ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Throughout the month of February Rapides Parish schools are holding open registration. And for parents, that puts quite a few options on the table when deciding where to send their child to school.
Aside from the traditional brick and mortar education, the parish also offers magnet and Montessori options for students.
"My favorite subject is to do work," said Mabel Brasher Elementary Kindergartner Rain Jordan.
Jordan and her kindergarten class at Mabel Brasher know how to get down to business.
"I like to do jobs and go to noddle brakes, and buckets and jobs," said Kindergartner Semaj James.
Job boxes are a Montessori method to individualize learning.
New to this way of instruction, as teachers at Mabel Brasher train this year, a few methods are being implemented in kindergarten classrooms.
"With Montessori you have manipulatives, kids can touch things and that's how they learn," said Kindergarten teacher Mckenzie Burkett.
The Montessori way focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of each student.
"It's very hands on and it's very individual based, because we are looking at every child now instead of the whole class," said Mabel Brasher Principal Angie Franklin. "We really want to focus on each child and what he or she can do and can't do, and try to get them to their next steps."
There are now three Montessori school options to choose from during open registration month in Rapides Parish. However, Mabel Brasher will only have Montessori in Pre-K and kindergarten next year during their transition.
A few miles down the road at Phoenix Magnet Elementary, parents will find the same classroom setting, but a different style of teaching.
"We are a structured school, so it's not as much as free roam of the room and working at their own pace," said Phoenix Magnet Kindergarten teacher Emily Blood. "But, we do work with manipulatives. We work with our hands and we learn through that."
While providing extra structure, Blood said magnet instruction is also advanced, covering more and diving deeper into topics.
"Normally, when I have been teaching kindergarten, they are learning to write their name," Blood said. "Now, we are in the middle name, last name, we are writing letters to other students."
Students who have attended for a few years said there are new challenges everyday.
"Last year we had to do 100 questions in math for six minutes," said Phoenix fourth-grader Eva Pathoumthong.
Second grade teacher Melissa Benoit said her class is closely studying figurative language.
"When they are reading a book they are able to identify similes, and metaphors and personification, and it's taking my class to a whole new level," said Benoit.
Below is a full list of open registration contacts for Rapides Parish Schools:
Pre-Kindergarten (on-line throughout the month and on-site the week of March 5th) Cindy Rushing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kindergarten (at each individual school) Cindy Rushing is the contact.
Magnet School Registration:
Phoenix Elementary (email@example.com)
RAAAVL (Rapides Academy for Advanced Academics & Virtual Learning) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Arthur F. Smith Magnet (email@example.com)
Alexandria Middle Magnet (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peabody Magnet High (email@example.com)
Mabel Brasher (NEW) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosenthal Montessori email@example.com
Peabody Montessori firstname.lastname@example.org
Choice - this is parent's opportunity to choose another school if their child's school is labeled a D or F. Parents MUST reapply each year. Contact is email@example.com
Hardships - we have a lot of students who attend schools out of their attendance zone on hardships and they have to reapply each year. Contact is firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Enrollment for all high schools and your contact is email@example.com