Istrouma High School

Istrouma High School is an accredited public school located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. It was founded in 1917, and is located in East Baton Rouge Parish. Its name is a local Indian word meaning "red stick". Red stick is also the English language translation of the French words baton rouge. The area of north Baton Rouge where the school is located is also known as the Istrouma area.

Istrouma High School
3730 Winbourne Ave.


United States
Coordinates30°28′41″N 91°09′07″W / 30.478137°N 91.151912°W / 30.478137; -91.151912Coordinates: 30°28′41″N 91°09′07″W / 30.478137°N 91.151912°W / 30.478137; -91.151912
TypeFree public
School districtEast Baton Rouge Parish
PrincipalMichael Bester
Grades9 - 12
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)Burgundy and Gray    


Istrouma High School began in 1917, in a two-room frame building with a faculty of two. In 1921 the school moved to a larger brick building at the corner of Erie Street and Wenonah Street. The school had its first graduations in 1921, in the form of the grammar school portion having graduations that year. The first high school graduations came in 1924. In 1931 another building was added at the corner of Erie Street and Tecumseh Street. The school first fielded a football team and band in 1935.[1] With increasing enrollment, a third (and much larger) building was added in 1940, at the corner of Erie Street and Osceola Street. The school's name and location were proposed to be changed in 1945 to Franklin D. Roosevelt High School.[2] This name change never occurred, but the school did move to its current location on Winbourne Ave, in 1951. This move and expansion became necessary due to increased enrollment caused by the Louisiana Legislature adding a twelfth grade to school curriculums in 1949.[3] The old school buildings became the home of Istrouma Junior High School, and were later torn down in 2005. Being located in North Baton Rouge, Istrouma High School, was considered for most of its history as the school for the sons and daughters of blue collar plant workers.[4] Its major cross town rival (until 1976) was Baton Rouge High School. In 2012, the school was taken over, and was being running as part of the Louisiana Recovery School District.[5] In October 2013, it was announced that Istrouma High School would close down for at least one year following the 2013–2014 school year.[6] This announcement almost immediately sparked petitions from old and new alumni to keep the school, which was nearing its 100-year anniversary mark, open.[7] The school was merged with Capitol High School and reopened at Capitol High's campus starting with the 2015–2016 school year. The Istrouma High building continues to be used as school board administrative offices. The school re-opened in Summer 2017 to a renovated campus and new academic programs.[8]

The school was closed for the 2014–2015, 2015–2016, and 2016–2017 academic school years due to repeated failure of meeting state standards and drastic falling enrollment. Most students who would traditionally attend Istrouma were expected to attend Capitol Senior High School (ran by Friendship Public Charter School of D.C.) near Downtown Baton Rouge.[6] The state was planning to reopen the school as a charter by the 2015–2016 academic school year starting with only a freshman class but did not.[9]

In August 2017, Istrouma reopened after $24.1 million worth of renovations and new developments were completed on campus. The school opened with only 9th and 10th graders on campus, with plans to gradually add 11th and 12th graders in the following academic school years. The school revamped its academic offerings and programs to better prepare students for college and employment after high school graduation.[10][11]


The school faculty was made up of 72 teachers in a wide array of disciplines including courses in sciences, mathematics, language arts, physical education, health, reading, marketing education, music, family & consumer science, technology education, business, sociology, social studies, visual arts, graphic arts, special education courses, foreign language (French & Spanish), JROTC, carpentry, and welding.[12]

Early in his career, Baton Rouge-area State Representative Donald Ray Kennard was an Istrouma faculty member and coach.[13]

Student bodyEdit

Historically, Istrouma High was a popular destination for white students mostly from middle class families.[14] However due to nationwide desegregation efforts to ensure more African-American students had access to the same high quality resources and facilities as white students enrolled in public schools, white flight in the Istrouma High surrounding area ensued and the school gradually became more diverse racially and economically.[15] Since the 1980s, Istrouma has been composed mostly with African-American students from working class families.[16]


Istrouma High School currently participates in the LHSAA 4A athletic class for several boys and girls sports.

Some past accomplishmentsEdit

Istrouma had a wide array of sports, including football, basketball, cross-country, track. The school's football team was founded in 1935. It won state championships in Class 2A: 1938, 1950, 1951, Class 3A: 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1962.[17][18][19] The school also made unsuccessful appearances in the state title game in Class 1A in 1937, and Class 4A in 1976.[20] It was a Class AAAA member of the LHSAA and competed in District 6.[21] Notable past players include 1959 Heisman Trophy Winner and LSU & NFL star, Billy Cannon.[22] Cannon was named as a high school All-American before graduating and going to LSU.[23] LSU's 1965 TSN All-American, George Rice, also graduated from Istrouma.

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "ABOUT US - Istrouma High School '64". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  2. ^ "New Page 1". Archived from the original on 2004-02-25. High School
  3. ^ "ISTROUMA HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1952 Golden Reunion". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  4. ^ "cool.html". Archived from the original on 2011-05-25. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  5. ^ Amber Stegall (2012-04-25). "Istrouma H.S. taken over by the State's Recovery School Dist. - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "State closing Istrouma, Glen Oaks schools | WBRZ News 2 Louisiana: Baton Rouge, LA |". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  7. ^ "Petition drive begins to keep Istrouma High School open | Home | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, Louisiana". Archived from the original on December 13, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  8. ^ "Istrouma High renovations moving forward with new influx of cash coming | Education |".
  9. ^ Nick Foley (2013-10-29). "Istrouma High School to close as part of RSD changes - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  10. ^ "Publisher: Istrouma coming back to compete".
  11. ^ "An anniversary and a rebirth all in one: Istrouma looks to use athletics to forge a 2017 identity".
  12. ^ "Istrouma Senior High School Profile - Baton Rouge, LA -". Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  13. ^ "Donald Ray Kennard". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, August 7, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
  14. ^ "Istrouma High reopening plans coming into focus, with mix of programs on tap | |".
  15. ^ "Left Behind: Can East Baton Rouge Schools Survive the Breakaway of a Wealthy — Majority White — Community? | The 74".
  16. ^ "Smiley Anders remembers yesteryear's Istrouma High | Entertainment/Life |".
  17. ^ "Louisiana High School Football State Champions". Archived from the original on December 16, 2014. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  18. ^ Louisiana High School Football Championships Archived 2008-02-28 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "SportsNOLA". Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  20. ^ Laborde, Errol. "State Championship Games Since 1921," 2013 LHSAA State Farm Prep Classic, (Metarie: Renaissance Publishing, 2013), pg. 17-22.
  21. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2007-10-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ Billy Cannon
  23. ^ Greatest Moments in Lsu Football History - Advocate - Google Books. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  24. ^ Unknown Publication date. Database 15 May 2008. "RotoWire Fantasy Football, Baseball, Basketball and More". Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2008-05-15.