By: Adonica Duggan

Groundbreaking ceremonies celebrate increased opportunities for students

New Schools for Baton Rouge has recently joined partners celebrating groundbreakings for two new school facilities set to begin serving Baton Rouge students in August of 2018. These sites mark the launch of two high quality operators in our community, ultimately looking to serve more than 8,000 students combined.

IDEA Public Schools leaders were joined by Baton Rouge community members and East Baton Rouge Parish School System officials for the groundbreaking of IDEA Cortana, the first IDEA school in Southern Louisiana. The campus will serve more than 400 students when it opens, and approximately 1500 at capacity. IDEA Cortana began accepting applications on Sept. 1, and will enroll grades K through 2nd and 6th graders in its inaugural year.

In September, BASIS Baton Rouge also held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new open enrollment, tuition free charter school site to be located on the Woman’s Hospital campus. This corporate charter partnership is the first of its kind in the state of Louisiana. Woman’s Hospital President and CEO Teri Fontenot and Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of the BASIS Baton Rouge Board of Directors and former President and CEO of Intel were among the speakers on hand to celebrate the occasion. BASIS Baton Rouge is set to open to 450 K-5 students next fall.

This is the first school in Louisiana for the nationally-renowned network of BASIS Curriculum Schools. While the plan is for BASIS Baton Rouge to be K-5 school when it opens, with enough community interest, 6th graders may also be enrolled the first year. Eventually, BASIS Baton Rouge will serve K-12 students.

“This ceremony is a nice combination of something practical, and something symbolic for BASIS Baton Rouge,” said BASIS.ed CEO Peter Bezanson. “Practically speaking, we’re building a new schoolhouse from the ground up, and we are looking forward to starting that vital, tangible project. But the symbolism is important too. Breaking ground makes clear our stake in this city, signifies a literal and figurative foundation of something real and durable and useful here.”

BASIS Baton Rouge is the 25th charter school in the BASIS Curriculum Schools network, which now has a total of 32 schools in six states, the District of Columbia, and China.

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