Louisiana’s First Virtual Charter School Set to Expand

More Louisiana students in grades K–12 will be allowed to enroll in Louisiana Connections Academy for the 2012–13 school year thanks to actions taken by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education last week. Louisiana Connections Academy is a free public virtual charter school that serves students in grades K–12 throughout the state.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved increasing total student enrollment at the Type 2 charter to 1000 for the coming academic year.

Learning outside the traditional classroom, Louisiana Connections Academy students attend virtual public school from home. Certified Louisiana teachers provide instruction online and interact with students via the computer, telephone, web conferencing, email, chat, and at in-person field trips.

“In our virtual school, the computer is a tool for teachers to manage and track assignments, communicate, and deliver lessons and other interactive curriculum materials,” said Principal Caroline Wood. “However, students complete many assignments ‘unplugged,’ and spend time reading textbooks, using workbooks, reading library books and doing hands-on experiments—just like at a traditional school.”

Principal Wood said that 600 students enrolled in the virtual school during, this, its first year of operation— with every grade and nearly every parish represented by at least one student. A substantial waiting list for students seeking enrollment was in effect through January, when this year’s enrollment officially closed.

“One reason families are turning to tuition-free full-time virtual schools like Louisiana Connections Academy is that parents want a more personalized education for their children,” notes Principal Wood. “Our school tailors students’ studies to their abilities and interests, and students can work at their own pace. We are a great alternative for students who just aren’t thriving in a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ classroom setting.”

Students can enroll for the 2012–13 school year starting April 3, 2012. More information may be found here.