When Slaughter Community Charter School first opened in 2011, it was to much enthusiasm throughout the East Feliciana Parish community.

As the first charter school in the area, the nine modular buildings were home to 114 seventh- and eighth-graders for its first year of operation, with plans to open a grade per year until the school could serve 12th-graders.

That time has now come. This year, SCCS welcomed its first senior class.

“This is a year of firsts for us,” Principal Clint Ebey said Oct. 1. “We’ll have our first graduating class ever. It’s an exciting time.”

Although the Type 1 charter school is governed by a six-member board, the school is considered part of the East Feliciana Parish school district, and in 2009, the School Board voted to approve the Slaughter group’s charter application.

Within the last two weeks, Slaughter Charter was approved for a construction loan for up to $8.1 million. The project should bid in November and start construction in January, barring any unforeseen delays, Ebey said.

Tipton and Associates of Baton Rouge has signed on as the project’s architectural and design firm.

On Sept. 28, an informational meeting was held, updating the Slaughter community on the progress of the school project.

Slaughter Charter Board President Glen LeDoux and Jeremy Jones, of 4th Sector Solutions, which assisted SCCS in securing private funding for its current site, answered questions concerning the loan process.

Tipton senior associate architect Shane Higdon shared design plans for the new school, which will include a new gymnasium, football field, administration building, cafeteria, science and computer labs, art and music rooms, a library, outdoor commons area and 18 classrooms.

As of Thursday, Ebey said Slaughter Charter’s student count was 323, about 66 per grade. If necessary, the school can hold a maximum of 396 students.

Besides its first senior class, another first for SCCS this year is the inclusion into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.

The Slaughter Charter Knights boast a junior varsity football squad, baseball, softball, cross country and track teams.

Last season, there was a Lady Knights volleyball team.

“We can accept students from anywhere in the parish,” Ebey said of the highest-rated school in the East Feliciana District. “As the school grows, so will student extracurriculars.”

Ebey said without the support of the East Feliciana School Board and the community of Slaughter, SCCS would not be where it is today.

“Everyone is very excited, and we’re very excited to be building a permanent facility,” said Ebey, who is assisted by Director Linda Saucier and Academic Dean Peggy Reno.

Robert Delmore, dean of students, and April Peterson, school counselor, are part of a seven-person administrative team that includes a school nurse and executive assistant.

About 21 experienced teachers with vast educational backgrounds make up the Slaughter Charter teaching staff, Ebey said.

“This is our fifth year of operation, and to be in on the ground floor of something — everything from experiencing a first ring ceremony and lettermen’s jackets to our first graduation ceremony and first year as an LHSAA school, it’s just very exciting for the administrators, teachers and students to be part of something where we all get to help set a precedent and start our own traditions,” said Ebey.

As a top-gains school with a score of 99.2, Slaughter Charter is the highest-scoring school in the East Feliciana School District.

“Every year, we grow. I think we’ll have an even better score when the figures are released,” he said.

Students at Slaughter Charter Community School follow a Knights Matrix model of positive behavior, which mandates that students be respectful, responsible and ready to learn.

Learn about Slaughter Community Charter School at thesccs.org/.