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Find Great Schools in Southwest Louisiana

The region offers a wide range of educational opportunities.

By Teree Caruthers on May 16, 2023

Playground SWLA
Hoffpauir Architects

A key to the Southwest Louisiana region’s economic vitality and quality-of-life appeal is its innovative school systems and the ability to keep a steady pipeline of talent flowing to industries.

Each of the region’s five parishes has an individual school board, creating curriculum and programs unique to its community’s needs. 

Allen Parish School Board

4,300 Students, 11 Schools

Headquartered in Oberlin, the Allen Parish School Board serves more than 4,300 students in 11 schools across Allen Parish. The district strives to ensure all students receive a quality education, beginning at age 1, and works to connect families to community resources that can positively impact their children’s school performance.

For example, the district’s Early Childhood Community Network helps connect families to high-quality and publicly funded preschool options, including Allen Action Agency Head Start and Allen Parish Schools’ own pre-K program. The district also operates the Oakdale School-Based Health Center, a 2,100-square-foot clinic based on the campus of Oakdale Middle School. The clinic is free to students and offers immunizations and checkups. The health center also partners with local drugstores to offer students and their families discounts on prescriptions.

Beauregard Parish School Board

5,700 Students, 12 Schools

The Beauregard Parish School Board, based in DeRidder, serves more than 5,700 students in 12 schools. As the community grows, the district has responded.

In 2022, the School Board approved a nearly $27 million expansion plan that will include a new DeRidder Elementary School and a four-classroom addition to East Beauregard Elementary School. The student population isn’t the only growth experienced by the school district. Several schools increased their Louisiana Department of Education District Performance Scores in 2022, and for the past nine years, the district has boasted an above 90% graduation rate.

Cameron Parish School Board

1,000 Students, 5 Schools

With an enrollment of just a little more than 1,000 students, the Cameron Parish School Board’s five schools boast a 9-to-1 student-teacher ratio, which allows for more individualized instruction. The school district received an A rating by the Louisiana Department of Education and ranked third in the state for academic achievement.

The district’s investment in technology includes iPads for every student. The district is committed to the success of not only its students, but also the faculty. For example, the community recently rallied around a Hackberry High School Spanish teacher and his family who were immigrants from Mexico. They helped the family get acclimated to the community and cheered him on as he was granted citizenship.

Calcasieu Parish School Board

29,000 Students, 60 Schools

The Calcasieu Parish School Board is the largest school district in the Southwest Louisiana region and the fifth largest in the state, serving more than 29,000 students in 60 schools. The district is also the largest employer in the Calcasieu Parish.

The district plays a major role in the region’s workforce development efforts. The College Street Vocational Center offers courses in a wide range of in-demand career pathways, including automotive technology, HVAC and computer service technology. However, career and technical courses in areas such as engineering, agriscience, television production and welding are offered at the district’s high schools.

The Career and Technical Education Department partners with McNeese State University and SOWELA Technical Community College to allow students to simultaneously earn high school and college credit as well as industry certifications.

The district also partners with the local colleges to sponsor LIFE Academy, a career, personal and social development program for students with developmental disabilities.

The school board heavily invests in STEAM education. For example, T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School, which emphasizes the arts in its curriculum, was named the best school in the district by greatschools.org.

Jeff Davis Parish School Board

6,000 Students, 13 Schools

Headquartered in Jennings, the Jeff Davis Parish School Board serves close to 6,000 students in 13 schools.

Learning begins early in the district through the Jeff Davis Ready Start Network, which connects families to early childhood education opportunities across the parish, and preschool options are available at each of the district’s elementary schools.

Welsh High School LEAP (Learning Enriched Academic Program) scores were among the highest in the state in 2022.

Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School
Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School/Chris Brennan Photography

Private Schools

The Southwest Louisiana region also boasts several high-quality private school options, including St. Louis Catholic High School and Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School, which offer students a wide range of educational experiences, from religion courses to Advanced Placement classes and project-based learning.

Since 1953, Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School in Lake Charles has provided academic excellence to a diverse student body in a Christian environment. The school’s reputation in the community is well known for producing creative, highly successful graduates who become leaders in business. 

“Our nurturing and passionate teachers provide academic rigor, creative curriculum and innovative differentiation in a safe, loving environment. Beyond the classroom, EDS offers many co-curricular activities such as musical theater, award-winning math teams, state-of-the-art technology, organized sports, environmental projects and much more,” says Lisa Leubner, director of admission and marketing for Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School. “These opportunities allow our students to find and develop new passions. Each day, we develop and, more importantly, encourage skills such as teamwork, creativity, ethics, resilience, curiosity, and time management.”

Established in 1971, St. Louis Catholic High School is a college preparatory high school in Lake Charles that works to ensure graduates are prepared to advance to four-year higher education institutions. The school offers honors and some 20 Advanced Placement courses.

“Our entire curriculum is advanced but also geared towards helping students find their niche,” says Mia Touchet, principal of St. Louis Catholic High School. “There are many facets of St. Louis Catholic High School that make it unique — one of which is how we handle social and emotional learning for both our faculty and staff and our students. In addition to our guidance counselors, we have a licensed professional counselor on campus available to students and their families free of charge.”

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