BAKER — The Baker School System has hired Edward Pratt, the media relations director for Southern University and a columnist for The Advocate, to produce an informational booklet about the district.
The School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a $600 per month contract with Pratt to provide media production and marketing services for the school system.
The contract caps the fee at $3,600.
“We need some type of production or person to tell our story. A lot goes on that we can’t get into the paper or on TV,” Superintendent Ulysses Joseph said.
The booklet, which will include information about programs and other school system news, will be kept in school principals’ offices and distributed to parents and others, he said.
Pratt is a former Advocate editor and works as assistant to the chancellor for media relations at Southern University.
In other business, the board voted to revise the system’s pupil progression plan to comply with a new format required by the state.
Board member Troy Watson expressed concern about the wording in the section relating to promotion of students from fourth to fifth grade.
The section reads, in part, “Promotion to the 5th grade shall be at the discretion of the school where the student was enrolled in fourth grade.”
Similar language occurs in the section relating to promotion from eighth to ninth grades.
“It opens the door to biases,” Watson said. “There might be two students on the same level and one would be promoted and the other wouldn’t.”
Students in both fourth and eighth grades must score at or above Basic Achievement level on the English Language Arts section and at or above Approaching Basic Achievement level on the other sections of the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program test in order to advance to the next grade, according to the document.
Students not on track to advance from fourth to fifth grade or from eighth to ninth grade must attend summer remediation, District Special Education Specialist Alfred Douglas told the board.
If they don’t, a committee called a School Level Building Committee — consisting of a school counselor, administrator, teacher, and the student’s parents or guardians — would determine whether or not the student will be promoted, Douglas said.
The board voted unanimously to replace the words “at the discretion of the school” with “determined by the School Level Building Committee” in the document.
The board also honored teachers of the year Tammy Miller, Baker Heights Elementary; Rachel Benton, Bakerfield Elementary; and Brendalyn Reese, Baker Middle School. Kanika Batiste, a teacher at Park Ridge Academic Magnet, was recognized as district teacher of the year, and Park Ridge Principal Tammy Armand-Golden as elementary principal of the year.
Support workers of the year are: Janet Wilkerson, Bakerfield Elementary; Lynnell Harding, Park Ridge; Carolyn McFadden, Baker High School; Henry Knox, Baker Middle School; and Tara Reese, Baker Heights Elementary.