Supporters call AMIkids Caddo an educational success story

Testing means big week for 255 middle schoolers at AMI Kids Caddo
Students in class at AMIKids
Students in class at AMIKids

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - What supporters describe as an educational success story is attracting more attention these days.

The alternative charter school is about to wrap up its second full year of operations in Shreveport.

And administrators say there are big plans for the school.

This week, testing is underway for the 255 middle schoolers at AMIkids Caddo.

An estimated 90 percent of those students have either been expelled or are on parole.

"I was making bad grades, didn't care about school," eighth-grader Fannie Bates said.

She said she's just glad to be at what's considered a safety net for troubled kids before they slip through the cracks.

"So when I came here, I had to change my mind-set because I was either going to be dead or in jail."

Bates said one of her favorite parts of AMIkids Caddo is its teachers.

"They push us like, they really push us. At the other schools, we don't get pushed."

Funding comes from the Caddo School District, where word is quickly spreading of the school's success in turning lives around one lesson at a time to help break bad habits.

"Class clown, bad grades, you're expelled from school and disruptive," principal Timothy Lennear Jr. said as he pointed to a list on a dry erase board of some of those bad habits.

Beyond academics, he said, AMIkids Caddo students learn everything from social and study skills to conflict resolution, all to help hop off the road to destruction.

"Streets, life of crime, poverty, jail or even possibly fatality, death," Lennear pointed as he recited some of the long-term consequences of bad decisions, which also are listed on the dry erase board.

As for what's next in year three of AMIkids Caddo, the school hopes to get a larger facility because it needs more space.

Eventually, the school also hopes to add more grades beyond 6th, 7th and 8th.

At the moment, we're told, the school's biggest challenge is finding transportation for students to take part in after-school and extracurricular activities.

Copyright 2018 KSLA. All rights reserved.