BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A small private school in Baton Rouge is closing after 22 years of operation, leaving parents looking for a place to enroll their children for the next school year.
The Baton Rouge International School blamed a drop in enrollment related to the coronavirus pandemic that it never recovered from as the reason for the closure, according to The Advocate. The school offered a full multilingual immersion program in English, Spanish, French and Chinese. It is part of a worldwide network of 50 schools known as the International Schools Partnership.
“It is…with deep and profound sadness that I write to tell you that Baton Rouge International School will be permanently closing at the end of this school year,” read a letter sent to parents the week last.
The last day of classes is May 26. The announcement of the closure came as most other private schools had already registered students for next year.
“We’re stabbing in the dark hoping we might be on a waiting list,” said Dawn DePorter-Kimmence, who has two children at school. She told the newspaper that she still hopes a benefactor will save the school.
She said her children can communicate in French and Spanish and also know a little Chinese. And she said the school offered challenging classes in mainstream subjects.
“You don’t get exposure to that everywhere,” she said. “It sets them up in life for success that not everyone has access to.”
According to the Louisiana Department of Education, enrollment in K-12 schools fell from 309 students in fall 2019 to 188 students in February.