New school for children with dyslexia coming to Shreveport in the fall
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A new school for children with dyslexia is coming to the Broadmoor area, the Broadmoor Neighborhood Association announced Wednesday, Jan. 25.
The nonprofit group, Louisiana Key Academy (LKA) Caddo, is planning to reopen Arthur Circle Elementary School in the Broadmoor neighborhood as a school for kids with dyslexia. The school is set to open in the fall of 2023.
Pam Barker, a longtime educator focused on special education in Caddo Parish, says the school will be a state-sanctioned, tuition-free facility funded by tax dollars. She says currently, public schools in the parish typically offer students with dyslexia one or two “pullout” sessions per week, averaging about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, private schools that offer options for parents of children with dyslexia include First Baptist, Evangel Christian Academy, and Southfield School.
“People with dyslexia are mostly higher IQ,” Barker said. “Studies have shown dyslexia to be prevalent among prisoners with rates as high as 50 percent up to 80 percent, as found in the Texas correctional system.”
Barker says there’s a great need to help kids with dyslexia before they reach middle school. The new school will launch with grades 1st through 4th, with a student body of 160. The school will follow a year-round calendar similar to Shreve Island Elementary.
Dr. Phillip Rozeman, a cardiologist in Shreveport, is one of four local investors in the school. Others are Wayne Brown of Brown Builders, and businessmen, Edward Taylor and Rand Falbaum. The four investors bought the Arthur Circle campus and surrounding 12 acres of property from the school board. Dr. Laura Cassidy, wife of Senator Bill Cassidy, is the founder of LKA and started the Shreveport project.
LKA’s first school, located in Baton Rouge, launched 10 years ago and now has 500 students in grades kindergarten through 8th. Another school for children with dyslexia opened in Covington in St. Tammany Parish.
Barker says the new school in Shreveport will have an average of six students to every one teacher for reading classes. Other classes will have higher student-teacher ratios.
At this time, there are no plans for school buses to be provided for students. School organizers say they will be working with the city to develop traffic patterns to minimize impacts to the neighborhood.
“We want to be good neighbors,” Dr. Rozeman said. “The school will stay a school and be here a long time.”
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