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Baton Rouge International School closing after 22 years

April 17, 2022 GMT

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 next school year.

The Baton Rouge International School blamed a coronavirus pandemic-related drop in enrollment from which it never recovered as a reason for the closing, according to The Advocate. The school offered a full multilingual immersion program in English, Spanish, French and Chinese. It is part of a global network of 50 schools known as the International Schools Partnership.

“It is ... with deep and heartfelt sadness that I write to tell you that Baton Rouge International School will permanently close at the end of this school year,” read a letter sent to parents last week.

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The last day of classes is May 26. The closure announcement was made after most other private schools had already enrolled students for next year.

“We’re stabbing in the dark hoping we might get on a wait list,” said Dawn DePorter-Kimmence, who has two children at the school. She told the newspaper she’s still hoping a benefactor will save the school.

She said her children can communicate in French and Spanish and also know some Chinese. And she said the school provided challenging lessons in regular 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.”

Enrollment at pre-K through 12th-grade school declined from 309 students in fall 2019 to 188 students in February, according to the Louisiana Department of Education.