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How to Make a Gumbo Pot of Virtual Opportunities Feed All Schools

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 201C

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Lake Charles Boston Academy
Mr. Carlile has been in education for over 17 years as a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, asynchronous online teacher, and synchronous online teacher. He received an M.A. and M.A.T. from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA. He currently teaches Dual Enrollment courses in English Composition, Introduction to Fiction, and Mythology and Folklore.
Virtual Program Coordinator
Calcasieu Parish School Board
Dr. DeVillier has been an educator for over 25 years. His experience includes being a classroom teacher as well as a administrator on various levels. He has been a part of several innovative district initiatives including a one-to-one laptop program. He currently is the administrator for the Virtual Instruction Program in Calcasieu Parish in southwest Louisiana.
Curriculum Director
Calcasieu Parish School Board
Tammy Hebert has been an educator for over 30 years. She is currently the Director of High School Curriculum for Calcasieu Parish Schools.
Calcasieu Parish School Board
Shannon LaFargue has been in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator for 32 years. He received an Associate of Arts Degree from East Central Community College in Decatur, MS; his bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance, his master’s from McNeese State University, and his PhD in Education Administration from the University of New Orleans. He was named Chief Operating Officer of the Calcasieu Parish School System in 2015, then Chief Academic Officer in 2019. In May of 2022, Dr. LaFargue was elected Superintendent of Schools for Calcasieu Parish, beginning on July 1, 2022..
Administrative Director of High Schools
Calcasieu Parish School Board
@Robert C Pete
Administrative Director of High schools for Calcasieu Parish school system
Chief Academic Officer
Calcasieu Parish School Board
Dr. Jason VanMetre currently serves as Chief Academic Officer of the Calcasieu Parish School Board in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He has previously served as Director of Management Information Systems, Principal of Westlake High School, Assistant Principal of Sulphur High School and science teacher at A.M. Barbe High School.

Session description

Learn how a large school district created a virtual learning program to solve the inequity of high-quality course offerings and the shortage of certified teachers. The panelists will provide details about the process to build this innovative framework that created a paradigm shift in the district.

Purpose & objective

Participants will learn..
1) the district's vision to provide equitable access to high quality teachers and courses
2) a district perspective on building and financing a virtual program that impacts schools across a large school district of over 32,000 students
3) the methods to obtain stakeholder buy-in from principals, counselors, students, parents, and other stakeholders
4) how to create a partnership with colleges to build a program that includes STEM and dual enrollment.
5) how to leverage staff certifications to maximize course offerings.
6) how to build a provide professional development to the program staff and on-site school staff.

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Each panelist will share their experiences with implementing the virtual program from a perspective of their role in the district (superintendent, chief academic officer, high school directors, program administrator, and program teachers).

The format of the presentation will include a program brochure and
1) Video testimonials from principals, students, other stakeholders
2) PowerPoint presentation to cover all aspects of program design.
3) Time for the audience to ask questions of the panelists.

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Supporting research

1) The Distance Learning Playbook by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Hattie
2) Stratosphere by Michael Fullan
3) Virtual Learning as the Catalyst for the New Normal by Johnathan Kurtz, ASCD

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Session specifications

Distance, online & blended learning
Grade level:
Skill level:
Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
ISTE Standards:
For Education Leaders:
Systems Designer
  • Lead teams to collaboratively establish robust infrastructure and systems needed to implement the strategic plan.
For Educators:
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.