What are Focus Choice Schools
The East Baton Rouge Parish School System has expanded its portfolio of schools that offer students non-academic admission into the cohort of Focus Choice Schools (FCS), a model designed to provide competitive and engaging programs. The Focus Choice School model offers students a small eco-model focusing on a specialized, theme-based curriculum at all grade levels through a specific lens to enhance their learning. Focus choice schools are aligned to and heavily influenced by agreements with particular post-secondary institutions, hospitals, businesses, or industries that have created a personal stake in assisting the district with implementation and providing systemic, direct support for students and teachers. The partner advises the standards of the academic program managing the school.
The Focus Choice School (FCS) model provides opportunities for students interested in defined thematic programs aligned with one of the five career fields of the Pathways to Bright Futures program. There are two medical programs, an environmental science program and a teacher prep and leadership program. The program model is designed to meet entrance requirements for the post-secondary partner's relevant program of study or the appropriate field in the workforce. Because of this, there are no GPA or testing requirements to get into a Focus Choice School; however, each program will have a retention requirement dependent on the post-secondary credential requirements. This could range from 2.00 to 3.00, depending on the program. Students must apply for non-academic admission for each school in the Focus Choice network.
Focus Choice Schools is a model concentrating on implementing choice schools that are innovative and provide a stimulating and challenging curriculum while capitalizing on integrating a postsecondary partnership. A centralized goal of the program recognizes that school choice is a critical and essential aspect of every urban school system; therefore, this plan aims to provide innovative programs and enhanced opportunities throughout the school district to implement themed-based programs systematically.
Programs are aligned with the district’s Strategic Plan to increase available seats, add or enhance innovative programs, promote systemic recruitment strategies, and increase seats at schools with capacity. In alignment with the Pathways to Bright Futures academic programming design, Focus Choice Schools' specialized programs will allow students to participate in dual enrollment programs that will enable them to graduate from high school with an associate degree.