Citgo Innovation Academy expanding to LeBlanc Middle

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, February 28, 2019

Sixth-graders will be accepted into program first

The Calcasieu Parish School Board’s partnership with Citgo will expand in the 2019-2020 school year with the creation of a Citgo Innovation Academy at LeBlanc Middle School. The academy will begin accepting sixth-graders into the program and will host an open house at LeBlanc for interested families 5:30-6:30 p.m. today.

E.K. Key Elementary School is the only other school in the district with the specialty innovation academy focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

LeBlanc Middle Principal Gena Granger said opening the middle school as a STEM feeder for the elementary students was a “natural choice.”

LeBlanc has a four-room pod on its campus that will house the specialty classes for sixth-graders — a “perfect place” for the hands-on learning and problem-solving activities that are hallmarks of the program, Granger said.

All of the curriculum will be aligned with the Louisiana state standards, but teachers will develop STEM-enriched activities to supplement the lessons.

“Things that you don’t have time in a regular classroom to do, these students will have embedded into their curriculum,” Granger said.

LeBlanc’s Innovation Academy will be staffed by teachers who are specially trained in STEM fields, she said.

“They will have to have a proven track record of being a forward-thinking STEM person. They also have to have a pretty rich background in technology.”

Currently enrolled fifthgraders at E.K. Key’s Innovation Academy will be given priority admission, Granger said, but the program is open to any Calcasieu Parish student entering sixth grade zoned to attend high school in Sulphur, Vinton, Starks, DeQuincy or Westlake. Space is limited and admission is based on several criteria, including test scores, grades and teacher recommendations.

Full admission packets will be available at the open house. For more information, visit or

CPSB District Update

Special to the American Press