One-of-a-kind charter 'thrives' in Baton Rouge

One-of-a-kind charter 'thrives' in Baton Rouge
Photo courtesy of NBC33 news

POSTED: Monday, May 27, 2013 - 6:30pm

UPDATED: Monday, May 27, 2013 - 6:34pm

A charter boarding school that's taken up residence right here in Baton Rouge is seeing some surprising results from their students as the school year closes. Students stay overnight Monday through Friday and work in very small classes. The school's founder said she always knew it would be a success, but was surprised to see just how much her kids achieved in a few short months.

When Thrive first launched as Louisiana’s first charter boarding school, it was a small leap of faith.

"We always knew it was going to work, it was just a question of how much and how quickly," explained Sarah Broome, the founder of Thrive.

Broome explained that the first year brought with it some interesting surprises and lessons.

"5th graders and 6th graders are scared of the dark, we have to put night lights in the rooms sometimes, and living in an old campus it can seem haunted sometimes. That was a big lesson for us," said Broome.

But possibly even more surprising were the first year's test scores.

"Essentially we went from almost none of our kids passing most of their subjects to a majority of our kids passing most of their subjects."

"They came in extremely intelligent, extremely inquisitive, extremely curious about everything, and I was just so ecstatic that it was actually able to be measured, how far they came and how much they grew over the year," exclaimed Katie Andrews, a teacher at Thrive.

Akasiha Jones' son Troy just finished his first year at the overnight school. Troy was having disciplinary issues and had already failed a grade once, Jones sent him to Thrive hoping to set him on the right path, and she wasn't disappointed.

"He comes and brings the paper and is like, 'look at those scores, look at those scores. I am higher than everybody at my school! Look at that! Look at that!' and I was like...I couldn’t. I just instantly came into tears," described Jones.

Now, she said Troy talks about going to college and taking his learning to the next level. Troy will all be returning to Thrive in the fall along with several of his classmates.

"He went to Thrive and troy became a whole other person. Like really, a whole new person. He's truly not the child I sent to thrive in august of last year," Jones said.

The school will open up 30 new slots for sixth graders next year, and bring back 17 of the original 20 students who will now move up to the seventh grade. They eventually plan to take on 350 students once they reach full capacity.

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