East Baton Rouge school officials ready for school year; police warn not to use phones in school zones

What you need to know before the first day of school

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Summer vacation is over and school is back in session. West Baton Rouge Parish students returned to campus Wednesday, Aug. 7, and East Baton Rouge, Ascension, and Pointe Coupee parishes head back Thursday, Aug. 8.

Officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) tell WAFB teachers and staff have been preparing all summer and they’re ready and excited for the upcoming school year.

Summer vacation is over for children in Baton Rouge and most nearby parishes.

“I got some colored pencils and markers,” said Charlie Mackey, a high school student.

Students are trading in their summer freedom for school supplies.

“I just got a binder and some pens,” said Claire Mitchell, another high school student.

East Baton Rouge Superintendent Warren Drake is hoping for more academic growth and character programs this school year.

“We have 5,000 employees who are going to welcome 40,000 students tomorrow. It’s a great day every year,” he said.

If your child isn’t registered yet or has questions, the superintendent has some suggestions.

“Go to the nearest school or they [parents] can come down to the school board office,” said Drake.

He says transportation is always a challenge for the first few weeks of school, but bus information cards should have been received by Monday, Aug. 12.

“We have a lot of brand new buses, we have a bus for every driver, so they’ll be on the road early tomorrow morning,” said Drake.

As for driving in school zones, be vigilant!

“We have school crossing guards out at those areas in an attempt to make it safe for kids that are crossing,” said Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, a spokesperson for the Baton Rouge Police Department.

It’s illegal to use your phone in a school zone, however, you can use it “hands free” through Bluetooth or your car’s speakers. If you’re caught speeding or on your phone, you’ll face a penalty.

BRPD says drivers will be ticketed for speeding through school zones or for using their phones.
BRPD says drivers will be ticketed for speeding through school zones or for using their phones. (Source: WAFB)

“You’ll be cited for a traffic violation and those fines are typically higher that what they are just for the regular traffic violations that you may be faced with. We take it very serious. There are lives at stake here,” said Sgt. McKneely.

Officials are just warning everyone to slow down and be vigilant with the extra traffic expected Thursday.

For East Baton Rouge Parish students, if you have any questions about your child’s bus, visit EBRSchools.org. There they will have that information and a transportation hotline number.

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