Building pathways to bright futures

Sponsored by

Sito Narcisse, Ed.D.
Superintendent of East Baton Rouge Parish Schools

If I have learned anything from my first months as the new superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish Public School System, it’s this: Our city, our school system and our state is full of untapped potential. We believe in unlocking that potential by supporting every child from cradle to career.

What does that mean? It means we must envision and create a school system committed to serving a child from the moment they begin to explore the world around them through quality early learning programs, to the moment they step off the stage on graduation day, diploma in hand. We will achieve this goal by focusing on quality early learning opportunities, literacy at all levels and increasing the number of students graduating on time, prepared for college or workforce ready.

At the start of this school year, we will officially welcome the first cohort of students to our Pathways to Bright Futures work. This original cohort of ninth-grade students will be the first full class of students in our system to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate degree or Industry Based Credential (IBC) in a high-demand, high-wage field. Our goal is to provide this opportunity to every student in our school system by the 2024-2025 school year.

Through partnerships with local higher education institutions like BRCC, Southern University and LSU, we will be able to provide students with the promise of a two-year, transferable college degree by the time they leave the 12th grade. For students interested instead in pursuing a career after high school, we’re prepared to offer them a clear pathway, training, credentialing and hands-on experience with local business and industry leaders and partners like ExxonMobil and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center.

Let that sink in for a moment. Imagine the world of possibilities that will be open to that graduate when he or she steps off the stage after completing their senior year. Think of the impact those graduates will have on our workforce, our economy and our city. By preparing the students of today for the jobs of tomorrow that exist in their hometown, we are investing in that child, their family, and our city.

East Baton Rouge Parish has long been described as a choice district. As we’ve outlined in our recently approved Strategic Plan, it is our goal to become the district of choice for all families in East Baton Rouge Parish. By creating opportunities like the Pathways to Bright Futures for every child in our system, we harness the untapped potential from across our city and focus it all on improving outcomes for our children. An outcome that is bright and available for every student, in every community, in every class, every day.