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From the desk of Dr. Horton: A midterm update on LSMSA

Dear LSMSA Family:

A couple of weeks ago when some students were on campus in staggered phases to take the PSAT, I was surprised at how many of them knocked on the doors of the High School Building. But then it hit me -- some of them were first-year students who had never actually been at LSMSA while they were attending.
For many of our kids, this school year has been like knowing you have a new house, but you can’t move into it yet. They’re experiencing LSMSA virtually, but they needed to come in and walk around the place we call “home,” even if they had to do this while wearing masks and socially distancing.

I hope it goes without saying that we’re all ready to be back to normal -- whatever form of “normal” comes next. In a recent survey to students, parents and faculty, the overwhelming majority expressed a desire to return to campus, but safely. As administrators, that’s exactly our concern, too. We’re watching all the numbers and trends closely, and are already hard at work on numerous logistical plans to prepare for a safe return to campus in the spring.

Even in such extenuating circumstances, I’m happy to report that progress is being made at LSMSA. Our faculty and staff have done an incredible job to make the best out of this situation. From distance learning to virtual dances, an enormous amount of work has gone into engaging students and creating normalcy during a time that’s just not normal for anyone. We are so pleased to see that student participation and attendance have been similar to when we’re all here in person. We know virtual learning is a challenge, but like any other year, students who engage in classes, office hours, and social activities are able to find connections.

In exciting news, the new residence hall’s construction is right on schedule, and it looks as though the exterior will be complete in January. Then we can focus on the interior, including art installation, furnishing spaces, installing technology and security systems, and finally moving out of Caddo and Prudhomme. Stay tuned for details!

We are also celebrating two major, unexpected successes of 2020. In September, we were honored to be named one of the state’s three Blue Ribbon Schools by the US Department of Education. Since the application had to be completed during such a chaotic time, you can imagine how surprised and thrilled we were to learn we’d been selected. 

In addition, LSMSA’s Class of 2020 was recently recognized for having the highest composite ACT score in the state. As hard as their senior year was, this class showed insurmountable talent and ended up with the strongest ACT score not only in the history of the school, but also in the history of the state. 

We are so proud of all of our LSMSA family, and we’re looking forward to seeing each of you back “home” on campus when it’s safe for everyone to be here.

Stay safe, and stay well!

Dr. Horton
Executive Director
Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts
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