High-tech learning: Applications out for parish magnet school
RIDGECREST — Parents hoping to send their children to the Concordia Parish Academy of Math, Science and Technology have until April 15 to submit their application for the few available slots.
The magnet program, which operates at the former Ridgecrest school site, offers specialized courses and does not rely on school district lines, bur rather can draw students from the entire parish.
The school opened last year for grades kindergarten to fifth grade with 120 students. In August when the school opens for its second year, current fifth-grade students will move up and create the first sixth-grade class at the school.
Director Nancy Anders said the school’s plan is for those students to continue expanding the school in grade levels until the 12th grade.
“That was always the plan, so each year we will add another grade until we’re serving kindergarten through 12th grade,” Anders said. “Things went really well in our first year, so we’re looking forward to keeping things moving next year.”
The students currently enrolled at the school, Anders said, automatically will be enrolled in the next grade if they have maintained the academic and disciplinary requirements.
“The majority of the students will be coming back, but we do have some families moving and other things,” she said. “So there will be some vacant slots to fill.”
Students will be chosen by a random lottery system.
A sibling rule, allowing a brother or sister of a student who was chosen in the lottery the choice to attend the school, will also be put in place.
Cindy Smith, director of elementary education for the school district, said parents shouldn’t be discouraged from applying because of the limited available slots.
“Once we do the lottery system, anyone who isn’t assigned a spot will be put on a waiting list,” Smith said. “We also have an entire new kindergarten class we’ll be filling, so there are plenty of opportunities for parents to get their students in the school.”
As the school continues to expand, Smith said the district will begin looking at athletic and extracurricular programs for the students.
“We have some ideas we’re looking at adding to programs as well as technology that we’re very excited about,” Smith said. “The parents and students just seem really excited about the school and what’s been going on this first year, so we’re excited to continue moving forward.”
Once a student is enrolled, they have to maintain a 2.5 GPA and keep good behavior and attendance records to remain enrolled at the school.
Applications are available at the school, the central administration building on U.S. 84 in front of the new municipal complex or online at www.cpsbla.us.
The deadline for the applications is Monday, April 15. Smith said parents will be notified by April 30 if their children were selected.
Applications can be dropped off at the central building or mailed to Magnet School Program, Concordia Parish School System, P.O. Box 950, Vidalia, LA 71373.