COVID-19 Education: How are Louisiana’s K-12 educators?

COVID Education crisis has been discussed worldwide, this three-part series presents the stories of Louisiana Black educators’ experiences during six waves of COVID in three years.

Three years of COVID, survey shows Louisiana educators experience an array of emotions

Forty Louisiana educators completed an online survey designed to understand—as much as possible—the impact three years of the coronavirus pandemic has had on Louisiana educators, including paraprofessionals, teaching staff, and principals.  The survey, conducted by the Jozef Syndicate, asked Black K-12 educators: “How are you?”  Overall, their responses spanned every emotion: fearful, depressed, isolated, unsupported, less-than-human, proud of … Continue reading

Educators quickly responded to COVID-19 but how has it impacted them?

Black K-12 educators said they would dress as if they were going to work, disconnect from COVID reports which fed their fears, and stay focused on their children to keep their spirits up during the three-year pandemic. “For me, prayer was my saving grace,” said Zanetta Trahan, a high school teacher in Baton Rouge.

Where were you on March 9, 2020? Black educators remember the early days of COVID-19

Many people may not remember that date. However, engrained in the memories of many Louisiana teachers is Thursday, March 12, 2020, when Governor John Bel Edwards declared a public health emergency, closed all K-12 public schools, and banned gatherings. Black K-12 educators in Louisiana said they overcame chaos, fears, and challenges during the COVID pandemic. (Part 1)

Some people are scared of history

“The history curriculums of my youth were informed by this thinking. My first US history class in particular discussed the American Revolution extensively, characterizing the colonists and founding fathers as undeniably impressive and important. Our discussion of Black people began and ended with slavery…slavery and genocide were watered down considerably. The systemic and generational effects of marginalization went unexamined,” writes Kahlila Bandele, 18.

After three pandemic years, how are Louisiana’s K-12 educators?

Three years ago, Louisiana’s K-12 educators, principals, support staff, paraprofessionals, and specialists faced one of the biggest –and most difficult– challenges of their careers: the coronavirus pandemic, known as COVID-19.  They quickly adjusted in order to transition into virtual learning environments during the height of the pandemic. They transitioned back into schools bearing multiple COVID-restrictions … Continue reading

‘I hated, hated science’ until STEM NOLA

“My parents are happy for me and proud of me. They see that I have a passion for what I want to do.  This really feels like the way that I can help change the world,” said 17-year-old Jaelyn Carr

Southern University wins $40,000 Home Depot Grant

Southern University and A&M College will receive a $40,000 Retool Your School grant from Home Depot. Southern University’s Baton Rouge and Shreveport campuses along with Grambling State University are part of the 30 HBCUs selected by students, alumni and advocates to receive a combined $1 million in campus improvements grants through the annual Retool Your … Continue reading

Larry Irvin is shaping the future, making teaching cool again

Brothers Empowered to Teach CEO Larry Irvin Jr. selected as a TED2021 Fellow

Eight Southern University leaders join health equity task force

Southern University System will have eight representatives on Governor John Bel Edwards Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. The task force, which will meet for the first time on Friday, April 24, will focus on research and actions to improve health outcomes and equity for the state’s residents in response to COVID-19. The group’s progress … Continue reading

School to prison pipeline can be dismantled says juvenile judge

pencils as prison bars

The statistics are clear. During the 2018-2019 school year, nearly 95% of East Baton Rouge Parish Schools students suspended out-of-school were Black as was 89.4% of students with in-school suspensions. The overwhelming majority of them are males. In a school district with a 78.1% Black student population, 92.7% of the students referred to law enforcement from … Continue reading

Students, teachers use self-efficacy to master learning, show the world ‘we are intelligent’

Education scholars like Erin Wheeler Ph.D., executive director of College Beyond, and Calvin Mackie Ph.D. of STEM NOLA have said a student’s “belief” is critical for their success. This belief, which is called “self-efficacy,” is the belief in one’s ability to complete a chosen, specific task. Because this belief “fuels students,” it is part of the education model at T.M. Landry College Prep in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Separate, unequal, and dismal: Urban League rekindles leaders’ commitments to improve public schools 

The Urban League of Louisiana released an equity report examining the quality of Baton Rouge public schools and identifying gaps in outcomes, access, and excellence. Calling the findings “dismal” and “concerning,” several education stakeholders were present at the McKinley Alumni Center for a press conference and panel discussion to present data from the Advancing Educational … Continue reading

Dear Governor Edwards, TOPS has become an entitlement for rich Louisianans

“Dear Governor, Doling out tax dollars to students who can’t demonstrate a financial need isn’t responsible. It amounts to a tax break for upper-income parents.” writes Andre Perry, PhD.

Baton Rouge charter pushes to keep 600 students, remain open

When Jonathan Hage traveled to Baton Rouge following the August flood, the Charter School USA director’s first concerns were his teachers’ and students’ well-being. Along with his wife and other executives, Hage brought hope and money—each teacher received $500. “It’s not money. It’s love,” Sherry Hage told the teachers. “We want you to know that … Continue reading

Summers to lead SLU student affairs

Eric J. Summers, EdD, of Hammond has been named the vice president for student affairs at Southeastern Louisiana University. Summers has served as assistant to the vice president for student affairs since 2011, where he filled the roles of diversity educator, chief conduct officer, and principal administrative officer.  His appointment follows a nationwide search and is … Continue reading

How to talk with children about tragedy

Today’s tragic event in Baton Rouge has left us all with many questions. But for parents, it can open up a new conversation with children who may have trouble understanding exactly what’s going on. Dr. Shaun Kimberly and Sharon Wesberry of Our Lady of The Lake Children’s Hospital have pulled together a few tips from OLOL … Continue reading

Orchestra festival reaffirms talents of young musicians

“I’m not usually at a loss for words, but this orchestra festival was a healing and reaffirming moment for all of us,” Frances Spencer said.

Community to celebrate Amite valedictorian denied walk

Almost three weeks after the valedictorian of Amite High School was denied his walk across the stage because of his facial hair, a state leader is giving him his own graduation. The celebration for Andrew Jones will be held June 17 at the African-American Heritage Museum, 1600 Phoenix Square in Hammond at 7 p.m.

University leader calls high school decision to keep athlete, ban valedictorian ‘height of hypocrisy’

The following is a copy of Dillard University president Walter Kimbrough’s letter to Tangipahoa School Superintendent Mark Kolwe in regards to the national embarrassment: Last night, I watched “The Nightly Show” with Larry Wilmore. In the first segment, he discussed the case of Andrew Jones at Amite High School. Living in New Orleans, I was already … Continue reading

Green takes national college media awards

Southern University Baton Rouge student Don Green, won the Photo Shoot-out competition in the Best of Show contest to earn a David L. Adams Apple Award at the national College Media Association’s (CMA) convention in New York City, March 12-15, 2016. For the second consecutive year, the SUBR Office of Student Media has earned the … Continue reading

SUNO chancellor announces resignation

Southern University New Orleans Chancellor Victor Ukpolo, Ph.D, has announced his resignation effective June 30, 2016, after serving 10 years in the position. “I am truly grateful to America, the Southern University System and SUNO for giving me an opportunity to lead this University for the past 10 years,” Ukpolo said. “I came to America … Continue reading

BR Bus Boycott commemorated by Toni Morrison Society’s Bench by the Road Project

The Toni Morrison Society has selected Baton Rouge as the next site for its Bench by the Road Project, which commemorates places significant in Blacks history. On Feb. 6, 2016, a bench will be unveiled in honor of Blacks involved in the historic 1953 Baton Rouge bus boycott, which was the precursor to the Montgomery … Continue reading

Former SU history professor Arthur Tolson passes away

Arthur L. Tolson, Ph.D, a longtime faculty member in the Southern University Baton Rouge Department of History, died Wednesday, November 18, 2015, in Baton Rouge. He was 91. SU System President-Chancellor Ray L. Belton issues the following statement and condolences:  “The Southern University System is tremendously saddened by the passing of former history professor Dr. … Continue reading

Baton Rouge community learns ‘quick’ CPR

Studies have shown the Hands-Only CPR method is equally as effective as conventional mouth-to-mouth CPR, and people are more likely to feel comfortable performing it.

Center gives male students new life

Three years ago when 18-year-old McDonogh #35 senior Louis Blackmon considered his prospects after graduation, they were slim due to his ACT scores. His score fell just below Louisiana’s dictated minimum required scores for enrollment at a four-year state college. The former football team co-captain said he always knew he wanted a four-year college degree … Continue reading

New admission standards may boost SU, Grambling

Grambling State University and colleges in the Southern University System may receive a much-needed boost in enrollment this fall, thanks to changes in the Louisiana Board of Regents’ admission standards for public institutions. The change will allow students who require remedial or developmental courses to enroll at the state’s public historically Black colleges and universities. … Continue reading

Belton to lead Southern University System

“We are pleased with the outcome of the search for the SU System president/chancellor. The search committee’s work was expedient and exemplary. We welcome Dr. Ray Belton whose tenure will signal the beginning of the next era for the only HBCU system in America.” – Leon Tarver, PhD  Getting to know Ray Belton, PhD Compiled … Continue reading

Toldson sets ‘Strategic Vision’ for Southern University

Weeks ahead of the June 30 deadline to select the next president of the Southern University System, the three finalists have been invited to the Baton Rouge campus on Thursday, June 11, for interviews with faculty, staff, students, alumni and stakeholders. But one candidate–Ivory Toldson, Ph.D–has already reached out to the Jaguar Nation via social … Continue reading

Southern University System names three finalists

The Southern University System Board of Supervisors’ President/Chancellor Search Committee today announced three finalists for the position of president/chancellor. After interviewing six applicants during its final meeting today at the Hilton Garden Inn in Baton Rouge, the 15-member search team narrowed the list for the next SU System leader to the following three candidates who … Continue reading

Southern University campuses graduates nearly 1,600

The Southern University System graduated 1,673 students from four of its campuses during recently held spring commencement exercises across the state.   Graduates came from a number of cities and towns in Louisiana, including New Orleans, Melville, Lake Providence, Maurice, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. They came from Texas, California, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, and … Continue reading

Verret to follow Francis as Xavier University president

The Board of Trustees of Xavier University of Louisiana has unanimously elected C. Reynold Verret, Ph.D as the university’s next president. “I would like to congratulate and welcome Dr. Verret to the Xavier family,” said Michael Rue, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “While there were a number of highly-qualified candidates, Dr. Verret stood out … Continue reading

North Baton Rouge education rollercoaster needs new solutions

Take any north Baton Rouge student and sit them in Mumford Stadium. Let them groove to the Human Jukebox, marvel at the fancy footwork of the Dancing Dolls, cheer for the football players and soak in the legend of the Bluff – chances are they will leave so excited that even if they weren’t thinking … Continue reading

The Current State of HBCUs: It’s a Mixed Bag, but Many Remain Hopeful

Ford launches Community Challenge in search of teams from HBCUs

Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund are encouraging students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to submit proposals in a competition to earn scholarships while also contributing to their communities. Up to $75,000 in scholarships and university and community grants will be awarded to the winning student team and project. Interested students … Continue reading

Castille named SUAF president

The Southern University Alumni Federation (SUAF) elected Opelousas native Preston J. Castille Jr. national president, and six new officers, at its national conference in Houston, Texas, July 11, 2014.

Louisiana NAACP sends call to action: ‘Baton Rouge, Show up Thursday, July 17’

While the Baton Rouge parent group One Community One School District is encouraging residents to attend a discussion on the harmful effects of School Board Redistricting at 6:30 tonight in the Goodwood Library’s large conference room, the state’s NAACP has a CALL TO ACTION for the community to show up tomorrow at 4:15pm at the school board … Continue reading

McClinton replaces Llorens as SUBR chancellor

Southern University System Board of Supervisors appointed Flandus McClinton Jr., acting chancellor for Southern University Baton Rouge. McClinton will lead the main campus of the five-campus SU System until a permanent chancellor is hired to fill the position. He replaces James Llorens whose contract ends today.

Local charter to open in Baker

BAKER—Impact Charter Elementary, a locally operated, charter school has broken ground to begin construction at 4815 Lavey Lane in Baker. Officials said the free public school will open its doors to students this fall. “We found Baker had the biggest need for the type of program we will have and that is what made [it] … Continue reading

Educators send alert against ‘harmful anti-public school legislation’

The Louisiana Association of Educators are urging residents to take action to stop Senate Bill 636. ” SB 636 is punitive with respect to public education, educators, and students, and does NOTHING to improve Baton Rouge public schools or Louisiana’s public schools in general. Not only does the bill not improve or support teachers in … Continue reading

Speak up! Change La. education laws

BRAC seeks public input  With three weeks left to file new legislation for this year’s session, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of  Commerce is seeking community input to help develop a new governance structure for the East Baton Rouge Public School System. The Chamber is planning to write education legislation that would primarily shift governing … Continue reading

Kirk Franklin to lecture at Dillard

Grammy award-wining gospel singer, motivator, and best-selling author, Kirk Franklin will deliver the Brain Food Lecture in Lawless Chapel on Dillard’s campus. The Feb. 6 lecture starts at 7pm and open freely to the public. Franklin’s combination of styles such as Hip Hop, Rhythm and blues, pop and gospel has put him at the top … Continue reading

The Relentless Pursuit of ‘Equal’: Integrating LSU exhibit opens Jan. 21

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, LSU Libraries Special Collections presents “The Relentless Pursuit of ‘Equal’: Integrating LSU,” an exhibition tracing the evolution of LSU from an institution embracing an official policy of racial segregation, to one actively promoting the concept that “cultural inclusion at … Continue reading

Louisianans seek end to cycle of financial failure

Stretching to northeast Louisiana through central parts of the state then southwest and into the capitol region, the steady grip of poverty is the primary concern of Louisiana’s working residents and youth. During a series of listening sessions conducted statewide residents told partners with the  Louisiana Building Economic Security Together, or LABEST, coalition that policies on housing, … Continue reading

Group starts public education strategy for Baton Rouge

Together Baton Rouge’s Public Education Strategy Kickoff is Tuesday, November 5th, 12pm, at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 9700 Scenic Highway, in the Family Life Center.  Organizers said, “You know all those people you know who have a deep commitment to public education? Who see it as a responsibility of citizenship to help assure that public schools have the … Continue reading

Celebrity makeup artist AJ Crimson brings academy to N.O., Nov.3

NEW ORLEANS– AJ Crimson is the go-to guy for all things makeup. Makeup artist to the stars, Crimson has built a solid reputation for creating flawless, picture ready looks. It’s no secret why celebrities such as R&B singer and former Destiny’s Child member Letoya Luckett, Adreinne Balion, and BET’s The Game star Lauren London call … Continue reading

Southern University celebrates 49 years of art during homecoming

More than years of Southern University talent will be on display at this year’s homecoming art exhibition. SU’s 2013, 5th Annual Homecoming Exhibition: “Southern University Visual Arts Alumni II Exhibition” will showcase artwork from about 29 alumni artists who belong to SU art classes spanning 1964 to 2013. It also includes works by Nathaniel Landry … Continue reading

Scholarships available through Ronald McDonald House Charities

Students across the country work hard to earn top marks, dreaming of the college they’ll attend and the education they’ll receive. Unfortunately, many of these students won’t be able to afford it, according to Black Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) want these students to reach their full potential. To help them accomplish this, our … Continue reading

Southern awarded $200,000 to help Blacks with disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of a $200,000 grant to Southern University and A&M College to explore ways to help young Blacks with disabilities successfully transition into society.   Southern will use the funding to support Project Work Opportunity through Resource and Capacity Building.  Under the project, the university will develop … Continue reading

Young Danse Noir performers continue to impress

Cirque de Danse recital an awesome production More than 600 people gathered at the Louisiana State University Union Theatre for Danse Noir Studio’s annual spring dance recital last month. Centered around the circus theme, the Cirque de Danse production kept  the audience on the edge of their seats watching rhythmic moves using hoolahoops, balls, ribbons, … Continue reading