BAKER, LA (WAFB) - Bakerfield Elementary School has been considered an Academically Unacceptable School, or AUS, for four years. Now, the school is at a crossroads.
One path leads to the state stepping in and taking over. The other, gives Baker School District a chance to turn the school around with a reconstitution plan. The decision, lies with BESE.
"We just thought maybe a clean break, we can start off all over again," said Baker Superintendent Ulysses Joseph.
The proposed plan has 11 parts, most of which focus on improving the faculty and staff at the school. For example, all non-tenured staff would have to reapply for their job, and substitute teachers would need more training. It also includes an additional four weeks to the school year and more community partnerships to provide students with more learning opportunities.
The plan will be evaluated by the Recovery School District, who will then make recommendations to BESE to either alter, approve or reject the proposal.
"One of the things that I have expressed to the board members and especially the President is that I wanted a plan that included community involvement, because who best knows what the community needs than those living in the community," said BESE District 8 Representative Carolyn Hill.
However, not everyone is happy with the proposal. Some parents feel that the problems at Bakerfield are just a small part of a bigger issue facing the Baker School District.
"I'm very concerned because it seems like every other year we're back at the table talking about trying to defend our school," said concerned parent Jerrie Williams.
Williams is part of a group working to demand higher standards from the Baker School District. She is also involved in a recall attempt of three of the school board members. She feels the plan leaves a lot of questions unanswered.
"With the current board that we have that's very dysfunctional, I just feel right now they are not really capable of leading our school system to a premiere school system," said Williams.
While there is no defined timeline for BESE's decision, Hill hopes there will be an answer by early summer.