The Louisiana Key Academy (LKA) opened its doors in August 2013. LKA is a public, tuition-free charter school for children with dyslexia in East Baton Rouge Parish and the surrounding parishes. Dyslexia usually presents as an unexpected difficulty in reading for someone who has the intelligence to be a much better reader. Dyslexia has significant educational implications and the achievement gap is present as early as first grade.
LKA’s mission is to serve the community at large to educate and remediate children with dyslexia in an evidenced based curriculum and to stand as an excellent model and resource for other schools and communities.
“Children with dyslexia should be identified at an early age and given the evidence based curriculum they need to succeed in life. Reading is fundamental.”
Dyslexia and the way it manifests in the classroom can be difficult to understand. Children with dyslexia are bright but struggle with basic skills in elementary years as school is language based and they have difficulty with the basic units of language. This impacts reading, spelling, speaking and often learning a second language. They can reason and think but they can be poor spellers, writers and/or speakers. We assume intelligence is related to language skills and if a parent or teacher doesn’t understand what dyslexia is and how they present in the classroom the child can easily be labeled as “dumb”. The parent typically is in denial because they rightly know their child is not stupid but their child is struggling in basic skills and they don’t know what is going on. A dyslexic child can sense that something is wrong but if the parent and teacher don’t understand dyslexia the child is left struggling in a classroom without the necessary tools to succeed.
There are many issues to consider with a child with dyslexia including what school is the right school and should my child repeat a grade? Every child is different but the LKA is a school where ALL the teachers understand dyslexia and what it looks like in the classroom. ALL the teachers are instructed on the delivery of the curriculum so our children get the evidenced based curriculum they need by trained teachers. Our teachers love and understand our children. It is important for children with dyslexia to understand their differences but to also understand their strengths and that they are smart despite their difficulties in school.
The Louisiana Key Academy currently serves over 200 students in 1st through 5th grades. We look forward to hosting our first 6th grade class in August 2017 and hope to expand through high school in the near future.