BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With half of the current school year in the books, the East Baton Rouge School Board is already looking at new challenges ahead.
Superintendent Warren Drake said their biggest mission is becoming a parent's first choice for educating their kids.
"We have to have better instruction in the classroom. We have to have better customer service and really that's what it boils down to," said Drake.
Drake also said the school system must become more efficient. It is currently operating with a budget deficit of about $30 million.
In a recent school board retreat, the superintendent revealed some savings can be found by adjusting school staffing through attrition and consolidation. It may also mean slowing down on new projects like the reopening of Istrouma High School which Drake estimates would take around $15 million just for refurbishing and updates.
School officials originally hoped to reopen Istrouma's doors by the fall. Now that has been pushed back to fall of 2017. However, when the doors do open the school will have a new partner in BRCC.
"BRCC North at Acadian Thruway is going to be a big partner with us in that school. We're looking forward to Istrouma opening in August of 2017 and will be a great workforce development school," said Drake.
The school board will also continue hold communities meetings to help shape the future of Istrouma. Drake believes it and the rest of the school district have a bright future, as long as they continue to fight for students.
"We have to understand that this is critical to East Baton Rouge. The better our schools are, the better the city of Baton Rouge will be," said Drake.