Lafayette Online Academy Moves To Ambassador Caffery As Online Education Is In The Spotlight | Education



Lafayette Online Academy plans to move to a larger stand-alone space as the virtual learning program continues to expand and e-learning increasingly takes center stage as parents and children navigate an uncertain educational ground amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

On May 13, the Lafayette Parish School Board authorized the Lafayette Parish School System to renegotiate a lease with Mendoza Real Estate for a property at the intersection of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Ridge Road. The property, which previously housed POSH Preowned, has been vacant for months, said Kyle Bordelon, LPSS director of facilities and planning.

The site is under contract until October, but LPSS is looking to end the lease earlier to move the online academy into space. The current building has an open plan main space with small offices along one wall, bathrooms, and a break room or meeting space. It was originally a gas station, but the building was renovated when POSH moved into space about five years ago, Bordelon said.

The building would require little change; the main needs include adding 30 to 40 computers with computer tables and other office furniture, he said.

Lafayette Online Academy would then move from Southside High School to the 3300 block site of Ambassador Caffery Parkway, a high traffic area that will provide greater visibility for the program. Located on a bus route, it’s also accessible to students who need to visit the facility, said Jarrett Coutee, director of Lafayette Online Academy.

The exact timing of the move is still being decided, he said.

The online academy was launched four years ago as an alternative to a traditional classroom environment. Before its founding, the school system used e-learning for credit recovery and high school summer school learning, he said.

Last year, the program served approximately 200 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12, and the online academy graduated approximately 40 students. Every year since its launch, the program has attracted new students, the director said. Registration is offered year round.

“The goal is to make things as flexible as possible for students and families… it’s a very flexible setup and rather than a student modeling themselves around a program, we design something for them,” said said Coutee. “We want to meet the needs of modern families.

Students take a tailor-made online curriculum and complete their courses through the Edgenuity platform. Benchmarks are set, but students can access the program around the clock and set their own pace. Built-in tools include read-aloud options in multiple languages, transcripts of teachers’ lessons, and accommodations such as extended periods, Coutee said.

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The flexibility of a virtual classroom is enhanced by full academic support from two LPSS certified teachers and a school counselor. Teachers work primarily with students in Grades 6 to 12 and may take difficult lessons, review test materials, offer private lessons, supervise exams in person, and generally provide all classroom support services in their office. principal, he said.

Kindergarten to grade five students are largely managed through a partnership with Fuel Education, a digital education services company, the principal said.

Teachers are also closely monitoring student progress and real-time performance data, Coutee said. Edgenuity allows teachers to monitor a student’s progress through lessons, quizzes, and tests to ensure they meet benchmarks. If they slow down too much or fail an item too often, teachers will be alerted for intervention.

The student’s difficulty may be related to the way they approach the course, the organization of their work schedule, or their note-taking skills. LPSS teachers review their work, meet with the student and diagnose these issues, he said.

“[Edgenuity] is really innovative and advanced but it is simple to use. You can use the best tutorial, but it’s important to have great teachers behind it, and I think we have both at Lafayette Online Academy, ”Coutee said.

There is no clear picture of the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on online academy enrollment, but Coutee said he anticipated there could be increased interest in a non-traditional learning environment as concerns persist about returning students to campuses in the fall and what school will be like.

Coutee said he and his staff were ready to increase registrations if that happened. Scaling up the program is quick and flexible; the main requirement would be to hire additional teachers if necessary and ensure that there are a sufficient number of computer stations in their main office to serve the students, he said.

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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Lafayette Online Academy Director Jarrett Coutee. Acadiana’s Lawyer regrets the mistake.



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