Breaux Bridge – Public school officials have announced a series of public meetings to distribute information and answer questions on the new virtual school program for grades 7 through 12 recently approved by the St. Martin School Board.
The program, recommended by Superintendent Richard Lavergne, was approved last month to begin with summer school and the 2012-13 regular session. And last week board members picked a facility next to the Health Center on the Breaux Bridge Jr. High campus to serve as the virtual site where students enrolled in the program may seek hands-on assistance and be tested.
The site will be furnished with 50 PCs and related equipment and will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday of each school day.
Informational meetings will be held at the following locations and times:
•Cecilia Area – 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at Cecilia High School.
•Breaux Bridge Area – 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Breaux Bridge High School.
•St. Martinville area – 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, at St. Martinville Sr. High School.
School officials say the virtual program will help to address the educational needs of students using a non-traditional approach. It will allow students to take classes online at home while still being eligible to participate in all co-curricular and extracurricular school activities.
Lavergne is hopeful the program will eventually be expanded to include all grades.
The board has budgeted up to $300,000 to set up the central lab in Breaux Bridge, with the money to come from an internal capital projects fund.
Lavergne said the program would cost about $205,000 spread over a three-year period to implement and operate. But the superintendent and this staff estimate that this cost could just about be offset by the elimination of one teacher and custodian at JCEP and virtual school enrollment, which will bring the parish $3,855 per student per year in MFP funds.
There are currently approximately 120 parish students (in grades K-12) being home schooled, and another 240 students attending out-of-parish non-public schools.
Interested parents and students are encouraged to attend one of the informational meetings.