BR principal to receive leadership award

The University Council for Educational Administration has awarded a longtime Baton Rouge principal with its Excellence in Educational Leadership award.

Phyllis Crawford, Baton Rouge native and principal at Sherwood Middle School, will receive the award at 5 p.m. Sept. 19 at the next meeting of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board.

UCEA, a nonprofit corporation of research universities looking to improve educational leadership, gives the award to practicing school administrators.

Crawford has long experience in education. She has served as principal at Sherwood Middle School for 14 years. According to the news release announcing the award, Crawford also spent the past 20 years mentoring students in a principal internship course at the LSU School of Education, her alma mater.

New technology ready for EBR, state schools

As many as 23,000 students at public schools in Baton Rouge now have the benefit of new technology that should improve both the speed and the accuracy of state-mandated vision screenings: the plusoptiX S09 vision screener.

The nonprofit group Health Centers in Schools unveiled the new screening equipment on Sept. 5 during a ceremony at Westdale Heights Academic Magnet Elementary School in Baton Rouge. The organization operates 11 school-based health centers and manages the school nurse programs for both the East Baton Rouge Parish school system and the state-run Recovery School District.

Charlotte Odom, a spokeswoman for Health Centers in Schools, said the organization has purchased nine screeners so far and is seeking grants to buy several more. Grants from the Rotary Club and donor funds connected with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation helped fund the purchase of the initial screeners, which cost about $6,000 a piece, she said.

“We are one of the first to have it in the state. It’s brand new,” Odom said. “Have to get them shipped all the way from Germany.”

Odom said the new screeners match what could previously come only from a specialist. It scans both eyes at the same time in 0.8 seconds or less and can be used on children as young as six months old. The group tested a screener at LaBelle Aire Elementary School in the spring and found at least one previously undiagnosed vision problem, she said.

Compiled from staff reports and news releases