Our School History
Chartered in December of 2007, D’Arbonne Woods Charter School’s mission and educational focus is centered on improving the quality of public education in Union Parish…. one child at a time. DWCS is a Type II charter in rural northeast Louisiana that provides for targeted and research based curriculum delivery that meets the unique needs of its students.
DWCS opened its door in the fall of 2009 with grades K – 6th in a temporary location that once served as the town’s skating rink and later a True Value Hardware Store. The design of the school allowed for little extra space, limited technology implementation, walls that did not go all the way to the ceiling or floor, and no classroom doors. In spite of these conditions, the 221 students of DWCS managed to out-perform the students of the Union Parish School System in the spring high stakes state testing (see Exhibit A) after having been with the faculty and staff for only 7 months before testing.
Overall in 2010-11, the school which serves 300+ K-7th grade students, has a 58% free/reduced lunch count, a 16% Special Education student group, and is comprised of a 34% minority students. In their first year of operation, the school opened with only a 24% minority population and grew to almost 28% by the end of the year. Active community education and recruitment efforts have focused on the diverse population of the school and the minority profile for 2010 began at 29% and continues to grow each month.
The school moved location in the summer of 2010 to an abandoned Wal-Mart facility in Farmerville and managed to gain much needed space for growth and technology. The walls still do not go all the way to the ceiling, but the construction of doors and additional floor space helps to improve the overall teaching conditions in the building. The floor plan and facility use of the long vacant retail space is what happens when the “want to” meets “no other manageable option”. Currently an additional 197 students remain on a “Wait List” for the school because there is no more room to grow to serve additional students or faculty and services.
The design and construction of a new school facility for DWCS will bring additional growth and possibility for expansion in an area that needs a positive boost in the overall public educational experience. In addition to the educational impact, the construction of a new school building in Union Parish will be the first since the 1970’s. Such a project will help spur much needed economic growth in a parish that has so much to offer business and industry in terms of human capital and natural resources.
In the past three years, DWCS has far outperformed and been required to meetrequirements and stipulations that no other Type II charter in the state’s history has been saddled with and set precedent in the legal arena that has included both Federal and tate Court appearances. In each and every case, the charter school has been victorious and surpassed all expectations and still continues to make significant gains in the education of its students each and every day.
9560 Highway 33
Farmerville, LA 71241
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