Virtual classrooms will improve state education, principal says

When Louisiana’s first online all-grades charter school opened last year, it had 500 students across the state enrolled and taking classes. Now in its second year, Louisiana Connections Academy has 1,200 students. Principal Caroline Wood says the school—which has a main office on Goodwood Boulevard—encourages students to enroll in courses provided by Louisiana Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education Program, and step outside their comfort zone by taking on educational challenges. “If you come in as a middle school student, I give you a high school class,” says Wood, who spoke today at an “investor luncheon” presented by BRAC, and sponsored by Humana and NAI/Latter & Blum.. In Louisiana, Wood hopes students can improve and accelerate their education—outside of classes offered in local public school classrooms—by enrolling in courses provided by the state education department’s Louisiana Course Choice program. Louisiana Connections Academy provides students with a computer and textbooks for free. However, when enrolling their children, parents must indicate that their household has Internet access, preferably a high-speed connection, Wood says. The academy provides a small Internet subsidy. Wood notes that students learn “soft skills” by managing their own education online and graduate “workforce ready.” Should a student insist on becoming a welder, she says, the academy abides by that student’s wishes, pending completion of required courses. “We need to start recognizing aptitude,” Wood says. Online registration for Course Choice is slated for March 7, according to the LDOE. —Adam Pearson

Editor’s note: This story has been changed since its original publication to clarify the event presenter and sponsors

There are no comments. Click to add your thoughts!