Iberville School System prepared to add students if Charter Academy closes

Staff Report

The Iberville Parish School System is prepared to take on additional students should Iberville Charter Academy close after an audit that questioned the school’s lease of its campus building and how it increased enrollment.

Reports have surfaced that allege that nearly half of the 503 students at the school were not in on-site learning, and instead attended classes through “learning pods” across south Louisiana, but without informing the state.

The pods were allegedly secured as a way to boost declining enrollment and pay on the lease for the school facility.

The findings are part of an audit the Louisiana Department of Education completed in late September.Iberville Parish Superintendent of Schools Dr. Arthur Joffrion told POST/SOUTH that his school system is capable of taking on the influx of students should the academy close.

Iberville Parish School Superintendent Dr. Arthur Joffrion

“Iberville Charter is not affiliated with the Iberville Parish School System in any way, shape or form,” he said.  “It is a total separate entity, and it runs through a charter organization that we are not affiliated with.”

Joffrion said he has not received calls from parents regarding this issue involving the charter academy, but he often receives questions from other school systems and parents wanting to know about the bus schedule for the charter academy.

“We’ll get phone calls from parents wanting to know about the bus schedule and we have to tell them the school is not part of our system,” he said. “We also get call from other school systems saying they can’t get records from Iberville Charter Academy, and asking us if we could please get them, and then we have to explain to them that it’s part of our school system. That’s just an example of some of the confusion that does exist.”

The Iberville Parish Public School System could find itself taking on students from the charter academy in the event it closes, he said.

“In the event that students wanted to transfer over into our system, we do have the capabilities to accept them,” Joffrion said. “If it would be a large influx at one specific school or program, staffing would or could potentially need to be adjusted. IF that was necessary, we would certainly do that if that’s what it would take to ensure a quality student-teacher ratio.”

The Iberville Charter Academy is open to students who reside in Iberville and other parishes.