The Journey to Impact

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The Journey to Impact

"We need a school that looks like Disneyland but operates like Harvard," said Chakesha Scott as she began dreaming of ways to change the education landscape in Baker, Louisiana.“We need a school that looks like Disneyland but operates like Harvard,” said Chakesha Scott as she began dreaming of ways to change the education landscape in Baker, Louisiana.

In 2014, Scott turned her aspirations into reality by establishing Impact Charter School, Baker’s inaugural and only locally-based charter school. However, the journey to fulfill her dream was filled with adversity and challenges. As the founder and CEO, Scott describes the process of opening a charter school in Louisiana as “one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life.” Through it all, Scott would lean on her “why,” the students. “The children I witnessed suffering in Baker’s schools, I knew I needed to do something,” she explained.”

Scott is a native of the Baker- Brownsfield community; she attended Baker Middle School and graduated from Scotlandville Magnet High. With a background in business and accounting, Scott, launched Education Explosion Inc. to provide supplemental educational services to failing schools in Baker, East Baton Rouge Parish, and Ascension Parish. In 2011, Scott spent most of her time supervising the tutors she hired to service students in two of the five schools in the Baker Independent School District. She became increasingly disheartened as students succumbed to the effects of learning in dark spaces with little teaching staff consistency. The third and fourth-grade students participating in Education Explosion’s program would confide in Scott about how much they wanted to learn but felt stifled by teachers not coming to work or giving them homework. These issues planted a seed in Scott to do something more.

“I started to research and do the footwork on how students can get educational options, regardless of what the state or the governmental bodies are doing. It’s not fair for students to receive a low-quality educational experience based on their zip code,” Scott said in a recent interview.

After learning about charter school law and programs in other states, Greater Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, Scott found her bright idea. Today, Impact Charter serves students in Prek-8th grade and has been in operation for almost ten years. They take pride in their unique and ultra-intentional approach. From the school building design and uniforms to the curriculum, Scott has worked hard to accomplish her original vision of creating a school that “looks like Disneyland but operates like Harvard.”

Living up to its name, the school continually impacts the surrounding community. Impact Charter’s academic success has brought new homes, neighborhoods, and businesses to Baker, resulting in direct economic growth. In 2023, Impact Charter received a “B” rating from the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) and simultaneously earned its 4th Top Gains Honoree Award from LDOE for earning an “A” in progress regarding student achievement. Scott hopes their academic performance will set a new standard for Baker and surrounding areas so that “all students can have access to high-quality education, not just the ones we serve.” Scott remains adamant that the goal of Impact Charter is to inspire the community. She believes the future of Baker should contain a diverse array of high-performing schools, so every student can be empowered with choosing a school that best meets their needs without compromising educational excellence.

To learn more about Impact Charter School, visit their website.


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