BPSB approves Barksdale charter school application

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The Bossier Parish School Board has approved the application for a charter school on Barksdale Air Force Base.

The School Board’s vote Thursday night specifically approved a Type 1 status school. The Louisiana Department of Education states that the local school board is “responsible for the oversight” of Type 1 charters and that “each charter school or charter management organization has a board of directors which governs school finances, operations and administration.”

Bossier Schools said they value their long-standing partnership with Barksdale Air Force Base and will remain committed to providing academic options to families that best address the challenges military-connected children face.

Talk about a charter school on base began several years ago. Earlier this year, the Barksdale Global Power Museum Association asked the Bossier Parish School Board to grant the local charter.

“We are very pleased with the outcome,” Terry Snook, President of the Barksdale Global Power Museum Association said.

The next step now is to “raise a lot of money.”

“This is just the beginning,” Snook said. “We wanted to be a type 1 school. Now we just have to make it all happen.”

The Barksdale charter school will be the second on-base school in Louisiana and only the ninth in the United States.

Below is the full statement from Bossier Schools:

“Bossier Parish Schools values its long-standing partnership with Barksdale Air Force Base and remains committed in providing families with academic options they feel best address the challenges military-connected children face. This is clearly demonstrated by the School Board’s vote June 2 to approve the Barksdale Charter School application and grant it Type 1 charter status.

“Bossier Schools’ vigilance to support the Barksdale Air Force Base community has been and will continue to be evident in a number of ways:

-A full-time Military Student Liaison is embedded at Bossier Schools to assist military families

-Bossier Schools allocated significant financial resources to improve and open the Bodcau Station gate to ease access to Haughton schools and parts of Bossier Parish

Buses were re-routed on the East Reservation to shorten students’ ride to and from school

-Students living on base are given School of Choice at the high school level

School of Choice is extended to Key and Essential personnel

-Bossier Schools recognizes all military connected children each April at the only “Purple Up Day” held in Louisiana, which is recognized by the Governor  

-Junior Student 2 Student (JS2S) and S2S programs were formed at middle and high schools across the district as well as military support clubs

-Bossier Schools applied for and received a $1 million DoDEA grant in 2015 for “Project: Sew-B-It” to address the social and emotional well-being of students at schools with large concentrations of military students

-A $900,000+ DoDEA grant in 2014 enabled Bossier Schools to expand Advanced Placement (AP) opportunities at military-connected high schools

“These are just a few examples of many that readily illustrate Bossier Schools’ fidelity in honoring our nation’s military and their families, and what led to the district being awarded the 2014 Military Child Education Coalition’s Pete Taylor Award for Exemplary Partnerships.

“Bossier Schools recognizes Barksdale’s desire to offer enhanced options to its families on base and supports them in their efforts. Meantime, the district will remain relentless in offering all children of Bossier Parish every opportunity to excel in their pursuits, whether academically or athletically, honing in on their special gifts and talents, and modeling the value of community and character education at our neighborhood schools.”