Istrouma High School to close as part of recovery school district changes

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A normal after school practice for the Istrouma High football team on Tuesday was anything but normal.

"I was sad," said Istrouma High Freshman Kyasia Earl.

Earl and other Istrouma High students learned from a letter to their parents Tuesday, their school will be closing its doors next year and they will be joining students at Capitol High School across town.

"My momma went to this school and my family members too like my aunties," added Earl. "I'm going to have to meet new friends and I'm going to have to go to a new school."

Istrouma is one of several Baton Rouge area schools that will be affected by changes announced by the state's Recovery School District. A few schools will be taken over by charters but Istrouma will be shutting down and according to RSD Superintendent Patrick Dobard it came down to failing test scores.

"At the end of the day the level of education where most of our students are at the school is unacceptable and I think even the one person who had a sign would acknowledge that yes something has to change," said Dobard.

The news is still hard to swallow for Anissia Green who graduated from Istrouma herself and has two children at the school as well.

"The Istrouma community has been around probably since the fifties," said Green. "I don't know the exact date but Istrouma has been around for a number of years. I've known a lot of alum who have gone on to be doctors and lawyers and so I just think it's a devastation of the community in the 70805."

That feeling echoed by Kyasia, who says passing by an empty building will be an emotional reminder of what she will be leaving behind.

"I'm going to miss my teachers, my friends, my basketball coach, my principal," said Earl.

Officials from the Recovery School District add plans will be in the works for Istrouma High to reopen for the 2015-2016 school year as a charter school, beginning with just one class of ninth graders.

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