Boquet: Locals enjoying firsthand view of public schools

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How long has it been since you’ve been inside a classroom?

Do you drive pass our schools and wonder what’s going on inside?

This year the St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District is starting a new initiative designed to let the public come see what’s going on inside their public schools.

We kicked off our year of Patron Tours last week at East St. John High School and will invite the community inside a different school each month. The next one is scheduled for Oct. 20 at Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet School.

With a new principal and a renewed focus on the math and science component of its curriculum, this is a great tour to attend.

Our visitors to East St. John High were pleasantly surprised to find out about all the college credits, certifications and many other opportunities for students that weren’t available when many of us were in school.

You may be saying, “My child doesn’t go to this school. Why would I go to that?” or “I don’t even have children. Why should I care?”

The answer is simple. As a community member, you invest in the public school system and we think you should be informed about what’s going on inside our schools.

This is also a chance for you to have any questions answered or that rumor you may have heard addressed.

Secondly, how well we do our job affects the future of the entire parish. Any parish official or realtor will tell you that one of the first questions they are asked by businesses or residents looking to relocate is “How is the school system?”

In the past, that answer may not have been a positive one. However, we believe we are changing that, as evidenced by our recent B rating by the Louisiana Department of Education. These tours are a chance for our administrators, teachers and students to show you how they are accomplishing that.

Whether your child attends our schools or not — or whether you have a child at all — these are YOUR public schools, and we want to open our doors to you.

Please join us on Oct. 20 at Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet School or, if you are unable to attend, at one of the other tours scheduled throughout this school year.

We are scheduled to be at Fifth Ward Elementary School on Nov. 11 and at Emily C. Watkins Elementary School on Dec. 15 and will announce the rest of the schedule as the dates draw closer.

I hope to see you at one — or all — of our tours!

Jennifer Boquet is the communications specialist for St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools. Email her at