State approves enrollment expansion for parish charter school

Published 12:16am Saturday, June 22, 2013

FERRIDAY An additional 100 students will be allowed to attend the Delta Charter School after school officials received approval from the state to expand enrollment.

The school, which will have a math, science and technology curriculum, will serve kindergarten through ninth-grade students in its first year of operation starting Aug. 12.

The school was granted approval to open in January, and school officials originally planned for a total of 230 students.

Delta Charter board member Craig Jackson, who is one of two founders of the group that pushed the school’s creation, said the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) approved the school’s request last week to enroll a total of 330 students.

“We had such an overwhelming amount of people interested in the school that we realized we needed to increase that number sooner rather than later,” Jackson said. “We took kids who were previously on the waiting list and put them in those open slots, but we’re about to start another waiting list.”

The charter school is located at the old Huntington School building on Lynwood Drive.

Jackson said crews are currently working to renovate the building and preparing to install technology equipment.

“We’re fast and furious right now trying to get the building ready for all our technology to arrive,” Jackson said. “We’re trying to do one thing at a time before we do another, so we’re waiting to get the floors waxed until we’re done painting and things like that.

“Every day things look different out there.”

The charter school’s curriculum will use a program called Project Lead the Way, which engages students in activities, projects and problem-based learning.

The school will be referred to as the Delta Storm for athletic and mascot purposes.

Jackson said he encourages parents to fill out an application for their children and to meet the school’s director, Clovis Christman.

“I’ve encouraged people to come see us if they’re looking for another option and see if our school might be a good option for them,” Jackson said. “As long as we have kids wanting to come to the school, that’s a good thing, and we’ll continue to welcome that.”

Charter schools are publicly funded, independently operated public schools that do not charge tuition or fees, are open to all students who wish to attend and cannot discriminate when making enrollment decisions.

The charter school in Ferriday will be a “type-two” charter school, which means it can draw students from the entire state and is not bound to the parish.