east Baton Rouge parish school system

volume 15, issue 4  |  NOVEMBER 2022
Dear parents and guardians, I am so excited to welcome you to our Parent Power newsletter. We're thrilled that you’re interested in learning more from our dedicated team at EBR Schools and can’t wait to start sharing with you.

Inside this Issue


November is Family Engagement Month
Get Your Routine Back on Track



November is Tobacco Awareness Month


Don't Let Electronic Devices Derail 
Your Middle Schooler's Studies!
A Positive Mindset Leads to Math Success



Listen to the Children
FREE ACT Prep Institute



"Art Gone Wild" Art Contest
Discuss Five Different Styles
 of Decision-Making with Your Teen
2022-2023 EBRPSS Parent Survey for Schools
November Calendar
We want to recognize our parents, families and caregivers for all that you do to support the education of our students. Thank you! Engaging in your child’s education has been shown to dramatically increase academic success. November serves not only as a celebration of family engagement, but also a reminder of the difference you make in your child’s learning.
Through decades of research, we know that family engagement plays a key role in student academic learning. The East Baton Rouge Parish School System recognizes this as a vital component in education and has made it a goal to promote and encourage family, school and community partnerships to ensure academic success for all students. Research shows parent and family engagement improves student attitudes, behavior, social skills, learning, grades, homework completion, testing scores, attendance, graduation rates and the likelihood of students pursuing higher education.
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In honor of Family Engagement Month and National Parent Involvement Day, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System is providing the calendar below to encourage parents and families to be regularly engaged in their child's education. It is our hope that you and your child will utilize these activities throughout November. Additionally, we want to encourage you to engage in your child’s education not only this month but on an everyday basis!
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Get Your Routine  Back on Track
Mornings help set the tone for the rest of the day. A consistent daily routine can be easier said than done. Don’t let stress sabotage your mornings! These seven tips will help you smoothly get your morning routine back on track and ensure your kids have a successful school year.
TIP 1: You should get dressed first!
This tip seems self-explanatory, but just like they say during the safety demonstration on an airplane, you can only help your child if you help yourself first. Make sure you’re dressed and have everything you need so you don’t forget anything as you are running out the door in the morning.
EXTRA TIP: Make getting dressed fun for your kids. Race your children or have them race each other to see who can get ready first. You can give the winner a prize.
TIP 2: Maximize your evenings.
The quiet part of the evening just before bed is a good time to prepare for the next day. Make sure all homework and permission slips have been signed and placed back into your child’s bag. If you pack a lunch for your child, consider making it the night before, or at least doing most of the prep work.
To further simplify your mornings, lay out your clothes and your child’s clothes at night (even if they wear a uniform). You can also invest in days-of-the-week clothing such as underwear and socks (Amazon has a wonderful selection)! This will help your kids learn the days of the week and keep them organized.
TIP 3: Time it out!
When you begin planning your morning routine, try to backtrack from the time you need to be at school or out of the door. Estimate how much time you should allow for each morning activity, including your commute.
TIP 4: Make the morning a teachable moment.
As mentioned above, you can use days-of-the-week clothing to help your children learn in the morning. You can also reward your kids for getting ready on time by allowing them to watch one of their favorite educational shows or giving them a special treat at the end of the week. This will help them understand that being punctual is a valuable quality.
TIP 5: Don’t feel guilty if you can’t cook a five-star breakfast!
You are not expected to make an extravagant meal every single morning — or any morning, quite frankly. Make things easy on yourself and buy healthy grab-and-go options.
Place them out on the counter or in labeled bins in the refrigerator so that your kids can easily reach them in the morning. Some great options are granola bars, cashew bars, breakfast biscuits, yogurt and fruit.
TIP 6: Play music in the morning
Make the morning more fun with music. If your child wants to hear “Baby Shark” at 7 a.m., let them hear it. As long as it gets them out of bed in the morning and out the door on time, you win. Bonus: the songs will help your children keep track of how long they are taking to complete each activity. You can also make this a competition or reward by allowing whoever gets dressed first in the family to be able to choose the music.
TIP 7: Use the first week as a trial run.
They always say, “practice makes perfect” and this is exactly what they mean. Test out your routine the first week of school and make any necessary adjustments.
EXTRA TIP: Remember, everyone is late sometimes. Don’t beat yourself up over a late morning, and don’t let one bad morning throw off your whole routine. There will be plenty more mornings to get where you need to go on time!

November is Tobacco Awareness Month 
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November is Tobacco Awareness Month and #NoVapeNovember as we push for Vaping Prevention in EBRPSS.
The I CARE Program would like to remind students and families that #NOVAPENOVEMBER can be a family discussion as we know that vaping is on the rise.  Each day in the U.S., about 1,600 youth smoke their first cigarette and nearly 200 youth start smoking every day.  Flavoring in tobacco products can make them more appealing to youth. Have honest talks with your child about vaping and tobacco use. Try the following tips to promote honest and calm conversations:
  • Let your child lead the conversation and listen to their questions and comments.
  • Encourage your child to tell you how they feel.
  • Empathize with the pressures they may be feeling to do drugs or drink alcohol from their peers or their environment.
  • Ensure to regulate your own emotions, especially right now.
  • Highlight the risks of tobacco and vaping.
  • Show that you value their perspective and make the conversation a win-win for them.
What is EVALI?
E-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury.
What are the symptoms?
Cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills and weight loss.
What can parents do to safeguard against vaping?
  • Know the facts.
  • Have conversations.
  • Try to understand why vaping was a choice to participate in, and be ready to listen.
  • Convey your expectations.
  • Role play-resistance skills.
  • Set a good example.
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Fentanyl-related overdoses have become the No. 1 cause of death among America's young adults (18-45), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that between October 2020 and October 2021, overdoses killed 105,000 Americans. Remember to have candid conversations about trying prescription or non-prescription pills and/or drugs.  ONE PILL CAN KILL!
Article submitted by:
Tanya Griffin, Quality Assurance Manager with the I CARE Program

8 Ways to Help 
Your Child Speak 
for Themselves
As parents, we often jump in and speak for our children. We handle things for them because we mean well and want to protect them. But this doesn’t do our kids any favors. We need to help them speak for themselves.
Each time we solve our children’s problems and speak up in their place, we take away some of their power to figure things out on their own. While we may be doing this in part to calm our own nervousness and worries about wanting them to succeed, in the end it prevents our children from gaining confidence and learning to stand up for themselves.
When you get out of their way, you’ll discover that your kids don’t have to turn to you for every problem. Even if they struggle at first, eventually your children will develop an awareness of their own strength and can say, “I’ve got this.” They will find their own voice and develop self- confidence from the inside out.
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Here are eight tips to help your kids to start speaking up and build the resilience they need to cope with life’s curveballs:
Start noticing when you’re doing all the talking.
Yes, you may mean well, but this prevents your child from thinking for themselves. You may be even more likely to “rescue” your child if they are shy. Resist this urge and soon your child will realize that you expect them to come up with their own responses in conversations, even if it takes a while.
Make space for your child to start speaking for themselves.
Practice stepping back and waiting patiently for your child to figure out a solution to a problem they are presented with. Give them plenty of time to warm up and allow them the time and space to come through with their response. Take this approach even for little things — it’s the simple everyday experiences that will add up and teach them to manage their own voice.
Give them opportunities to speak out at home.
Kids need practice in finding their voice and developing opinions so they can confidently voice their views. The “Three As” can help your child develop strong reasoning and ethical assertiveness:
ALLOW DISAGREEMENT. The best place for kids to learn to speak up is at home, so hold family meetings to address anything from family concerns (allowances, chores) to world issues (poverty, bullying). Set clear rules like, “Everyone gets a turn and has equal airtime. Listen to each person’s full idea. No put-downs allowed.” Encourage your child to express opinions and when disagreements come up, help them offer a strong “why.”
ASK QUESTIONS. Use prompts to help kids think about moral issues and defend their views, such as, “Who do you admire? List three of that person’s admirable qualities.” Or, “Describe an incident or event from which you learned a lesson the hard way.”
ASSERT BELIEFS. Kids need our permission to speak up and recognize that we expect them to do the right thing. And we must teach kids that having integrity isn’t easy, standing up for moral beliefs is hard, and peer pressure is intense. Practice together until they can do so without guidance.
Get them comfortable with taking risks.
Support your child by giving them permission to stray off course. Let them know they can be passionate about their original ideas and willing to defend them, even if it means deviating from the norm. Further, encourage them to stretch their comfort zones by taking a few small
risks: “Write down your thoughts first so eventually you have courage to share them with the class. If you’re not ready, tell your teacher those thoughts after class.”
Come up with a script and practice it until they are comfortable speaking for themselves.
Sooner or later your child will need to talk one on one with a coach, a teacher or a peer. This is a good time to help them plan what they would like to say and practice it ahead of time. Remind them, “Hey, you’ve got this. Let’s practice what you want to say together. Or, you can rehearse it in front of a mirror until you can do it on your own.”
Show them how to stand up for themselves.
Emphasize that while you can’t control what another person says or does, you can control how you respond.
Help your child learn to self-advocate by using the CALM strategy:
CHILL. Take a deep breath and recognize any strong emotions that have arisen (anger, sadness, frustration). Resist the urge to react without thinking.
ASSERT. Brainstorm a few assertive lines that your child can say in difficult situations like, “Not cool.” “Cut it out.” “I don’t want to!” Firm, short statements work best.
LOOK STRONG. Kids are taken less seriously if they look vulnerable, so teach assertive body language: “Hold your head high and look at people eye to eye, pull your shoulders back, keep your arms at your sides and keep your feet placed firmly on the ground.”
MEAN IT. Help your child practice assertive voice tone; it should be strong and firm but not yelling or angry.
Practice every day.
As a rule, try to encourage your kids to speak for themselves in age-appropriate ways at least once a day. Coach younger children to raise their hand to answer a question in class or to place their own food order at restaurants. Older kids can call to schedule their own doctor appointments or apply for summer jobs without your supervision.
Remind them (and yourself) that it’s OK if they struggle.
Explain to your children that setbacks and mistakes are OK. If they mess up, encourage them to try again. Ultimately, these challenges will help your kids grow. And remember that as a parent, watching them struggle may be very difficult for you as well. Resist the urge to rescue them.
Keep in mind that your goal as a parent is to prepare your kids to live without you someday. It’s never too early to start helping them build their independence. Give them plenty of encouragement and praise. Celebrate successes, however big or small. It’s not easy for children to push themselves outside of their comfort zones, so be sure to let them know they are doing a great job. Your faith in their abilities will encourage them to keep speaking up and increase their confidence.
By helping our kids speak for themselves, we are setting them up to follow their own path and live up to their full potential with confidence and joy.

Don't Let Electronic Devices Derail Your Middle Schooler's Studies!
Sometimes it seems that middle schoolers are permanently attached to their phones, tablets and other devices. They text from the minute they wake up until they go to bed.  They share funny videos and pictures with their friends.  They scroll through social media.
So it’s no surprise that students often try to use their phones while they’re working in class or doing homework. But several research studies show that the more time students say that they text, use social media or read online while they do schoolwork, the lower their grades are.
Students often think their devices can help with their work. After all, they can watch a video of the pyramids while studying history. They can check their answer to a math problem.
There’s just one problem: Kids seldom stay focused on the work they are doing. Pretty soon, they click from the history video to the latest internet joke. From then on, history is not their focus.
What can you do to help your child stay focused on his work and not on his smartphone?  
Here are some tips:
  • Talk about multitasking — and how research shows it doesn’t work. Students need to focus while studying or they won’t learn.
  • Follow the rules regarding devices in class. Many teachers have a “parking lot” where students must leave their phones or tablets.
  • Limit the use of devices during homework time. Studies show that the more time students spend multitasking, the longer their studies take.
  • Be a role model yourself.  Don’t check your phone during family dinner or (especially) in the car.

A Positive Mindset Leads to Math Success
According to research, the brain's “emotion” and “intellect” centers are connected. They are permanently entwined.  What this means for your young student is that their mindset can affect their ability to solve math problems. Think about it:  If they are nervous or upset about the worksheet in front of them, they may struggle to answer the questions.  But if theyt are calm and confident, they'll likely do much better.
To encourage a positive mindset:
  • Remind your child that effort leads to achievement. Does your child claim they can't do math because they're “just not smart”? That implies people are either born intelligent or not. But that isn't true. Buckling down can lead to smarts.
  • Send the right message. Instead of saying, “That problem looks really hard," say, “That problem looks intriguing.” If your child worries about something being too difficult, they may decide they can't do it. But if it's interesting — not necessarily hard or easy — they might approach it more positively.
  • Teach your child to relax. If jitters get the best of them when they are faced with a math problem, have them take a deep breath. Suggest that they picture something happy or fun.  Remind them that they know more than they think. If you can help them calm their nerves before they pick up their pencil, they will have a better chance for success!
SOURCE:  S. Sparks, “Positive Mindset May Prime Students' Brains for Math,” Education Week.

Listen to the Children
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Manners of the Heart volunteers interviewed more than 400 children from our community between the ages of 4 and 14 for our “Listen to the Children” study.
The idea for the study came from a book written in the 70’s by Dr. Kenneth Chafin, “Is There a Family in the House?” He interviewed 100 children by asking questions like:
  • What’s a family?
  • Who is in your family?
  • Why do you think we live in families?
  • What are mothers like? What are fathers like?
To Dr. Chafin’s questions, we added a few of our own, such as: 
  • What’s the nicest thing your parents could ever tell you?
  • What’s more important — being smart or being nice?
Much to our surprise, we discovered that today’s children responded to the questions about family just as those interviewed 50 years ago. Even though the culture has changed, the understanding of the way things should be hasn’t changed.
The kids knew instinctively what a family should be. Listen to their answers:
A group of people who love each other … a group of people who never go away … a mommy and daddy and brothers and sisters … a man and a lady who marry and have babies together … a mommy and daddy who love each other forever … grown-ups who teach you right from wrong … people who tie your shoes … a mommy and daddy who help you when you’re hurt … a mom and dad who teach you how to be a mom and dad … people who don’t laugh at you … everybody plays together … somebody to watch me play ball … a mom and dad who teach me how to be good.
When we asked, “What are mothers and fathers like?”
Fathers are like big hammers; they pound people if they mess with their children. Mothers are like a cherry on an ice cream sundae. Fathers are like the cone underneath the ice cream. Mothers are your bestest friend.
When asked, “What’s more important, being smart or being nice?” 96% of the children responded without hesitation, “Nice.” A few profound answers:
  • “I want to be smart, because then I would know to be nice.”
  • “If you’re not nice, then you’re not smart.”
  • “I know I’m smart, because I try to be nice.”
Children know the truth. It’s adults who have gotten confused about what’s right and what’s wrong. We’re the ones who have lost our way.
Listen with your heart this Thanksgiving season. The answers you need to bring your family together come from your children’s hearts.
From our hearts to yours,
Wise Ol’ Wilbur and staff 
Jill Garner 
Founder/Chief Visionary Officer 
Office 225-383-3235

 FREE ACT Prep Institute
Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation will offer a free ACT Prep Institute for high school students through the UREC Academy Trailblazers initiative Oct. 31 to Dec. 15, 2022. Sessions will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday at Southern University College of Business. Interested applicants can apply HERE
The UREC Academy ACT Institute is open to Baton Rouge-area high school students who have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. As a program requirement, all institute participants must register for the Dec. 10 administration of the ACT test. For more information, call (225) 356-8871 or send an email to
About UREC Academy Trailblazers
UREC Academy Trailblazers provides high school students with after school and summer institutes that provide pathways to industry-based credentials; college and career readiness; ACT preparation; and real-world or simulated professional experiences. UREC Academy Trailblazer Institutes include: the ACT prep, pre-law, certified nursing assistant, entrepreneurship and CompTIA.  
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 “Art Gone Wild”       Art Contest 
The Baton Rouge Zoo is hosting its annual “Art Gone Wild” art contest. Submissions are open now through Dec. 1. Artists of all ages and experience levels are invited to paint or draw the zoo animals that inspire them most and submit their work for judging at the zoo's annual ZooLights event in December.
Entries for “Art Gone Wild” are free, but submissions are limited to one per person. Artwork entered must be 2-D and drawn or painted entirely by hand. Submission categories are as follows:           
  • Beginners (child up to 2nd grade)
  • Children (grades 3-5)
  • Preteen (grades 6-8)
  • Teenagers (grades 9-12)
  • Adults (all adults)
Submissions will be on display December 9-10 during ZooLights for visitors to vote for their favorites in person. A first-, second- and third-place winner will be determined within each category by public vote and an overall winner will be determined by a panel of community judges.
The deadline for art submissions is Dec. 1, and submissions can be dropped off at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo (3601 Thomas Road) during normal business hours.
Full “Art Gone Wild” details:
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About BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo
BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is a place where people connect with animals, 
including tigers, giraffes, rhinos and alligators. The world-class Realm of the Tiger, 
Flamingo Cove, Giants of the Islands, Safari Playground, L'aquarium de Louisiane 
and KidsZoo exhibits offer fun and education for all ages.

Discuss Five Different Styles 
of Decision-Making with Your Teen
You know that your teen's decision-making skills will get better as he gains more experience. But did you know that he may make decisions in a different manner than you do?
Have a discussion about the five different styles of decision-making. Which type of decision-maker do each of you think you are?  Are there situations when one style might work better then the other?  Are you:
  1. Decisive? People in this category often act quickly. They base their decisions on the information that is immediately available to them. They rarely change their minds.
  2. Flexible? Flexible decision makers may act on limited information, but they are open to changing their minds. If their first solution to a problem doesn't work, they will switch to another one. And they will reevaluate decisions as more information becomes available.
  3. Hierarchical? These types of decision makers collect as much information as they can before making a decision.  They look at all the information and determine the best solution. And they stick with their decision because they worked out all the details before they made it.
  4. Integrative? These people are like scientists. They collect and evaluate a lot of information, but realize there are many solutions that could work for the problem. They test each idea by imagining the outcome.
  5. Systemic? These people collect as much information as possible and come up with as many solutions as possible. They then rank the solutions from best to worst and try out each one.
SOURCE:  L. Morton, “Five Decision-Making Styles for Small Business,” Strategic Market Segmentation.

2022-2023 EBRPSS Parent Survey for Schools
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Hello EBRPSS Parents and Caregivers,
Please open survey, choose a language AND school site (do not select East Baton Rouge Parish School System), then complete the survey. We appreciate your feedback as we strive for continuous improvement.
EBRPSS Parent Survey for Schools 2022-2023:
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November Calendar
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Parent Power is a publication of the East Baton Rouge Parish School System
The East Baton Rouge Parish School System and all of its entities (including Career and Technical Education Programs) do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, national origin, disability or gender in its educational programs and activities (including employment and application for employment); and it is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of gender by Title IX (20 USC 168) and on the basis of disability by Section 504 (42 USC 794). The Title IX coordinator is Andrew Davis, director of Risk Management (, 225-929-8705). The Section 504 coordinator is Danielle Staten-Ojo, (, 225-326-5668). The Title II coordinator is Dr. Sandra Bethley, administrative director of Federal Programs (, 225-922-5538).
All students have an opportunity to participate in Career and Technical Programs of Study, including but not limited to areas of health care; construction crafts and trades; automotive technology; IT computer technology; culinary programs; criminal justice; and agriculture. Admission requirements for each course can be found in the student course guide/schedule packet of the individual campus where the course is being offered. Please contact the guidance counselor at the specific school site for additional information, program requirements and/or any questions you may have.
Dr. Sito Narcisse, Superintendent of Schools
Letrece Griffin, Chief of Communications & Family Engagement
Marlon Cousin, Community Liaison