Charter school on the way to Calcasieu Parish

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Charter School Foundation is starting the application process to enroll students in the new charter school that will open in Lake Charles the 2011-2012 school year.

The foundation recently received the approval from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to start a charter school in Lake Charles in December.

The new charter school will be located on Power Centre Parkway near the Ward 3 ball park in south Lake Charles. The board is planning the construction of a 55,000 square foot facility to house the charter school.

The new charter school will be a public school operated independently by the Lake Charles Charter School Foundation.

"We wanted to give our parents in Calcasieu Parish a choice," said Gene Thibodeaux, the president of the Lake Charles Charter School Foundation. "They needed a choice of high performing schools so that parents and kids can compete on a high academic leadership level in Calcasieu Parish."

The academic program for the charter school will specialize in better meeting the individual educational needs of each student at their own pace.

"We will have a gifted program, a program for average students, and a program for special needs students," said Thibodeaux.

The charter school's academic program will also emphasize character development through classes and exercises.

"Horace Mann who is one of the founders of the U.S. educational system said that character development is as important as any scholastic achievement," said Mark Boniol, a board member for the Lake Charles Charter School Foundation. "I think we have an opportunity to get more parental involvement and more direct input as to what's going on in the school."

The board anticipates enrolling at least 600 students for the 2011-2012 school year at the charter school. The application process starts on February 15th and lasts through April 15th.

The new charter school will be designed for students grades K-8th. The foundation is opening the enrollment to all students in Calcasieu Parish.

For more information on enrolling your child in the  charter school, the Lake Charles Charter School Foundation will host a public meeting on Monday, February 21st at 6 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

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