Students at both public and private schools in Southwest Louisiana benefit from programs designed around challenging academics, meaningful service and extracurricular opportunities.
Responding to world issues, students at Calcasieu Parish elementary schools filled care packages for U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, elementary students dressed head-to-toe in pink. Middle school students celebrated Veteran’s Day by making breakfast for local veterans and creating fact-filled poster boards showcasing their knowledge of world geography. At public high schools, students studying Spanish made tortillas by hand as part of their study of Hispanic culture, and members of a local French club traveled to Lafayette to explore a replica of a 19th-century village in the state’s Acadiana region.
Nurturing broad and profound connections is one reason Calcasieu Parish schools and students are recognized nationally. In 2014, two students who attend Calcasieu Parish high schools were tapped as U.S. Presidential Scholars. Only 3,000 candidates are chosen from more than 3 million high schools seniors based on academic achievement, as well as leadership skills and extracurricular activities.
To better understand their classroom lessons in history and science, students toured museums in Texas and a Civil War battlefield in Louisiana. They held fundraisers for nonprofit organizations, such as Heifer International, organized campus “green” initiatives and collected clothing and holiday gifts for families in need. Even the youngest students took part in projects to benefit the natural world around them by hatching and releasing frogs and butterflies. Like their public school cohorts, students at Lake Charles private and parochial schools thrive in elementary and middle school classrooms, as well as during competitive high school years. In 2013-14, a few graduating seniors from a Lake Charles parochial school earned national awards, including a National Merit Scholarship commendation letter and a National Hispanic Recognition Program scholarship.