east Baton Rouge parish school system

volume 16, issue 6| JANUARY 2024
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


Effective Technology Use for Students
5 Ways to Start the New Year off Right



I CARE 11th Annual Prevention Summit


Follow These Five Strategies 
for Successful Study Sessions
Tips for a Successful Spring Term
 for High School Students



Encourage Your Preschooler 
to Talk About Ideas and Actions
Improving Focus Boosts 
Your Child's Ability to Learn



EBRPSS Department 
of Mental Health Services
Town Hall Meetings 
for the Hispanic Community 
Información para los Padres
January Calendar
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We hope this email finds you well. As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance your child's educational experience, we are excited to remind you about the upcoming event: " Effective Technology Use for Students." This event is hosted by the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools Instructional Technology Team.
Date and Time:
Jan. 16, 2024, at 5:30 P.M.
Event Details:
The panel discussion will focus on effective technology use for students, providing valuable insights into how technology can positively impact learning. The session will be conducted live, and you can join the event using the following link:
We encourage you to attend this informative session to gain a better understanding of how technology is integrated into your child's education.
Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to your virtual presence at the event.
Image item

5 Ways to Start the New Year 
off Right

There is nothing magical about New Year’s resolutions. In fact, research has found that only about 45% of people even make resolutions. And 35% of those who do quit them before the end of January.
So, are they even worth it? While resolutions may not be the most successful, there is a lot of benefit in setting goals for yourself. Goals can help you become who you want to be, provide stability and drive you. The new year gives you a good starting point.
1. Reflect on the previous year.
Healthy things grow. Healthy people are no different, but to grow, we have to see where we are. Start by looking back at the previous year and ask yourself:
What went well last year?
What did I accomplish?
How did my life improve?
What goals did I abandon? Why?
What hurdles did I overcome?
What do I wish I had spent more time doing?
2. Ask yourself, “What do I want to improve upon and why?”
You have the best opportunity to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Be careful not to set your goals based on what another person or our culture says. Your goals are about your health, finances, career, relationships or whatever you choose. No matter how good a goal is, the success rate is diminished if it’s set for the wrong reasons. Side note: There is no magical number of goals, either. Maybe you just need to start with one and focus on it until you achieve it.
3. Set SMART goals.
Ever heard of a SMART goal? SMART is an acronym coined in the Management Review Journal in 1981. It means specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. It’s a business model for setting goals, but it translates well to other types. Here’s a brief explanation of a SMART goal:
  • Specific: Your resolution should be absolutely clear. Instead of “I want to get in better shape,” say, “I want to run a 5K in three months.”
  • Measurable: You need a way to measure your progress. Depending on your goal, you may have to search. But look for a tool to measure your progress. Choose a method that you’ll stick with.
  • Achievable: If it’s not attainable, you’ll probably give up too soon. Don’t try to jump too big, too fast. If there’s a big, lofty goal you want to achieve in the future, that’s great. Break it down into smaller goals and take those on. It’s a lot less daunting to say you want to lose 5 pounds in two months than to say you want to lose 50 pounds.
  • Relevant: Does the goal matter to you? Is this something you want, not anyone else?
  • Time-bound: Every goal needs a time frame. The timeline must be realistic. Set a target achievement date and set benchmarks along the way.
4. Build a support system.
Achieving goals is a lot easier when you surround yourself with people cheering you on. Come alongside friends or family, and all agree to share your goals and support each other. Accountability will push you to keep at it. If you need to, find an online group with similar goals and journey together.
5. Write it down.
This seems simple, but there’s power in writing your goals, perhaps in your planner or on a sticky note in a prominent place. Make sure they are somewhere highly visible so you can read them over and over. And you can check off that goal once you achieve it.
Go ahead and set those goals for the new year. But take the time to make a plan. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” 

I CARE 11th Annual Prevention Summit
The I CARE Program wishes you and your family a Happy New Year! As we welcome your students back to school, we want to remind you of the benefits of family and community conversations around alcohol and drug prevention.
Did you know that:
Parents have significant influence on their children’s decisions to experiment with alcohol and other drugs.
Unfortunately, about 10% of 12-year-olds say they have tried alcohol, but by age 15, that number jumps to about 50% as reported to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
It is better to talk to your children BEFORE they are exposed to alcohol and other drugs as they are more likely to respect your rules and advice about alcohol and drug use.
You can protect your children from many of the high-risk behaviors associated with using these drugs.
Fentanyl is a DANGEROUS DRUG and ONE PILL CAN KILL! Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S. (See the fact sheet from the CDC for more information and data.)
Practical Advice for Parents of Teens Regarding Prescription Drug Abuse:
Image item
Image item
Practical Advice for Parents of Teens Regarding Prescription Drug Abuse:
Parents can make a difference! Kids who continue to learn about the risks of 
drugs at home are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who are 
not taught about the dangers. Only 22% of teens report discussing the risks 
of abusing any prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription with their 
parents. It’s up to YOU to talk openly with your kids!
The I CARE program is here to help!
Image item

MLK Fest Baton Rouge 2024
Image item
MLK Fest 2024
What started as a one-day event on MLK Day Monday of January 2015 has grown into a festival of service, spanning the entire weekend of MLK Day. This event was created to revitalize and reactivate neighborhoods in Baton Rouge with the help of volunteers. This year, our efforts will be focused on a section of Eden Park.
Image item
Focus Area: 
Eden Park Neighborhood (70802)
Image item
Image item
Image item

Follow These Five Strategies for Successful Study Sessions
Not all teens know how to study.  Those that don’t may spend more time than they need to on their work for school. Or they may get frustrated and stop studying completely.
Share these strategies to help your teen study effectively:
1. Take notes in class. Writing down what the teacher says can help your teen see what the teacher thinks is important. Reviewing his notes regularly will also improve his retention of the material.
2. Break it up. Research shows that frequent short study sessions spaced out over time are more effective than one long study session.
3. Study similar subjects at different times. Putting new information into your brain is a little like pouring concrete. Your teen has to give it time to “set up.”  So between a science lesson with a lot of formulas and a math lesson with a lot of formulas, your teen should study history or English — to allow the science lesson time to set.
4. Avoid getting sidetracked. If your teen finds their mind wandering during study time, they should keep a notepad by their study spot. They can jot down reminders or random ideas that pop into their head and then get right back to studying.
5. Eliminate distractions. The TV, phone and a growling stomach will all distract your teen.  Make sure they turn off all electronics and take care of hunger and thirst before sitting down to study.

Starting Second Semester off Right:  Tips for a Successful 
Spring Term for High School Students
While it can be tempting to simply count down the days until summer break, spring semester is a prime time for high school underclassmen to prepare for the college admissions process and for college-bound seniors to close out the year on a high note.
Here are some tips that parents can share with their high school students to ensure a productive and successful spring semester.
Keep your grades up.
All Students: Admissions officers like to see an upward grade trend, so freshmen, sophomores and juniors need to work hard to maintain good grades and improve upon not-so-stellar grades. Seniors, it is especially important to maintain spring semester grades because colleges will see your final transcript, and a dramatic dip in academic performance can result in a school rescinding an offer of admission. Just because you’ve been accepted doesn’t mean the work stops. Work hard to finish out the year strong.
Meet with your counselor.
All Students: One of the biggest mistakes students make is not meeting with their college counselor on a regular basis. Be proactive and set up meetings for the beginning, middle and end of the semester, so you can check in regularly with your counselor and they can evaluate your progress and determine what you need to do to prepare for the admissions process. It’s also important to build and maintain a relationship with your counselor, as they will write a recommendation for you come college application time.
Begin building your college list.
Juniors: If you haven’t already, start heavily researching schools and determining where you want to apply next fall. Look into admissions requirements, academic offerings, courses,  professors, campus life, student organizations and anything else that will help you make an informed decision about where you want to go to college. A balanced college list should have a range of target, reach and likely schools, so be sure to look into a wide variety of institutions.
Reassess your extracurricular involvement.
Freshmen and sophomores: Sustained involvement in just a handful of activities over an extended period of time is much more impressive than many one-off participations in several different clubs or activities. Take a look at your résumé and all your activities and determine which ones mean the most to you and align with your core interests. Cut out any activities you’re not completely invested in, stick with the ones you like best and deepen your involvement by taking on a leadership position. 
Image item
Also, seek out new activities that you think better match your interests. If your school doesn’t already offer a club or activity that really interests you, then start your own student club or extracurricular project.
Start test prep.
Sophomores: Now is the time to start seriously thinking about the SAT and ACT and begin preparing for one or both. In one of the meetings with your college counselor, discuss both tests and come up with a timeline for when you should prepare and sit for these high-stakes exams. I recommend taking multiple, timed practice tests in order to identify content weaknesses, evaluate test-taking strategies and to accurately simulate actual test day. Practice makes perfect, or at least improves scores!
Visit schools.
Sophomores and juniors: Spring is the best time to visit college campuses. School is in session, the weather is usually favorable and you can visit during your spring semester breaks. Begin making plans to visit a few college campuses by sitting down with your family and discussing a trip and dates. Then do your research and register for information sessions, sign up for guided tours and see if you can stay overnight in one of the dorms.
Plan for the summer and next fall.
All students: During your check-in meetings with your counselor, discuss options for summer activities or programs and talk about what classes you need to take next fall in order to stay on track academically. Summer is a great time to deepen your interests with an internship or academic program, so do your research to determine what summer activity is the best fit for your personal and academic goals.

 Encourage Your Preschooler to Talk About Ideas and Actions
When your child begins school, his kindergarten teacher will want them to talk about his thoughts, ideas and experiences.  To build these valuable communication skills:
  • Get the story behind your child's drawings.  Ask them to tell you about them, and write his descriptions underneath.
  • Discuss your day.  Say more than, “We're going out."  Instead, try, “We are going to take a lunch to Aunt Sue this afternoon.  What else should we bring her?  How about one of your drawings?”
  • Help your child tell a story in sequence.  This helps them learn that one event follows another.  For example, ask him, "What are some of the things you do after dinner and before bed?
  • Encourage your child to provide details.  If they you that they had fun visiting his aunt, ask questions that will help them recall more of that experience.  “What did you talk about?  Did you play any fun games?”
SOURCE:  N. Gardner-Neblett and K.C. Gallagher, “More Than Baby Talk: 10 Ways to Promote the Language and Communication Skills of Infants and Toddlers,” The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, FPG Child Development Institute.
Image item

Improving Focus Boosts Your Child's Ability to Learn
Everybody's mind wanders now and then.  But if your child regularly “zones out” during class, it can impact her ability to learn and retain new information.  
Studies show that younger students who can't focus tend to become older students who can't focus.  And that can mean big trouble for your child's education.
To help your elementary schooler strengthen attention skills:
  • Remove distractions.  Keep TV and other screens off while your child works.  Keep noise at a minimum.
  • Break down large assignments.  If they have a social studies report to write, show them how to divide it into smaller steps.  “First, think about what you want to say,  Next, make an outline of your thoughts.  Then, start writing.”
  • Encourage breathers during study time.  Don't force your child to work for long periods of time.  Instead, set a timer for 20 minutes and have them take a five-minute break when it goes off.  Frequent short breaks help your child clear his head.
Remind your child to do this during class, too.  Even a 30-second break (maybe closing his eyes and breathing deeply) could help him buckle back down and refocus.
SOURCE:  A.J. Lundervold and others, “Parent Rated Symptoms of Inattention in Childhood Predict High School Academic Achievement Across Two Culturally and Diagnostically Diverse Samples,” Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers Communications.

Image item
EBRPSS Department 
of Mental Health Services

Image item
January Newsletter:
English:  file:///C:/Users/mcousin/Downloads/MHS%20Newsletter%20January%202024.pdf
Spanish:  file:///C:/Users/mcousin/Downloads/Spanish-MHS%20Newsletter%20January%202024.pdf

Town Hall Meetings 
for the Hispanic Community
Image item
Image item

Información para los Padres
Image item
Image item

January Calendar
Image item
Image item
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 for additional information, program requirements and/or any questions you may have.
Dr. Sito Narcisse, Superintendent of Schools
Ben Lemoine, Administrative Director of Communications
Marlon Cousin, Community Liaison