A program that's been in place for Bossier Parish high school students for several years has now been expanded.

Bossier Schools Liaison Sonja Bailes said students in grades 6 through 8 can now take classes online from home, through face-to-face instruction, or divide their time between the two.

"We're actually going to serve our students at two campuses. First of all, the middle school students, for that face-to-face instruction and for testing, will be coming to Butler Educational Complex," Bailes said. "And something new this year is our high school students will be able to benefit from the actual high school experience and be at Bossier High School."

Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith said this was the brain child of the curriculum department. He said he couldn't be more proud of Dr. Nichole Bourgeois, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Academic Affairs, and Grades 9-12 Curriculum Supervisor Terrie Johnson for putting this program together.

"I could not be more proud for the opportunities for our students. For those who are looking for a more non-traditional type of education, they will just have a smoragasbord of opportunities now, and a menu to choose from," Smith said. "They can go from just simply the Virtual Academy, and they can also add extracurricular activities to that aspect of it. They'll be able to attend the prom if they want to."

Johnson said the plans to move the 9th-through-12th-graders to Bossier High School actually began over the summer. So, why Bossier High?

"Because there is some space available, because the transportation is going to be easy, and because it's part of the CEP breakfast and lunch program, so we can serve all of our students," she said.

Here's more about Virtual Learning Academy:

  • Hybrid learning platform utilizes Odesseyware to meet non-traditional and millennial students' needs.
  • 24/7 virtual learning provided flexibility to accommodate work or personal schedules.
  • Advanced learners can excel at a faster pace and free up time for Dual Enrollment courses.
  • Students are able to work from home or attend Virtual Lab daily or weekly with peers and receive instructor support as needed.
  • High school students have the option of taking a foreign language.
  • Aligns with Louisiana State Standards.
  • Face-to-face instructors are certified and highly-qualified Bossier Parish teachers.
  • Graduation rate of the virtual school student is nearly 90%.
  • Students may elect to participate in graduation and other extracurricular activities.

Bossier Schools leaders say they recognize that not every student learns the same -- it's not one-size-fits-all -- so this is one more option parents have for their children's education.