Rotary members get look at school’s progress

Published 8:43 am Friday, March 27, 2015

Bogalusa Rotary Club members took a unique field trip to Northshore Charter School after lunch on Tuesday to learn what the second-year institution offers.

Rotary Club member, the Rev. R.L. Palmer Jr., is Northshore’s board president.

Northshore Charter School is housed on 10 acres in the former U.S. Army Reserve building, located at 111 Walker St. Northshore currently has 430 students enrolled in K-5 and ninth and 10th grades. Plans are to add sixth- and 11th-grade classes for the 2015-2016 school year. A year after that, the school will add 7th, 8th and 12th grade classes.

“In two years, we will be a full K-12 facility,” Northshore CEO Julie Rodriguez said. “We will add 10 more classrooms next year. We’ve added a boardwalk and 16 new classrooms this year.”

The boardwalk connects high school classes to the kindergarten and elementary school.

“The purpose of the tour was to familiarize the community about the educational opportunity here at Northshore and remind anyone and everyone that this is a public school governed by the same rules,” Palmer said.

Palmer said children don’t have to jump through hoops to attend Northshore.

“The tour was to dispel the perception that we are selective. An application is what gets a child in this school,” Palmer said.

Athletically, Northshore boasts basketball and cheerleading squads.

Northshore received a $250,000 grant last year from the Walton Family Foundation.

The first graduation class will be in 2017.

“We’ve seen just great growth and great families. That makes a huge difference,” Rodriguez said. “We’re seeing tremendous growth with our students because we can track and benchmark our students. We see every child as an individual.”