Parents worried about future of Belfair Elementary School

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 5:00am

Parents and with their school board members spoke out Monday night about their concerns for the future of Belfair Elementary School.

The superintendant made the decision to turn Belfair Elementary into a full Montessori school. Right now the school is home to both traditional and Montessori programs. But if the change does go into effect, traditionally taught students will be relocated to other schools in the district.

Parents are not happy with this new change.

“They are going to send her from a passing to school to one of these failing schools around here,” says Belfair parent, Nyesha Bethley.

Bethley is worried that if her children don't relocate to another school and she keeps them in a Montessori setting, her straight "A" girls won’t succeed.

"Motessori isn't for everybody and I found that out through my children,” said another Belfair parent, Roderick Adams.

Parents at Belfair Elementary have a tough decision to make. They have to decide whether to keep their kids at Belfair and transition them to Montessori learning or move them. And they need to make that decision soon.

"They didn't give us enough time to tell us. We didn't know until last month," said Bethely.

“It’s like it's been rushed and they were not giving us all the details. Now they give us piece by piece and they change it. It's like a train wreck waiting to happen. Let's slow this down," noted Adams.

But the East Baton Rouge School District wants to reassure parents that these changes will be positive.

"We have made changes along the way and we have tried to listen to the parents along the way," says EBR Assistant Superintendent Carlos Sam.

Parents such as Nyesha and Roderick continue to express their feelings even further and hope there might be changes to the current plan, to help ease some of their worries.

"After hearing concerns tonight there is a possibility we could make some additional changes," noted Sam.

The school board is working with the parents and will allow all kids moving up to fourth and fifth grades to stay in Belfair under the traditional setting.

Kindergarden through second graders will have the choice to stay in the school, but will go through a Montessori learning boot camp this summer.

So even though the district will continue to listen to the parents and their concerns, the change will go into effect next school year.


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