Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome (above and below) joined the Board of Directors for GEO Academies earlier this week to cut the ribbon on our fourth campus opening in the past five years. This time, we cut the ribbon for GEO Next Generation High School of Baton Rouge. This is an $11 million, state-of-the-art new construction building in NE Baton Rouge made possible by our partnership with New Schools for Baton Rouge, the Schola Fund, and Civic Builders.
The building is an exclamation point to dramatic growth in both enrollment and academic achievement at GEO Academies over the past five years. The network’s first school started with 150 students in grades K-3 in 2015, and now has three schools on four campuses serving 1,600 students in grades K-10 today (the network will add 11th and 12th grade over the next two years). All are “top gains” schools, too.
The network’s board of directors is led by the great Linda Johnson, former BESE (State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education) Chair, and longtime Baton Rouge leader and resident. Linda visited our Gary school back in 2014 and worked hard to bring our model to the Bayou State.
“If we are serious about achieving equity in education, we must focus 100% of our budgets and our energies on helping our most vulnerable children not only graduate from high school on time, but do so fully prepared to go to college and complete college,” Linda said at the ribbon cutting. I couldn’t agree more! Go Linda!!!
GEO’s students in Gary, Indiana outperform many of the state’s richest (and whitest) school districts in terms of college and career readiness as measured by Indiana’s Department of Education. And many graduate from high school with real college associate degrees and career certifications, too. That’s real equity!
GEO Next Gen currently serves more than 200 9th and 10th grade students and more than 25% are already taking college level classes. Two students (pictured below) who participated in actually cutting the ribbon have already earned 18 college credits and are currently working to earn six more this semester–and they are only sophomores in high school.
Students today want to do so much more than traditional high school and at GEO’s schools, they do!