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Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts enrolls students displaced by Hurricane Ida

The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts is reviewing the applications of dozens of...
The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts is reviewing the applications of dozens of highly-motivated students affected by Hurricane Ida in southeast Louisiana.(Christian Piekos)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 12:51 PM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) - For the third time in the institution’s 40-year history, the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) is enrolling high-achieving students affected by a natural disaster. This time, it’s Hurricane Ida.

Previously, LSMSA opened enrollment mid-semester in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina and again in 2016 for the historic flooding in the Baton Rouge area.

“As soon as we saw the impact Ida had, I think we pretty quickly considered, ‘Can we do this?’” said Emily Shumate, director of enrollment and students services at LSMSA. “Helping our neighbors is such a natural thing we do as part of Louisiana life.”

Though the application period is now closed, Shumate says LSMSA received more than 70 applications, many of which came from parishes hard-hit by Ida. The school has enrolled 32 students with an average GPA of 3.8 and an average ACT score of 25. The school says more than half of the new students are from Terrebonne Parish, with others coming from Lafourche, St. Charles, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Orleans parishes.

“One of the difficult decisions we had to make is to really focus on the parishes where schools are closed indefinitely,” she added.

LSMSA is a state-supported, public, residential high school where students who excel in academics and the arts receive a unique, high-quality education. The LSMSA Foundation ensures motivated students have a shot at the institution regardless of financial status.

“As Louisianans, it’s in our nature to help our neighbors however we can,” said LSMSA Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton. “We hate the destruction that brought these students here and what their families are going through, but we’re thrilled to be able to open our doors to them. We are confident in their continued academic and personal success.”

Donations to the LSMSA Foundation are also being used to help the families of current and incoming students affected by the Category 4 storm.

Some students who applied to LSMSA following Ida already moved in and are currently enrolled in classes.

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