Feb 09, 2023
Virtual Instruction Program expands student access to high quality courses 
such as STEM, Dual Enrollment, and Advanced Placement

(BATON ROUGE, LA) - The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) awarded its Models of Excellence to the Calcasieu Parish School Board (CPSB) for its innovative approach to ensuring students at every high school have access to challenging courses taught by highly qualified teachers. State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley presented the honor to CPSB Superintendent Dr. Shannon LaFargue during a ceremony today at the Lake Charles Boston Academy of Learning.

CPSB’s Virtual Instruction Program (VIP) provides students at all high schools with access to high quality courses such as STEM, Dual Enrollment, and Advanced Placement. Teachers certified in hard-to-staff classes are housed in one location where they deliver synchronous virtual instruction to students in all CPSB high schools.

“Calcasieu Parish schools are blazing a trail to ensure students have access to great teachers and courses that would otherwise not be available at every high school,” said Dr. Brumley. “This program is a model that should be considered in other areas of Louisiana as well.”

Due to the VIP model, students have access to 30 courses few CPSB high schools would be able to offer individually. STEM Biomedical Pathway is included this year, with plans to offer the STEM Computing Pathway next year. VIP course offerings also provide an opportunity for over 60 hours of free college credits to students in every high school.

“The addition of the Virtual Instruction Program to the academic opportunities here in Calcasieu Parish is changing the dynamic to how we deliver and receive instruction,” said Dr. LaFargue. “We are proud of the program, the students enrolled, and the faculty and staff pouring into this program daily. We’re already seeing an incredible impact on our students’ educational journeys, and we fully anticipate this program will continue to grow and further impact these students’ futures. In addition to the VIP recognition, we appreciate the LDOE’s acknowledgement of three pillars that contributed to this prestigious award – Innovation, Partnerships, and Perseverance. We emphasize those areas consistently, and we are excited and honored that our school district gets this affirmation.”

The VIP teaching staff includes 12 teachers with unique teaching credentials. In addition to other subjects, it provides a certified math teacher to multiple schools that may struggle to secure enough high quality math teachers. The 30 VIP courses are also providing approximately 700 additional seats for each high school, which has led to smaller class sizes for other on-campus courses.

Louisiana Models of Excellence (MOE) was created to acknowledge schools serving as exemplary models for implementing the Department’s Believe to Achieve educational priorities. This initiative celebrates excellence in Louisiana schools, shares stories of success and provides models for others to see, and creates high-impact partnerships among school systems across the state. CPSB is being awarded the MOE based on the Department’s priority that school systems create inclusive learning experiences for all children.

The Calcasieu Parish School Board is the sixth recipient of this statewide honor. Past winners include Phillis Wheatley Community School (Firstline Schools), East Feliciana Public Schools, Rapides Parish Schools, Mansfield Elementary (DeSoto Parish Schools), and Lafourche Parish Schools.

School systems may submit nominations for the 2022-23 Louisiana Models of Excellence through an online portal. To learn more about submitting nominations, please visit the awards library