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Newly selected East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Sito Narcisse answers questions during a press conference at Glen Oaks High School. He was joined by, background from left, La. State Schools Supt. Cade Brumley, along with BESE members Preston Castille and Ronnie Morris Friday January 15, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La. They took a tour of the school and talked about the future of EBR. Narcisse, who is the chief of secondary schools in Washington, D.C., beat out EBR Interim Superintendent Adam Smith in a 5-4 vote.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board is spending this weekend at a retreat at Southern University starting what promises to be an intense four month process to develop a new strategic plan.

The retreat, which goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, is the kickoff to the process to replace the district’s last, and long ignored strategic plan that was approved in 2013.

The meeting is occurring in a suite on the third floor of the Arnette W. “Ace” Mumford Fieldhouse attached to Mumford football stadium on the Southern University campus. It is open to members of the public, though they need to wear masks, engage in social distancing and submit to a temperature check upon entry. The retreat is not being livestreamed as regular board members are.

Arbinger Institute, based near Salt Lake City, Utah, was recently hired to lead up the new process and two facilitators with the consulting firm are on hand leading the retreat. Agenda topics range from “Why Mindset Matters” to “Collaboration Tools.”

Arbinger was handpicked by new Superintendent Sito Narcisse who worked with Arbinger previously in Metro Nashville public schools, where Arbinger did work while Narcisse served there as chief of schools from 2016 to 2019, and in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

The firm’s $138,000 cost is being paid from undisclosed “private donations” through the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System.

Next board meeting, where it will set district priorities, is scheduled for March 13. Final vote on a new strategic plan is scheduled for June 17.

Email Charles Lussier at and follow him on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.