LIVINGSTON — Livingston Parish public schools will launch a full-time virtual school this fall for students in grades 6-12, who are well-suited for rigorous online instruction, or who may find it to be a better alternative to current home school, charter or private instruction formats, a news release said.
Assistant Superintendent Jody Purvis said the district began accepting applications July 7. Those applications can be accessed through Facebook at Livingston Virtual, or on the web at www.livingstonvirtual.org. He said parents may send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (225) 686-4333.
“Our district has been researching an effective virtual school option for our students for over three years, and we believe the format we plan to offer this fall will give them the best structure for success,” Purvis said. “Livingston Virtual will provide students with a rigorous, independent format that is reinforced through face-to-face instructional support and access to social interactions, including extracurricular activities at their in-district campuses and unique community activities.”
He said the program is not a social distance learning option for students who have concerns returning to school due to COVID-19. He said provisions for those concerns are still being discussed by school leaders and will be announced separately.
Purvis noted that the program is open only to students living in Livingston Parish. An annual technology and supply fee of $100 per student will be required, as each student will be provided with a computer and curriculum.
The priority application deadline for the fall semester is July 31. The priority application deadline to apply for the spring semester is Nov. 30. Limited openings are available, and applications and all requested documentation will be reviewed by the Livingston Parish Schools Admissions Committee to determine approved enrollment in the program.
“This program is designed to successfully deliver our virtual students to the same destination as our traditional students but just by a different path,” said Lorna Ott, administrator of the Livingston Virtual program. “The content standards in the curriculum of the program will be the same as those in our traditional brick-and-mortar schools. But we do believe the program will offer some students the opportunity to excel in a different learning environment.”
Ott said district leaders hope to offer Advanced Placement courses, College Board exams, and dual enrollment classes in partnership with local universities for students enrolled in Livingston Virtual.
Purvis said students who matriculate through the Livingston Virtual program will earn a standard high school diploma that meets state and School Board requirements and is recognized by postsecondary education institutions, the military and employers. Students will have access to extracurricular activities that are offered by their in-district schools, including after-school activities, school-sponsored dances, homecoming activities, graduation and potentially sports.
He said online instruction will be supported with online interaction with the instructor, as well as required face-to-face sessions, which will be held at the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center in Walker. The Livingston Virtual program will include community field trips within the structure to offer positive opportunities for service and social interaction, as well as mandatory class attendance, a minimum GPA requirement, and participation in standardized testing to adhere to state-mandated policies. He said all transportation needs will be the responsibility of the student and/or parents.