The establishment of the Central Community School System began in July 2007. Since then the people of Central have been empowered with controlling the destiny of their own schools. The Central Community School System has experienced the highest percentage growth of enrollment in the state growing at a rate of between 12 to15 percent per year. The enrollment has grown from 3,000 students in October of 2007 to the enrollment in October of 2009 of 3,800 students. An additional school site has been opened, 44 additional temporary classrooms have been added, and the number of employees has increased from just over 300 employees to just over 400 employees. The budget has increased from approximately $22 million in federal, state and local revenues to over $30 million dollars in federal, state and local revenues. The citizens of Central responded to the facility needs of the school system in May of 2009. Voters approved three new taxes dedicated to building new schools and addressing life/safety/code issues at existing schools. The taxes approved were: 1) a half cent sales tax dedicated for the construction of a New Middle School, 2) a 9.25 mill property tax dedicated to raising $12 million to address life/safety/code issues at Central High School, Tanglewood Elementary, and Bellingrath Hills Elementary, and 3) a 14.40 mill property tax dedicated to raising $20 million for the construction of a New Elementary School. All of these taxes were approved at a time when the economy was experiencing a down turn. The academic achievement of the new school system has raised eyebrows across the state. In the first ranking of the new school system, Central Community Schools were ranked #5 in academic achievement state wide. The administration, staff, and faculty at all schools worked very hard to accomplish this achievement. We are now focusing on addressing improvement at each school site and we look to setting our sights on being a high performing school district on the national level. The future looks promising for our school system. With the continued support and involvement of the community we will continue to move forward. By maintaining a staff made up of the highest quality of personnel and personnel committed to children first, the Central Community School System will continue to have a positive impact on the City of Central. The Central community takes great pride in its schools and the academic success of its children. In November of 2006, Louisiana voters passed a constitutional amendment authorizing the creation of the Central Community School District, allowing Central to became one of five cities in Louisiana that operate their own independent school systems. As a result, Central has one is the fastest growing systems in the state. Since May 2007, kindergarten through 12th grade enrollment has increased from 2,500 students to more than 3,800 for the 2009-2010 school year. The Central Community School System encompasses five schools: Bellingrath Hills Elementary School (Grades PreK-1), Tanglewood Elementary School (Grades 2- 3) , Central Intermediate Elementary (Grades 4-5), Central Middle School (Grades 6-8) and Central High School (Grades 9-12). Three of the schools are rated as three-star schools based on their School Performance Scores for 2009. During the 2008-09 school year, 88 percent of fourthgraders met promotional standards for the LEAP test, compared to 75 percent statewide. Of the district's eighth-graders who took the LEAP test in the same year, 81 percent met Promotional standards compared to 69 percent of eighth-grade students statewide. Veteran educator Michael Faulk serves as superintendent for the district. The School Board has seven members whose terms will expirer in December of 2010 Sharon Browning, Dr. James Gardner, Willard Easley, Marty Guilbeau, Ruby Foil, Russell Starns and Dr. David Walker. . Elections for the new School Board will be held in September of 2010 and this board will serve for a 4 year term. As the school district continues to meet the challenges of a growing student population, new construction and building improvements are top priorities. A $36 million state-of-the-art campus for the intermediate school (Grades 3-5) and Middle school (Grade 6-8) will soon begin construction on Sullivan Road, with an anticipated completion date between 2011 and 2012. The new campus is part of a $55.5 million capital improvement plan. In addition to a commitment to academics, the community supports a wide variety of extra-curricular activities from competitive sports teams to community-service organizations such as Beta Club. Central's Wildcats compete in the top classification, 5A, in Louisiana. For the past several years, the city's annual fundraising event, Cookin' in Central, has raised more than $750,000 which is used to purchase library materials and media resources for the public, private and parochial schools of Central. Along with the five schools in the CCSS, there are four private schools that serve area students: Central Academy & Childcare, Central Private School, Galilee Baptist Church School and St. Alphonsus Catholic School. Higher education opportunities are plentiful in the Greater Baton Rouge area with four-year universities Louisiana State University and Southern University. Another option for students is the community college system, anchored by BatonRouge Community College as well as various vocational and technical institutions. Graduating high school seniors are eligible to receive free tuition through Louisiana's innovative Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). Seniors must meet state requirements to receive stipends that pay for most of the tuition at a public institution or help with costs at private schools.
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