Students at the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts enjoy the challenges and rewards of learning and find four areas that set LSMSA apart from the typical high school.
An exceptional faculty committed to teaching - All full-time faculty hold advanced degrees in the subject area in which they teach, seventy percent hold a Ph.D. or other terminal degree (e.g., M.F.A.). Half the faculty has at least ten years of teaching experience at LSMSA; eight faculty members have served more than twenty years. LSMSA faculty meets accreditation standards set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for undergraduate college faculty.
A College Curriculum - Courses are taught on a traditional college semester schedule. All courses are college-level using college textbooks. Syllabi can be viewed on each faculty member's webpage on this website. You will be interested in knowing that ten universities in Louisiana and Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia have developed Articulation Agreements that award up to seventy-four hours of college credit for core courses taken at LSMSA. At other universities in and out of state, students frequently test out of first-year and even sophomore year course work in order to maintain their academic pace.
Rigorous requirements within a deep and broad academic program emphasizing critical thinking skills and writing - Students are required to take a minimum of six courses each semester, and graduates must complete a minimum of twenty-six academic units. The curriculum and academic requirements provide a broad-based educational framework from which a student can also achieve individualized academic and personal goals. For example, requirements for junior and senior English go beyond the traditional composition and literature classes into courses that explore in depth an author and genre or that are cross-curricular. As a survey of the course offerings will show you, this same model exists in every department of the school. In addition to content learned, this curricular model and classroom expectations help students develop critical thinking skills.
Writing is a fundamental skill that is developed not just in the humanities, but also in math and science. Eighty percent of courses in the humanities curriculum require a semester paper of at least two thousand words. Throughout the math curriculum, all work must be shown with written explanations of the process used. Most science classes include a weekly lab with required written lab reports.
LSMSA does not own a scantron nor does it use on-line testing for assessment so major exams will not be true/false or multiple-choice tests. Assessment is based on your understanding as measured by a student's ability to communicate in articulate thought.
Creative and Performing Arts - All LSMSA students are required to complete one unit of instruction in the Arts. For some, this is a beginning level course in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, or creative writing. Others qualify for advanced study. Some students enroll at LSMSA intending to concentrate more in the arts curriculum than in the math/science and humanities curriculum. These students will be given every opportunity based on their performance skills to pursue additional arts courses.
Ultimately, academic rigor at LSMSA is defined by small class sizes with extensive opportunities for individualized instruction utilizing a collegiate curriculum taught by a highly qualified faculty that is dedicated to student learning; all in a residential environment designed to foster academic, civic, and personal responsibility and growth.
Education at LSMSA is a unique blending of academic learning opportunities and residential learning opportunities and is referred to as the Living/Learning Environment.