St. Landry

Mar 10, 2011 7:27 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Two Charter Schools Proposed in Acadiana


A proposal for a new charter school is in the works in St. Landry and Lafayette Parish. The charter school in Lafayette, Harvest Prearatory Academy, has been denied twice, but a proposal was resubmitted a few weeks ago.
Tiffanie Lewis, Executive Director of Outreach Community Development Corporation, said children deserve better than what the current public school system offers.
"Six of the 10 schools are failing there," she explained. "Mostly elementary and in particular Opelousas Junior High School and parents want an out."
The charter school would open up with only middle school students and then eventually include high school students. Lewis said not every parent can afford the price tag that comes with a private education, so a charter school would help those who can not.
"The students they serve and attract are high poverty at risk students, minority students," she explained.
Parent Julie Marks lives in Opelousas. She choose to send her two children to a private school outside of the city.
"I sent them to a Montessori School in Port Barre," she said. "It had high acclaims and I heard about it, so I put them in there since Pre-K. I thought it was a good idea."
Charter schools have a different style of teaching, teachers use creative ways outside traditional methods.
Lewis said, "today we find a lot of times students are disconnected and disengaged in school because they are learning math singularly or math. So project based learning combines all of their learning into something that is real to them.
Marks said if a charter school opens, she'd probably take her children out of private school.
"It is expensive and i am very open to a charter school in opelousas," she said.
The proposals will be looked into by an independent consultant and then the proposals will forward to each school board to decide. They have 90 days from when the proposal was first submitted.

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