New charter boarding school is first of its kind in the state


POSTED: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 5:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 12:46pm

A new model charter boarding school will open its doors for twenty sixth-graders this fall. The idea behind the school is to prepare at-risk kids for college, and it's all been dreamed up and turned in to reality by a young Teach for America alum.

For 26 year-old Sarah Broome starting a charter boarding school for at risk kids, is something she saw the need for while teaching at Baton Rouge's Prescott Middle School.

"While I was there a student at our school was killed in a fatal stabbing. And this was an incredibly bright, intelligent, motivated girl. And they just needed a little bit more opportunity. There were different things that needed to be available to them," Sarah Broome, executive director at Thrive, explained.

Broome said the school, which has been named 'Thrive', will provide just that for the 20 students she's hoping to see board there part time.

"Throughout the week and between we're able to have traditional classes, but we're also able to give them one on one tutoring. Access to all kinds of arts programs, to sports, to a whole wide variety of activities that we're able to do with them simply because there here with us 24 hours a day," Broome said.

But not every educator is convinced that starting a charter school with those as young as Broome at the helm, no matter how well intended, is the best thing for the students attending.

"I think there should also be some respect for the time it takes to learn about a craft. So I would think they would be, or I would hope, they would be reaching out whether they say it or not," Steve Monaghan with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, weighed in.

To that Broome and her staff say they understand some of the concern. But both believe it's their motivation and energy that will help make the school a success.

"What's different about Thrive is that we're just a staff of people who have the same vision, and the same values, and we're all willing to work really, really hard for our students," Bree Quinn, a teacher at Thrive, emphasized.

"It's more about the vision you set then your youth and experience," Broome added.

For those interested in volunteering or finding out more information about enrolling head to

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You go, girl! Twenty years ago in graduate school, I wrote just such a proposal. Sadly, it has languished in my attic since then. Best of luck; this is one way to manipulate the environment, which is what it's all about!

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