Livingston Parish Public Schools will offer a hybrid virtual learning option for elementary students for the 2021-22 school year, officials announced Thursday.
The new program is intended for students in grades 3-5 who may benefit from partial online instruction, according to a statement from the school system.
Applications are now being accepted and can be found online at www.bit.ly/LPLTCApply. Admission is open to students residing in Livingston Parish.
The program will be an expansion of the district’s current fully virtual program that opened to qualified students in grades 6-12 last school year.
The district’s virtual programs are not social distance learning options in response to the COVID pandemic, Superintendent Joe Murphy said. Any distance learning provisions that might be required in response to lingering health concerns for the new school year would be handled outside of this new format in accordance with state health guidelines.
“This program is not a continuation of our district’s response to COVID,” Murphy said. “This program is a response for an increased demand by some to utilize virtual learning that allows students greater learning opportunities.”
Unlike the virtual program for the students in grades 6-12 — which is 100 percent virtual with face-to-face tutoring options — the new program for students in grades 3-5 will be a hybrid.
Students will receive virtual instruction three days a week and attend the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center (LPLTC) campus two days a week. For the in-person days, students will have face-to-face contact with a teacher and other students for three to four hours each day, the statement said.
“Our research has determined [that] even those students who can excel in a virtual environment still need social interaction and face-to-face reassurance in the process,” said Kim Albin, principal of the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center and the Elementary Virtual Program.
Albin said the program is not open to students in grades K-2, “as stakeholders have determined the youngest students need more socialization and a face-to-face environment to best facilitate their academic development and to allow educators to better identify any learning disabilities that might exist.”
The LPLTC Virtual 3-5 program will be staffed with on-campus teachers, and instruction will occur during a standard school day. A Learning Guide — an adult who assists the student’s learning in the home environment — will be required due to the young age of the students.
Specific academic and social abilities are required for a student to be admitted. Current home school students must be enrolled in the home school district BAM before being accepted in the LPLTC Virtual 3-5 program.
The priority application deadline to apply for the fall semester is June 30, and limited openings are available.
Applications and all requested documentation will be reviewed by the Livingston Parish Schools Admissions Committee to determine approved enrollment. An annual technology and supply fee of $100 per student will be required for both virtual programs.
Albin said parents can contact her via email, at Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org if they have questions about the program or encounter any difficulties with the online application process.
“We always want to consider the greatest, most beneficial instructional platforms for our students,” Albin said. “The virtual platform is a new frontier, and we are committed to providing our students the best opportunities along with the best instruction regardless of the format. LPLTC Virtual 3-5 is another educational opportunity that Livingston Parish Public Schools can provide to our students.”
Applications for the district’s 100 percent virtual program for grades 6-12 can be found at www.LivingstonVirtual.org.