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For children struggling in their assigned schools, southwest louisiana charter schools — lake charles charter academy, southwest louisiana charter academy and lake charles college prep — are additional options to consider.

“these three schools are an option and a choice for parents,” pam quebodeaux, principal of lake charles charter academy, said. “enrollment is open to all students in the area; you don’t have to live in a certain attendance zone.”

Quebodeaux said all three schools offer the tier I curriculum recommended by the state, use the education model based on the research of robert marzono and provide intense professional development for their teachers.

“when we hire a new teacher, they come in three weeks before school starts for training and the training is ongoing throughout the year,” quebodeaux said.Lake charles

“the stronger our teachers are, the better the teaching and the learning that occurs.”

“what that means is that teachers teach the standards, or the skills, that children need and they assess them and grade them on those skills,” she said. “we don’t give points for extra credit, we don’t grade homework even though we assign homework so that a child is measured on their actual ability to demonstrate that they have learned the standard or the skill.”

Because charters are approved for a certain amount of time, “the state of louisiana expects that we deliver performance in order to keep the schools open,” she said.

Sabrah kingham, regional director of education at charter schools USA, said there is an accountability system in place to ensure that the charter schools are achieving their goals.Lake charles

“it’s very rigorous and the checklist is very detailed and it’s based on your academic progress and operationally what you’re doing,” she said. “that is something that sets us apart, too, because we get constant feedback from the state department. It’s almost like progress-monitoring; it holds us accountable.”

“we teach to mastery,” she said of the pre-K-eighth grade campus. “sometimes kids don’t learn things the first time it’s taught; they need a second chance. We have lots of opportunity for reteaching and retesting. For some kids it takes longer for them to get to that mastery level.”

“we pay our teachers to tutor after school and it’s expected when we hire our teachers that they at least commit to a day after school or more where they can work with their students that need extra help,” she said.Charles charter

She said the school practices the leader in me program and has been named a louisiana A+ arts integration school through the george rodrigue foundation.

“and another really strong piece as to what we have going on in our schools is parental involvement,” she said. “we expect that when parents enroll their children in our schools that they commit to at least 20 volunteer hours per year. If a parent has more than one child, then it’s 30 hours.”

She said all three schools offer extracurricular activities — football, basketball, track, cheer, danceline, student council and beta, glee, chess and garden clubs.

Southwest louisiana charter academy, which also offers a pre-K-eighth grade program, was the second charter school to open in the lake charles area.

Principal kimberly lewis, the former assistant principal of lake charles charter academy, said the school incorporates a research-based curriculum that focuses on academic rigor, character building and experienced-based learning.Lake charles

“they have a passion for the students in calcasieu parish and seeing them progress and have a great future not only in this city but in the united states,” she said.

Lewis said just as parents are choosing for the children to attend a charter school, the school’s teachers and other staff members are choosing to work for a charter organization because “they want to make a difference.”

“when we go into teaching, a lot of teachers’ philosophy is ‘we just want to make a difference,’ ” she said. “I believe that all three of our schools have made a difference here in lake charles.”

Lewis said the campus has been designated a top gains school for improving its school performance score beyond its pre-determined growth goal, and offers STEM — science, technology, engineering and math programs.Lake charles

“we want our students to think critically and deeply about fields that are in high demand,” she said. “we know the younger we are able to expose them to these fields the more interest we can build in them.”

“we have an expanding multicultural population in our school,” she said. “when you walk through the halls we have flags of different countries. We live in a diverse community and we need to have a place to address the needs of all of our learners.”

“when parents have to be involved in their children’s activities and our staff members are passionate about what they are doing, it creates a sense of family,” she said. “we just look to expand our family.”

“we give a better opportunity than perhaps a larger school would have to really get to know the kids as to who they are, not only academically but personally,” roebuck said.Charter academy “that’s the drawing card for our school.”

He said the state of louisiana offers a school redesign grant that LCCP is applying for that would allow its students to have more access to college-level courses and enter into dual enrollment at both mcneese state university and sowela technical community college.

“and as we move into a new school, our goal is to become a STEAM academy, which is science, technology, engineering, art and math,” roebuck said. “there’s not one in calcasieu parish.”

“we’ve been doing that from day 1,” she said. “we know your students, not just by name, but also where they are academically and we are providing a plan for them to help them succeed.”