Aug 8, 2014 11:00 AM by KATC
Like many students in the state of Louisiana, Andrew Broussard is getting ready to head back to class. But instead of catching a bus, the 8th grader will be taking a different route.
Andrew will stay right at home and log on to his computer as a student of Louisiana Connections Academy, a free public virtual charter school open to students from every parish of the state.
It's a back-to-school routine Andrew has followed for two academic years, since he became a completely virtual student.
Virtual public schools, like Louisiana Connections Academy, deliver public education in the comfort of the student's home, or wherever a student has Internet access.
Like all public schools, Louisiana Connections Academy is tuition-free and meets all state standards, but for students like Andrew, it adds flexibility to their school schedule and provides a curriculum where he can learn at his own pace.
Andrew is heavily involved in his church and participates daily in community service and youth activities like the Youth Band and Youth Choir. His mother, Theresa Broussard, wanted her son to receive a high quality public education, but needed flexibility to manage their family church schedules.
Louisiana Connections Academy was a perfect fit.
"For our family, we chose LACA because our son needed to go at his own pace in a less distracting environment," said Theresa Broussard. "As well, our family now shares a closer bond thanks to the extra time we get to spend together."
Theresa Broussard says she's so happy with her son's experience at LACA that she plans to enroll her daughter in the virtual school.
LACA Principal Shuanessy Matthews says the school plans to welcome 1800 students this year and notes that virtual schooling is becoming a viable option for families throughout the state.