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
On March 27th, EBR Schools began offering families 24/7 customer service support through an easy-to-use two-way text messaging system featuring a friendly chatbot. This exciting news, the result of a partnership with AllHere, means families will be able to receive quick responses to frequently asked questions about attendance, grades, missed assignments, transportation, schedules, calendars, and much more.
This automated solution, powered by artificial intelligence, will offer the following benefits:
Responses within seconds, allowing families to receive answers in real-time
Translations in more than 100 languages, making it easier for families who do not speak English to receive help
Before and after-hours virtual assistance means families can access resources when and where it is convenient for them
A system that operates entirely over SMS text messaging, eliminating the need for a smartphone or an app
Proactive messages and reminders to alert families and schools about high levels of absenteeism and missed opportunities to learn so early interventions can be identified
Connection to District resources so families can receive support in overcoming barriers to their children’s K-12 attendance
Ability to identify and address factors that contribute to students missing school, including lack of digital access and connectivity, mental and physical health services, and access to basic necessities such as food and housing
This additional layer of assistance will not only increase parental engagement, but also streamline routine communications, allowing teachers and school administrators to focus on the highest-impact engagement and education activities. The system is not meant to replace existing communications tools already being used in our schools, but will serve to complement them.
Prior to the launch, families will be advised about this new customer service support. On the date of the launch, they will receive a welcome text message giving them access to their new personalized virtual advisor. To begin using the service, they simply text back their questions to that number at any point.
As we continue to work collectively to ensure the academic success and personal growth of all students, we ask that you encourage families to use this new system so they can receive all the resources they need to ensure a positive educational experience for themselves and their children. To learn more about AllHere, please visit https://www.allhere.com/
In March 2020, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) temporarily waived certain Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements and provided states with additional Medicaid funding.
Easing of these rules helped prevent people with Medicaid and CHIP in the United States from losing their health coverage during the pandemic.
Louisiana Medicaid and CMS recently announced the Continuous Enrollment Condition and Medicaid Unwinding Timeline will be endingMarch 31, 2023.
Up to 15 million people nationwide could lose their current Medicaid or CHIP coverage but may be eligible for a federal Marketplace plan.
This means that regular determinations of coverage will begin again April 2023.
169,000 Medicaid consumers will be redetermined for eligibility each month for a 12 month period. Not everyone will receive a letter right away.
State expects that about half of the two million enrolled will be automatically renewed using federal data to check income. Letters stating their coverage is renewed for another year will be mailed.
Those who need to prove they still qualify will receive a mailed renewal packet. First set of packets will be mailed in May to respond back by June.
Those not proved eligible from this cohort mailing will lose coverage July 1.
All residents who currently have a Medicaid Insurance Plan have to make sure their account information is up-to-date in order to continue to receive coverage.
The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is building the future of Baton Rouge — and the award-winning faculty of the Fine Arts Department will ensure that the future is colorful and bright! Our educators are making a conscious effort to introduce students to the arts and nurture their unlimited creative potential. When students complement their studies with an education in the arts, it allows them to express themselves in an inviting and safe space. Students will learn team building, use critical thinking skills, develop problem-solving techniques and turn imagination into reality.
Not only are we paving the way for a future generation of artists, but we are shaping character, strengthening confidence and introducing new opportunities at home and abroad. Students will have the chance to further their arts education in places like France, England, South Africa and China. With more than 70 schools offering fine arts classes, taught by over 220 talented teachers, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System is placing a dedicated focus on the arts. Join us as we continue to build a better and brighter future for our students by allowing them to CREATE!
Please join us for the forthcoming events posted below:
Crawfish King Cook-Off
Crawfish King Cook-Off is an annual fundraiser that supports the Big Buddy Program and Junior Achievement (JA). The event is Friday, May 5 in downtown Baton Rouge at Rhorer Plaza and is in partnership with the concert series, Live After 5. Tickets are $35 for adult early bird, $40 adult at the gate, and $10 for kids 10 and under. To purchase tickets or learn more about event volunteer opportunities, visit crawfishkingcookoff.com.
Proceeds from Crawfish King Cook-Off help to support the organizations’ enrichment and mentoring programs.
The Big Buddy Program’s mission is to build a community of mentoring relationships. Through one-on-one mentoring relationships, afterschool tutoring, summer learning, and workforce development experiences, Big Buddy has consistently built a community of mentoring relationships that advance and inspire youth to create meaningful change.
Junior Achievement’s JA in a Day program is a volunteer delivered program that effectively brings the real world into the classroom, and helps students build life skills in personal finance, work readiness and entrepreneurship. JA helps students realize that the education they are getting today will help them to create their success tomorrow.
Love Heals FREE CLINIC is coming to Baton Rouge!
DATES & TIMES: Saturday, April 15th, 7 AM - 7 PM * Sunday, April 16th, 7 AM - 3 PM
LOCATION: Raising Cane's River Center, 275 S. River Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
The I CARE program has served the Baton Rouge community for over 40 years. The grassroots the organization's desire is to be key community leaders addressing the growing problems of violence, underage alcohol use, and drug use among the youth of East Baton Rouge. I CARE has developed successful initiatives that address concerns in public and non-public schools across the parish while providing support to parents and families across the area.
The East Baton Rouge Parish School System’s I CARE Program celebrates 40 years of Prevention Education this month with a special event recognizing its founders, Advisory Council members, and the work consistently executed around prevention. Program Director Erin Pourciau Bradford states, “The I CARE Program is essential to the academic success and overall wellbeing of our students. Our program and specialists have worked tirelessly for over 40 years and especially throughout the pandemic focusing on effective Social-emotional learning strategies and self-care methods for everyone. We are thrilled to be of service to our school system, students, and families.”
The I CARE Program will also host one of its alcohol, drug abuse, and violence prevention program campaigns entitled: Arrive Alive! Beginning April 1, 2023- April 30, 2023. This program will raise awareness around the dangers of alcohol consumption and the risks it poses for young people and promote other safe choices as our students navigate prom, graduation and other events this spring.
The I CARE Program’s April Alcohol Prevention Education Campaign-“Arrive Alive” will be held at various EBRPSS elementary, middle, and high schools. The program will hold suggested age-appropriate activities for the students that will include brochures and activity books with more information for the students. Students will also receive items to take home to get in the spirit of the education initiative. The goal is for the EBRPSS students to actively participate in these important and informative activities at school and to continue the conversations of prevention and avoiding risky behaviors at home.
Licensed Prevention Professional, Tanya Chapman Griffin, said that I CARE is offering more training for parents, students, and teachers on how to have conversations about prevention overall, especially regarding fake prescription pills and alcohol consumption. “We want to be able to continue to connect parents to resources, but we’re not just giving them a phone number,” Chapman Griffin said. “We say, ‘Let’s talk together and do this process together. You are not alone.’” Through active community partnerships and sound prevention practices, I CARE continues to serve as a model for school-community partnerships and community prevention programming.
For more information, please visit our website at icare.ebrschools.org and connect on social media following I CARE @ICAREEBR
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and the I CARE Prevention Program of East Baton Rouge wants to take the opportunity to raise your awareness of the dangers that alcohol consumption poses for our young people.
Here are some Facts!!!!
Did you know? Underage Drinking Is Dangerous!
In the United States, consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is considered underage drinking and is strictly against the law.
Alcohol is a significant factor in the deaths of people younger than age 21 in the United States each year. This includes deaths from motor vehicle crashes, homicides, alcohol overdoses, falls, burns, drowning, and suicides.
Drinking causes many injuries. Drinking alcohol can cause youth to have accidents and get hurt. In 2011 alone, about 188,000 people younger than age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries.
Remind teens that drinking Impairs judgment. Drinking can lead to poor decisions about taking risks, including unsafe sexual behavior, drinking and driving, and aggressive or violent behavior.
When teens drink it Increases the risk of physical and sexual assault. Underage binge drinking is associated with an increased likelihood of being the victim or perpetrator of interpersonal violence.
Drinking can lead to other problems. It may cause youth to have trouble in school or with the law. Drinking alcohol also is associated with the use of other substances.
Alcohol consumption Increases the risk of alcohol problems later in life. Research shows that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are at a higher risk for developing alcohol use disorder later in life. For example, adults ages 26 and older who began drinking before age 15 are 5.6 times more likely to report having alcohol use disorder in the past year as those who waited until age 21 or later to begin drinking.
Teen drinking interferes with brain development. Research shows that young people’s brains keep developing well into their 20s.
Additional effects of alcohol use can develop as an adolescent gets older. For example, long-term alcohol consumption can lead to cardiovascular diseases, liver disease, cancer, nerve damage and respiratory infections. Some of these conditions are often irreversible and can worsen a person’s health over time.
For more information about how you can end underage drinking and give children a chance in our community or to refer, call 225-226-CARE (226-2273).
Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge is a non-profit resource center organized and directed by family members of individuals with disabilities. We support families whose members have physical, cognitive, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities. Our own experiences further our commitment in reaching out to these families. We serve the following parishes — East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Ascension, Pointe Coupee, and Iberville.
Our mission is to provide the individualized services, information, resources, and support to positively enhance the independence, productivity, and integration of persons with disabilities into the community.
OUR MISSION & VALUES
To provide the individualized services, information, and support needed to positively enhance the independence, productivity, and integration of persons with disabilities into the community.
Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge
Is a non-profit, family directed resource center for individuals with disabilities and their families. It is a place where families can go that is directed and staffed by parents or family members of children with disabilities or adults with disabilities. It is this common experience that gives Families Helping Families a very unique approach to serving families. Families Helping Families staff can answer questions and provide technical assistance for any disability, any age.
FHF of Greater Baton Rouge offers these services:
Information and Referral
Education and Training
Parent to Parent Support
Resource Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (RCASD)
A comprehensive source of information for anyone living with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The RCASD offers 1:1 peer support to parents, self-advocates, family members and caregivers. Staff provide families with referrals to the medical, therapeutic, educational and legal resources they need. The program also offers a variety of recreational activities for families to engage in. This program is made possible by proceeds from the annual Active for Autism event. This fundraising event serves to sustain the RCASD program, while giving families a chance to come together to raise awareness for ASD and to learn more about the diagnosis and services available.
Bureau of Family Health (BFH)
The goal of the BFH program is to ensure that all children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) in Louisiana, as well as their families and healthcare providers, are aware of and are able to access supportive resources in their communities and the state.
The community resource specialist will participate in peer to peer support and activities to inform families about advocacy for quality healthcare services. Families, professionals and community partners will have opportunities to build relationships and share information.
Family-to-Family Health Information Center (F2FHIC)
Training programs and technical assistance
Public benefits information
Guidance in navigating various health care systems and supports
Develop an active voice in the decision making process about services
EarlySteps services families with infants and toddlers aged birth to 36 months who have a medical condition likely to result in a developmental delay or who have developmental delays. In the past, this program has collaborated with other community providers to engage the public in free car seat safety checks, for caregivers of children.
Ability Awareness Training (AAT)
Establishing (or improving) an inclusive environment with AAT. This program teaches effective communication skills, People First language, and modifications and environmental accommodations for people with disabilities, making life and work an enriching experience for all.
Information & Referral
Capitol Area Human Services Developmental Disability Division works with FHFGBR to serve the families of East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Iberville, Ascension and Point Coupee by providing disability specific information and resources. Referrals are also made to make sure the families of Region 2 to receive all of the help that is available such as Waivers, Flexible family fund and many other programs.
All peer support services are delivered by staff members who are either individuals with a developmental disability or a parent/guardian of a child with a developmental disability. Having walked down the same path as the families we serve gives us a unique perspective. As our logo says, “It’s who we are. It’s what we do.”
Our inclusive education department is funded through the Louisiana Department of Education to provide support to families of children with disabilities ages 3 through 21. Our education support specialist helps parents of students with disabilities understand special education services, their rights relating to special education, parental involvement, effective communication and transition.
Support provided includes:
Advocacy Support – We teach parents advocacy skills and strategies to empower them to become effective advocates so they will eventually be able to advocate on their own. We will always be available to answer questions and provide ongoing support.
Information – We provide information on various topics through in person trainings and webinars related to special education laws, special education services, a child’s rights to a free appropriate public education under IDEA and other topics that may be of interest to our families.
Peer Support and Technical Assistance – We offer families support that include individual consultations, in-person meetings, teleconferencing and email communication.
Empowerment Program (Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health)
Trainings, networking and support opportunities for families and youth affected by mental health, and additive disorders as well as overall awareness, acceptance, and inclusion of this population. The program also provides families and youth with the education, skills and resources to increase and strengthen their ability to function successfully in their homes and communities.
Statewide webinars, along with statewide conferences and workshops for families and youth. Topics of workshops will cover current children’s mental health issues and other concerns. There will be networking meetings for parents/caregivers to increase their support network and share any successful experiences. The Empowerment Program will assist with opportunities to increase advocacy skills, and empower families to inform children’s behavioral health policies, practices and services in Louisiana.
You may be wondering how involved you need to be with your child’s education now that he’s in middle school. Can you really make a difference? The answer is yes!
Studies show that parents have a big effect on their children’s academic achievement when they stay involved throughout their school years. Parent engagement leads to better test scores, higher graduation rates and lower levels of drug and alcohol abuse. To play an active role:
Ask your child about what he’s learning. Show your interest. Ask him to teach you about the aftermath of the Civil War, or how to find the slope in a math problem. Make a point of giving him your undivided attention when he talks about school.
Set high, realistic expectations. Your child is more likely to believe in himself if he knows you believe in him. Talk to him about his goals, and cheer him on as he strives to reach them.
Be a role model. Inspire your child to keep trying by displaying perseverance yourself. When solving a problem, discuss a variety of ways to do it.
Get involved at school. Join the parent-teacher organization. Ask how you can help. Connecting with teachers and other involved parents can help you find resources and take action that will help your child.
SOURCE: S.D. Sparks and A. Harwin, “How Parents Widen—or Shrink—Achievement Gaps,” Education Week
Being connected to the school community has many benefits. Students who feel like they belong are more likely to keep going to school. They’re also more likely to get good grades and make healthy choices.
Encourage positive friendships
Help your child build good social skills. For example, teach your child to take turns when playing and listen when others speak.
Talk about what make a good friend, such as trust and respect.
Encourage your child to spend time with friends who are good influences. For example, offer to host sleepovers or carpool activities.
Take advantage of extracurricular activities
They can give your child the chance to make friends with other students who have similar interests. Options may include:
Art or music programs
Encourage your child to participate in activities that:
Interest him ore her
Involve a special skill or talent he or she has or would like to develop
Help your child balance activities with schoolwork, rest and time with friends and family. Be careful not to overschedule your child.
The Steve Carter Literacy Tutoring Program
In an effort to provide families with additional opportunities to support their child’s literacy development, the Louisiana Department of Education launched a new literacy tutoring program for eligible public school students in grades K-5. The Steve Carter Literacy Tutoring Program provides $1,000 digital tutoring vouchers to the families of eligible students. These vouchers can be used for high-quality tutoring sessions to support student reading.
This program is for eligible public school students in grades K-5. Students in grades K-3 are eligible if they scored below proficient on their beginning of year screener. Students in grades 4-5 are eligible if they scored below Mastery in ELA on the spring 2022 LEAP assessment. Families who are unsure of how their child scored should contact their school for additional information.
Your student may be eligible to enroll in free tutoring services. Tutors are approved through the Louisiana Department of Education and are certified teachers in elementary or reading, have a degree in education or English and have expertise in reading and literacy.
Through this program, the state has developed an online platform by which families can log in, enter their student’s information, and if eligible, receive a digital voucher for tutoring. Families may then schedule tutoring sessions with state-approved tutors for their students online and in person utilizing the same platform.
Applying for the digital voucher and tutoring services is easy and will take less than 5 minutes. Visit www.louisianatutoringinitiative.com to learn more about the Steve Carter Literacy Tutoring Program and apply.
You will be required to:
Enter your email address to receive a temporary pin.
Provide your student’s unique student ID number, school district and name, grade level, and date of birth in the system. If eligible for the program, students will receive a message on the website in real-time noting their eligibility. Once eligibility is approved and verified by the school, students can access available funds online, which can be used only through the platform to schedule tutoring.
Enter your zip code to find a certified tutor nearby to register and enroll for reading and literacy support.
All STEM Lead to Rome
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 (ADavis6@ebrschools.org, 225-929-8705). The Section 504 coordinator is Danielle Staten-Ojo, (email@example.com., 225-326-5668). The Title II coordinator is Dr. Sandra Bethley, administrative director of Federal Programs (SBHorton@ebrschools.org, 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