For those moving to a new location, it’s important to know what educational options are available. This chapter outlines the public schools system in Shreveport-Bossier City, along with information about local libraries and higher education. There are private schools, charter schools and home schooling available to children in the area as well.
To be enrolled in a Louisiana school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 30 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, the child’s previous school records and immunization records. Check with the school for additional requirements. For details on Louisiana’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals website at http://dhh.louisiana.gov.
In 2010, Louisiana, along with the majority of other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity, adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source to learn about a school district’s statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
Discuss the potential school with your child: what they liked and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information, visit www.louisianabelieves.com/schools/charter-schools.
For an introduction to home schooling in Louisiana, visit www.louisianabelieves.com/schools/home-study. Here you will find information on home-school guidelines, a home study application and more.
Louisiana families may choose to independently provide an education for their children from their home, and typically provide this through a Board of Elementary and Secondary Education-approved home study program or a registered nonpublic school. To comply with state attendance laws, parents who educate their children in home study must apply and be approved annually by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Louisiana does not provide funding for home study programs.
To search for local private schools in Louisiana, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Bossier Parish Schools
P.O. Box 2000
Benton, LA 71006
The Bossier Schools System has 20 elementary schools, six middle schools and seven high schools, as well as an educational complex and two virtual learning academies. The district has an enrollment of more than 22,200.
Caddo Parish Schools
1961 Midway Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71108
The Caddo Parish School District has 37 elementary schools, 12 elementary/middle schools, nine middle schools, three middle/high schools, nine high schools, two alternative schools and four unique schools. The district has an enrollment of more than 40,000 students.