Brookstown Middle Magnet School opens with high expectations
POSTED: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 3:27pm
UPDATED: Monday, August 18, 2014 - 7:13am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — The first day of school is always the start of something new.
East Baton Rouge and several other school districts welcomed students back to class Monday. Students in grades six and seven filed off the bus and walked into Brookstown Middle School, curious to see what their new school would offer. And many of their parents were just as anxious.
"I'm nervous," Christi Johnson said after dropping off her sixth-grade daughter. "This is her first year in middle school, so I'm very nervous."
Brookstown Middle is the newest magnet program in East Baton Rouge Parish. About half of the school's students live in the neighborhood, while the other half choose to attend for the specialized programs.
"She has [had] some gifted classes," Johnson mentioned. "And she's a little, like I said, timid, so I wanted her to be with students more like, you know, with her personality."
Aside from the traditional, neighborhood school, Brookstown has an honors academy and programs that focus on health sciences and broadcasting.
"It's unique that I really have four schools into one," said principal Sean Joffrion, "and it's exciting to see all of these kids in that melting pot, with all these four different components of school."
Without prior years' test scores to rely on, Joffrion and Brookstown will use other ways to measure success. They are doing it by creating high standards, going so far as to change the way students dress when they come to class.
"We feel as if, if children look different, they'll think different, they'll act different," Joffrion explained. When you have a shirt, a tie, and a blazer on, you kind of have a different feel about yourself than the actual uniform that [middle-schoolers] usually wear. So it gives them more confidence, it builds their self-esteem, as well as their character, too, as well."
Brookstown will add an eighth grade in 2015-16.