. In Baton Rouge alone there’s been a shortage of about 1,200.

  • Civil Infrastructure Training Program

  • Enhanced our Electrical program with the Green Energy Sector - solar installation paneling in the fall, HVAC program

  • Tuition incentives and resources to help offset costs as well

Dean Donald Andrews (Southern University and A&M College)

  • Dean of the College of Business

  • Learned to be flexible over the last year

  • People are looking for talent - that’s the key factor driving the new economy

  • We have positioned our students through various programs - accounting, management, finance, marketing, etc.

  • We have to show that we are engaged, innovative and having an impact

  • Positioning the school to be involved in the community

  • We’ve run various programs out into the community, many of which are now virtual...It’s been a major pivot for us

  • We have to more or less build trust in the community

  • I think the OneRouge program is moving us in that way in terms of helping us to all realize we have the same problems. Education, as Mandela said, is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.I think we all want to see Baton Rouge change and be successful and this coalition is one way to do that

  • We have to realize the opportunities we have and the ability to move the community forward

Brandon Smith (Louisiana State University)

  • Update on some COVID protocols: Still doing our daily symptom checker as well as vaccination survey

  • We expect a decision to made in the next two weeks for specific social distancing protocols but we are looking forward as Dean Andrews stated to getting back in person as much as we possibly can

  • In general, moving forward you’ll hear more about us enhancing our research portfolio

  • We want to grow our graduate student population

  • That also involved increasing opportunities for postdocs

  • We realize at LSU we have the most diverse freshmen class and that is because we had an enrollment management team come in to say we need to do a better job of introducing LSU to schools and districts and places we typically haven’t gone or sent recruiters. There’s been a total shift in the last three years. You get a more diverse student population when you start trying different things.

Community Discussion

Casey Phillips: With EBR Schools, I think the questions of Reverend Anderson’s that I really want to lift up are; What is being done to service immunocompromised, special abilities and ESL students this fall with the resurgence of Covid? What is being done to accommodate their families, and are our school facilities and protocols prepared for this 4th surge of COVID?

Nadine Mann (Child Nutrition Program Director, EBRPSS): EBR Child Nutrition Program works with parents that have children with special dietary needs. We have one person in my department that receives those orders. Our normal year would be about 500 special diets across the system. Alexandra Deiro Stubbs (Chief of Communications and Public Relations, EBRPSS): In terms of meeting the needs of our students with exceptionalities as well as English language learners, I’d like to elevate that they are thinking really holistic about how we’re meeting the growing needs of English language learners throughout the school system. We are ensuring that we are meeting the language needs of all of our students and families, making them a lot more visible. For our ESS students as well we’ve done additional structuring and support there as well. They’ve been doing a lot of work in trying to engage the community around what the additional needs are for those students and how we can better meet those needs. We’ve heard from the community that we could be doing a better job. I think you’ll start seeing a lot of that work. We’re working on getting more nurses and counselors in schools as well. As we jump into that school year, I think you’re going to start seeing and feeling differences. As it relates to compromised children, every decision we make is hand in hand with the leading health officials in the state. We have been clear that we will lead with data and science to keep our children and families safe. Eligible students and staff who would like to can receive the vaccine...we’ve been really encouraging folks to receive the vaccine and continue with mitigation measures. We have not made the official announcement yet. We want to ensure that we’re watching the most current and recent data.

Chris Meyer: We’re blessed as a community to now have a diversity of options and availability for families….the important work for groups like this is how are we reaching families so they’re informed about what their options are, how are we expanding options that have long waitlists and demands...there were questions about students with dyslexia, Louisiana Key Academy’s waitlist is overflowing, same with the Emerge school for students with autism. Are we ensuring students are funded at the right level they need to be so that when families make a choice to move their student to a particular school or not the appropriate amount of funds follow that student. A lot of comments here about looking to other cities and states that have done the state level we differentiate funding based on unique needs, we could do that on the local level as well. Choice is here and growing and families should not be disempowered from that because of their unique needs.

Alfreda Tillman Bester (Dept. of Children and Family Services): I’m concerned because...all of the parents want their children to be back in school. A lot of the conversation circles around the socialization of children but the emphasis definitely needs to be on the health and safety of the children. We’re having this surge of COVID coming back into communities, breakthroughs in some of the people that have already been vaccinated...We need to look at how we have 20-30 students in a classroom and maintain the safety of those children, especially the ones who are 12 and under and not eligible for vaccinations and also talk about the health and safety of teachers, administrators, and support staff. I’ve not heard enough conversation around emphasizing the health and safety of the children. I’d like for anyone who has information or thoughts to please share with us whether you’re private, parochial, charter, or EBRPSS.

Charles Lussier: I'm not the expert on this but there is some money that has been used this summer for ventilation upgrades in schools. There's been some debate, you have some very old schools and systems so there's some limits to how much you can improve them with new filters and what not. There's a lot of activity on that front.

Alexandra Deiro Stubbs: We are upgrading the HVAC systems because that is one piece of the puzzle, but there are multiple recommendations that have been made by the CDC. And again, every decision we’re making as it relates to the health and safety of our children and families is driven by the recommendations of healthcare professionals at the federal and state level. We’re making sure we’re doing the correct distancing, that masks are worn properly, temperature checks, isolation rooms...we’re actively tracking the vaccination efforts and clinics we have offered throughout the school year. I think as it relates to facilities, one of the goals of the facilities plan that we discussed yesterday was to determine and get a full picture of what our facilities look like, what needs repair, figuring out how we can best meet the needs of students and families and doing that in an equitable and thoughtful way.

Casey Phillips: Next topic, the federal unemployment stipends are coming to an end, the moratorium on evictions is about to expire...we’re headed for catastrophe. We’re going to have some serious flux in housing in August and that’s going to greatly impact the fall semester. What’s being done to reach out to families living in EBRPHA affordable housing sites and with the district's socioeconomically vulnerable population?

Gwen Hamilton (NSBR): That is a topic we discussed several months ago and it may be timely that we bring J Daniels and Chris Tyson, the Office of Community Development...Louisiana has more federal dollars in its coffers than ever before. There was a discussion with Mid City and Alfredo Cruz about a comprehensive housing plan for Baton Rouge and that may be a topic we need to bring forward.

Pam Wall: I will say, HUD is not creating more apartments for people to live in. Their philosophy is switching from public housing to private investment. I think the Housing Authority got a few hundred more housing vouchers which we refer mostly to Section 8, opened up the list which is already 1000 people...the Housing Authority does not have apartments that are empty to meet this need. We have units that are sitting empty across town because the rent is so high that nobody can live there. The Housing Authority wait list is very long. We’re trying to develop 434 new units over the next few years but we haven’t broken ground on that. The private sector is now where the help has to come from.

Adonica Duggan: I think both the district and NSBR schools have been really forward thinking in working with the Housing Authority to see this as a part of their role. I think there are things we can do to create these safety nets around families and there are policy changes we can think about that allow families to have continuity in the services children get - not having students have to move schools when they move a block over...mobility becomes a huge issue for these families. Making sure you have an open enrollment process...make sure you’re addressing some of those challenges. There have been some efforts around that. We can take it the next step forward and be really thoughtful about how we’re engaging community partners.

Alfreda Tillman Bester: One of the things we’ve done at Southern University Law Center's Vulnerable Communities and Peoples Initiative... We've kind of shifted the conversation away from the moratorium and unemployment...those things are ending and we’re anticipating a deluge of evictions so we’ve shifted that conversation to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. There are challenges there, but it’s the last great hope for many people who may lose their housing. Alfredo Cruz (Housing First Alliance): We may do a follow up session on housing and I think it is critical. The housing study I spoke about a few months ago is complete. We’re just doing a few final revisions on maps so that it can be really accessible to folks. I want to clarify that this is not a housing plan. That’s the next step. What we have completed is a housing study that puts together all the things that have happened throughout the history of this community that has created this crisis. And that includes the segregation by design of our education system, the economic segregation...all of that data is in this report that makes a strong case of what we need to do to change this housing crisis including education, which is what we’ve talked about this morning. We have partners in place with the Housing First Alliance and they’re the ones that are going to be part of the solution. I wanted to lift up two reports... The Out of Reach Report just published last week shows there is a huge gap between what people earn and what they need to earn to pay for a market rate two bedroom apartment. In Louisiana that wage is over $17. This crisis is not just about the number of units. It’s about the wage we need to pay families to pay for the housing that they need. The second report is a Gap Report that shows that nowhere in the country is there a community that has sufficient affordable housing for people that earn 50% or less of medium income. In Louisiana we have a shortage of over 52% of housing for people who make 50% or below AMI. Finding affordable’s not there. The solution for now has to be the wage. We have to figure out a way to pay those wages or create jobs. Adonica Duggan: One thing we know is that the issues around education, just like the other issues in our community, are very deep and complex. We are currently sourcing our Changemakers cohort that’s dedicated to K-12 education. If you’re looking for an opportunity to go deep on these issues, we ask for one day a month really unpacking the challenges and how it got to this point. Applications are due August 10th. Reverend Anderson: (On the Veto session) That was very disturbing to me, that when we talk about these districts, it is adult centric. The Transgender story was about our children - a population most at risk for suicide, bullying, every negative. And I saw - good and bad - the faith community come out with no hesitation, all sorts of people come out. And what I found interesting was the people that, when it's about money and tax dollars, say they are the experts on youth development and children seem to constantly be absent in these very real conversations, whether it's the role of sports, helping children socialize...not get careers, socialize and learn. And they weren't there. And I say the same thing constantly about the issue around mass incarceration. We have thousands of children who are in our systems and yet the people who are supposed to be our child development specialists are hugely absent in weighing in. I'm really concerned because none of the issues that are the 9 Drivers of Poverty...they don't start with our children and don't have the most impact on our children. I heard a lot of things about adults, but whether it's putting school supplies where they belong, without having to do all these other things...the special needs children getting services met no matter which door they come through. Why our schools didn't jump into the argument because it was "political difficult"...these children were left out to dry when it came to our school systems. And I'm really concerned about schools not wanting to take that role, using the research, the one on one knowledge they have. Being student centric at the lowest levels. We had people sharing opinions. We did not have educators coming in and telling legislators what they know and what the research shows. It goes to the myriad of issues our children are disproportionally impacted by. We have all these unequal systems. Are they talking to each other? Are they coming together on one accord? It's not about districts. It's about the babies. Pat LeDuff (CADAV): We talk about all the crime and the violence, we have babies and families grieving because of all the crime and shooting we have. But where's the concentration to support the children who have lost their mom, dad, caretaker? We did something, probably about ten years ago, where a grievance bus would come by the school to actually spend time with those children. Is there anything anywhere where we're doing that? I wanted to share a story - a little girl came to school when I was doing kindergarten and she didn't have a book bag and I said, "Where's your book bag?" and she said "At home", and I said "Why's it at home?" She said "Because it's got blood all over it...the man next door killed my mom yesterday." She was in kindergarten. That story has stuck with me all of my life. No one pulled her out to address that baby. I just took that on with no education, but there has to be some concentration for that. If we have a big problem with that, who's thinking about the children?


Zoom Chat

08:26:44 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Good 08:26:46 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Morning! 08:30:49 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Great first run, Charles :) 08:36:57 From Zoë - Walls Project (she/her) to Everyone : 08:37:04 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Charles’ article from last Thanksgiving: 08:38:50 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone : Great job Charles...…… Thanks for article info Zoe and CAsey! 08:41:25 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : YES!!!! 08:43:18 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : What’s the date 08:43:36 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Dr. Narcisse, who will be the contact at central office working on the IBC initiative? Also if someone from your office can email the Back-To-School bash flyer to include in the meeting notes. 08:43:51 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : Is there information avail on how to have a booth at the Back to School Bash? 08:44:00 From ckelly1 to Everyone : August 7th from 10:00 to 4:00 08:44:04 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Great idea !! We have done that before with 100 Black men 08:44:17 From Kelly Welch to Everyone : Thank you, Dr. Narcisse! ExxonMobil is so very happy to do it! <3 08:44:31 From ckelly1 to Everyone : post your email and I will send the flyer 08:44:49 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : 08:44:49 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : 08:44:52 From Heidi to Everyone : Ochsner is super excited to be doing vaccines at the Back to School Bash!!! 08:44:53 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : 08:44:55 From Ann Zanders to Everyone : Please send a flyer to 08:45:01 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank you ExxonMobil!!! 08:45:03 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I would truly like to know why these school supply give aways are not done at the schools based on the student populations. This system seems very ineffective and punishes low and no wealth families with transportation issues. CATS doesn't support many of the sites. 08:45:58 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : What services for preparing for special needs students are being done? Non English speakers, etc. 08:46:20 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : What is EBR doing to make sure immune compromised kids are safe back at school? We work with a kids in that population and I know that has been a concern and a conversation that has come up here at the center. 08:46:52 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Good thought! Maybe each school should set up snd buses should transport them 08:47:02 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : There continues to be the push to do in person events even though the metrics are going the wrong direction. Why are the schools not airing on the side of prevention. 08:48:01 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Is any plan to run concurrent vaccine clinics as part of all these back to school events, especially for low literacy parents. 08:48:07 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : What programs are in place for Dyslexia abd where 08:50:01 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Is there going to be any systemic testing to find out where all students are in terms of mental health issues. We know there have been very serious mental he?alth issues with our young people during the pandemic 08:50:30 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : Ms LeDuff: we will be bringing on a staff member in the coming months who will be focusing on dyslexia specifically. Once that is finalized I'll be sure to let you know. 08:50:57 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Are you considering a pre-K K and 1st state of the art school in Scotlandville /. 08:51:51 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : We also need a state of the art middle school in Scotlandville 08:51:53 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Food Policy Opportunity (I know, unrelated to current topic but wanted to post) - 08:52:09 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : There is a major housing crisis looming in plain sight. Are any of the thousands of schools systems we have preparing for a crisis of homelessness, couch surfing and the related trauma that will go with this situation. 08:53:18 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I would like to know why the school systems didn't weigh in on the trans gender ban as youth development experts? 08:53:52 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Adopt a school for every school with community businesses and partners 08:56:21 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Charter was originally designed to be a laboratory of innovation which if successful would be implemented into the public system from which these schools take money away. What happened to that purpose? Also who is accountable when these schools fail financially or educationally? 08:57:24 From Pam Wall to Everyone : Chris, have you done the hard work of communicating to families in housing authority properties to help parents understand why it is important to select a high performing school for children.....what support is available for students who will need more academic support to switch to high performing schools? Parents feel inadequate to do this themselves. 08:58:43 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : What is the percentage of special need students do our charter schools serve? What is the percentage of services provided by these specialty charters are offered to extreme low and no wealth families? 08:58:54 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone : Dr. Narcisse: We've heard a lot of conversation around the importance of getting children back to school for their socialization. Most parents want their children back in school, but are most concerned about the safety and health of their children, teachers, administrators and staff. How are those considerations being weighed in light of the most recent SURGE in COVID Infections- especially since EBR has not invested in ventilation systems as recommended by the CDC? 09:00:40 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : The issue of climate change is also part of the educational infrastructure. How are schools addressing buildings and systems that are not able to address the new and existing challenges? 09:01:17 From Claire Willis to Everyone : “Genius is evenly distributed, opportunity is not” - that’s a powerful line and motivator, Tyler! 09:01:26 From to Everyone : Yes! Count me in! 09:04:23 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : For those interested in supporting and/or connecting with Schools through NSBR’s Family, Schools, & Community Connect— please reach out :) Tyler Litt / 225.505.9174 / 09:05:11 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Of all the districts represented on the call this morning how many measure the number of students in your system impacted by a caregiver/parent incarceration system? Do you actively support these students with relationships with programs working with these populations such as Families and Friends of Incarcerated Children, Daughters of the Incarcerated, VOTE, REAL or the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights? 09:06:45 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Our public library system and recreation systems are some of the highest rated assets in the parish. How many of the districts are actively partnering with these resources? 09:06:51 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Same question as Rev Anderson for Grieving families- Loss of a love one support 09:09:04 From Tristi Charpentier to Everyone : For more on "Potential is Universal. Opportunity is no." Check out The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore 09:11:11 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Does the Commercial Driving program allow for those who have criminal records? 09:11:53 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Awesome 09:12:11 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone : Thanks Dr. Melancon and Dr. Barlow! 09:12:21 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Could each of the districts on this call put the name of their homeless coordinator for your district's contact in the chat? 09:12:27 From Kelly Welch to Everyone : Thank you Dr. Melancon! ExxonMobil is so thankful to work with BRCC to prepare our local workforce for high demand and high paying jobs! 09:16:16 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Recently Louisiana just got a big win through a beautiful young lady winning the national spelling bee? How many of our k-12 systems are focusing on these types of great and cost out of school activities such as spelling bees, debate , competitions, science fairs, chess clubs, etc. Kudos to our universities for giving scholarship opportunities to this amazing young woman! 09:16:43 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : We have schools here in BatonRouge and Louisiana in general that are doing great 09:16:43 From Alfreda Tillman Bester, SULC to Everyone : Thanks, Dean Andrews! SUBR is well represented!!! 09:17:20 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : We can start with duplication of those efforts 09:20:37 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : I would love to see our middle and high schools use the benefit of technology to insure every school has student run podcasts, radio and You Tube channels, electronic newspapers, magazines, etc. I would like to see more focus on integrating sports programs with student run services (student announcers, BETA club marketing, etc.) 09:21:07 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Based on experience, if you want more researchers/post-docs and grad students, you need to have an inclusive environment across the parish. Grad students are not coming to an area that is not welcoming and does not have opportunities. 09:21:34 From Lindi Rubin Spalatin to Everyone : I am so sorry I have to go. I have a meeting. This has been a great conversation and I look forward to the email recap! 09:21:54 From Flitcher R. Bell to Everyone : In reference to getting vaccinated it was surprising to see Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (who was praised by Donald J. Trump as a great governor) she said "“Let’s be crystal clear about this issue,” Ivey told reporters on Thursday, “The new cases of COVID are because of unvaccinated folks. Almost 100% of the new hospitalizations are with unvaccinated folks. And the deaths are certainly occurring with the unvaccinated folks. These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain.”,,,,, 09:23:14 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : Thank you! It's great to be here this morning. 09:24:23 From Jacquelyn Craddock to Everyone : I’m with Apprenti. We work with more than 80 companies nationally to source, train, and build tech talent pipelines, while emphasizing diversity for women, minorities, and veterans. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at or LinkedIn @JacquelynCraddock. 09:25:23 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone : Agreed Manny. Everyone is very willing to acknowledge EBR and LA’s shortcomings, and that is a necessary step insofar as coming up with ways to make improvements, but this needs to go hand in hand with projecting a better image and implementing new programs that we can hang our hat on. What has worked in the past? Are there are other cities around the country or world that have had success? 09:26:18 From Brandon M Smith to Everyone : Manny, you are correct. we’re working toward create that inclusive environment in campus through our Roadmap to Diversity. However, I agree that BR as a whole must be inclusive 09:28:04 From Brandon M Smith to Everyone : 09:28:18 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : On K-12 school plans for COVID, I wrote something earlier this week on this topic. The quick take is that while optional masking is the norm, those plans are in flux as we see a new surge in cases. So that may change, but if it does it's predicated on new requirement coming from the governor, which may or may not happen: 09:28:34 From Walls Project to Everyone : We are thrilled and excited to announce our Fall Tech Academy with the Futures Fund happening in September! Apply now 09:28:57 From Walls Project to Everyone : 09:33:14 From herstory to Everyone : Thank you for discussing ventilation which a great need in EBR! 09:34:18 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : Dr. Narcisse and/or his staff can speak to this, but there have some ventilation upgrades this summer in EBR schools this summer paid for by federal COVID relief money. 09:36:22 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Each of the successful higher education academic centers have had various formulas but some of the common themes are great academic programs with internal services and diverse ethnic communities/representation, portfolio of wrap around services in proximity to the institution that is affordable and of good quality, greater understanding of visa concerns and related issues, proximity to other cultural hubs/cities, ease of transit access w/out needing to own cars, sense of belonging and limited incidences of xenophobic/hate crimes… I am sure there is a conversation to be had around this. 09:36:46 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @Chris, and thanks @Brandon for your info. 09:37:56 From herstory to Everyone : I have just heard that high school teachers have more than 30 per class. How will distancing be possible? 09:38:11 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : Here are the latest state guidelines on COVID safety in schools. These are continually updated. Not mandates, but recommendations.!-2021-2022-school-operational-guidelines.pdf?sfvrsn=737f6718_4 09:39:04 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Every hurricane, every flood we get monies specifically to upgrade and improve infrastructure. Why does it feel like we aren't getting ahead? 09:40:04 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @Rev Anderson, process inefficiency and bureaucracy, and addressing symptoms, not the disease/issue 09:41:05 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Exactly! 09:41:19 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Alfredo Cruz 09:41:57 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Comprehensive planning vs Zoning are also larger issues. 09:42:17 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Housing, Density and need for stuff is an issue for many places. 09:43:16 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : In answer to a question from Rev. Anderson earlier, here's a link to EBR's homeless program. Jodi Lemon is the coordinator of that particular program: 09:43:44 From Manny Patole to Everyone : The major question is what is the general consensus on Shared Equity models. Unless folks move passed the binary of capitalism vs socialism, nothing with really change 09:44:09 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Casey, NSBR has partnered with the housing authority in the past and will continue to work toward strengthening that partnership. 09:44:28 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Waiting lists for years and segregation makes it worse. Developers choose to rent to low income seniors over families. The choose not to house immigrant or families of color. They opt to develop housing choices that don't provide for the most impacted populations, especially families. 09:45:18 From Manny Patole to Everyone : FYI - 09:45:37 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Interview with Chris Tyson and Kai Ryssdal and Richard Cunningham 09:45:39 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : Well said, Adonica. Transient and home insecure families should definitely be on the prioritization list 09:46:07 From Gwendolyn Hamilton to Everyone : AS a Community, we have to demonstrate to the "Private" sector that we are appropriately aligning our federal dollars to provide investment incentives that yield high quality housing. Much needed! Too much fragmentation in my opinion. the Data is clear on the need. 09:46:29 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @Alfredo, let me know when you are available to talk :-) 09:46:56 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : All these districts actively fight McKinney-Veto families. Part of what is troubling with this separate and very unequal k-12 system is the failure to serve at risk families through shared capacity. 09:48:16 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Mr. Cruz, please let me know if 8/13 works for you on the housing convo. To the entire coalition, please make any recommendations you all feel need to be on the call. 09:49:35 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Can't solve a problem until you understand the current issues. 09:50:14 From Charles Lussier to Everyone : Don't cover housing, but my colleague Terry Jones checked in on this issue last month and the eviction wave people have been expecting had yet to materialize. There were special reasons for that. May well have changed since. Not sure. 09:50:30 From Manny Patole to Everyone : @ Casey, highly recommend Julius Kimbrough (CCCLT), Chris Tyson (BBR) and Sheila Foster (Georgetown) if you want to bring in outside the local 09:50:53 From Casey Phillips to Everyone : Thank you Charles & Manny! 09:53:30 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone : 09:54:05 From Alfredo Cruz to Everyone : National Low Income Housing Coalition. out of reach report. 09:54:25 From Adonica Pelichet Duggan to Everyone : 09:54:34 From Jan Ross - Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation to Everyone : Off topic announcement - The Wilson Foundation has a grant deadline on August 28th. Link to application is above. If you have questions please feel free to contact me:; 225-292-1344. 09:57:39 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone : loved to see Rep Duplessis’ comments and Governor Edwards’s sting words at his presser - felt good to be an adopted son of Louisiana 09:57:47 From Christopher Spalatin to Everyone : *strong 09:57:55 From Jan Ross - Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation to Everyone : Great conversation. Thanks for everyone's commitment and engagement to making One Rouge such an outstanding way to lift up concerns and solutions in our community. Have a great weekend. Off to another meeting. 09:58:17 From Manny Patole to Everyone : Another great call! I am heading out. Looking forward to future work :-) 09:58:21 From Tyler Litt to Everyone : This has been such a robust conversation and definitely a starting point for ways in which NSBR can better serve the community. Thank y’all—I have to hop off for another commitment. Looking forward to connecting soon and seeing y’all next Friday! 09:58:43 From SK Groll to Everyone : Thank you Rev Anderson. I’ve been heartbroken by the silences from schools and community organizations in this larger conversation. 09:58:58 From to Everyone : It was heartbreaking, I really hope that these children know that there is support for them. 10:00:29 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Exactly! When does it become about the children? 10:03:14 From Alexandra Deiro Stubbs to Everyone : Agreed on mental health! That is why you will see a lot of investment from EBRPSS in increased mental and physical healthcare supports. More nurses, more mental health care professionals in schools. Though there is always more to do! 10:03:24 From Emily Chatelain to Everyone : Thank you all, Thank you Casey, as always 10:03:27 From Morgan Udoh to Everyone : I don’t have a good segue for this thought but I’m wrestling with this and wondering if anyone else has as well and has an answer. In these talks we discuss systemic solutions to educational equity , white flight etc. but I wonder if we are pushing a boulder up a hill by not acknowledging that individual choices inevitably lead to systemic inequality. “choice” allows those with the privilege of choosing to remove themselves from districts/schools that are then decimated by their absence. Those with class/racial/political privilege are adding to the issue by leaving. How do we get people to put their values in practice in their own homes? 10:03:29 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank you! This is awesome!! 10:03:38 From Rev Anderson to Everyone : Thank you Casey and to everyone who stepped up. 10:03:42 From Pat LeDuff to Everyone : Thank you Charles!!! 10:03:47 From SK Groll to Everyone : Yes Morgan! I want this coalition to continue that convo 10:03:47 From Adonica Pelichet Duggan to Everyone : Always a pleasure 10:03:50 From Judith Rhodes-LSU SREC to Everyone : Thank you!

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