BATON ROUGE, LA (FOX44) — "Last year I taught kindergarten and I wasn't even teaching in a real classroom, I just had a closet at the front of the school, and I had 25 kindergartners in that room. I had no resources. It was just completely trashed," lamented Sarah Gleason, a pre-k teacher at Dalton Elementary.
For Gleason working to teach children with extremely limited resources was a daily struggle last year at the once failing school. But she said this year after emerging re-vamped under the guidance of the recovery school district things at the elementary school have improved massively.
"There is structure and it's not a scramble everyday. You know the kids are expected to act a certain way and the teachers are expected to act a certain way. Every one is just excited and everyone is learning," Gleason added.
"To see this year a real smile on their (students) face and to know things are headed in the right direction feels great,” John White, State Superintendent of Education, said.
Just a few weeks in to the school year at Dalton Elementary School and teachers and administrators have said they're already seeing a vast improvement, but it's only a temporary fix, their eyes are already looking toward the future.
“Now we're asking EBR to step up and be a part of the achievement zone. This should not be a state-run thing. This should be a state and local district process. We all want those outcomes for our kids, so we'll be coming back with east Baton Rouge with a plan on how we're going to turn around the low performing schools in north Baton Rouge,” White explained.
Though an agreement on a long-term plan for the RSD schools has yet to be hammered out, for now teachers and parents at those once-failing schools say any improvement on last school year is welcome.
"I think it can only get better. I think the words kind of getting out that Dalton is better," Gleason concluded.
White said the state and the East Baton Rouge Parish school board are close to figuring out a plan for the school board to take in those recovering schools and continue their progressive climb.