GONZALES, La. (AP) — Leaders at Ascension Parish's alternative school are working to change the school's culture by emphasizing digital learning.

The Ascension Parish School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to rename the alternative school The APPLe Digital Academy.

Superintendent Patrice Pujol told The Advocate she is pleased with the direction the school is headed. The digital academy is "more inclusive" to students who need something other than a traditional classroom, she said.

The school — formally named The Ascension Parish Programs for Learning and e-ducation, a Digital Academy — serves about 130 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, Principal Jerry Elie said.

Elie said he and his faculty members are working to change the school's image and culture, moving away from a place where troubled students are sent to become more focused on offering an alternative, digital education.

"We're working hard making sure that all our kids learn," Elie said.

He said students, teachers and parents have been pleased so far with the change and are motivated about the school's new focus.

"It reaches out to more people in need in the community," Elie said.

The school will offer everything from entirely online learning to a half-day with teachers and counselors at the school's campus in Darrow.

Pujol said she believes the district has settled on the proper learning philosophy at the school, but will continue adjusting it to meet all students' needs.

She added she thinks more students, some of whom are more suited to a digital learning environment because of their social and life circumstances, will be attracted to the APPLe Digital Academy in the future.

"We have all the pieces built in to give support to students but at the same time give them flexibility," Pujol said.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com