State releases school and district progress reports, Lafayette schools make strides

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BATON ROUGE, La. (State Department of Education)- Earlier this week Louisiana Department of Education released statewide progress data.

These data complement recently posted proficiency rates on LEAP 2025 assessments. These performance measures are the basis for a substantial portion of the School Performance Scores due for release this fall in the state accountability system.

Students contribute an ‘A’ to the school’s Progress Index when categorized as ‘Top Growth.’ This indicates a student is on track to reach Mastery of essential skills in English Language Arts (ELA) and/or mathematics.

A student may also be labeled ‘Top Growth’ by demonstrating a greater rate of improvement than peers across the state. Compared to other school systems across the state, the Lafayette Parish School System improved its ranking when considering the percentages of students identified as ‘Top Growth.’

The current year’s results indicate rankings of 29th in ELA and 8th in math with a 1% increase in both categories.

Great news for Lafayette Parish schools

There is great excitement among a select group of Lafayette Parish schools. Westside Elementary School has the highest rate of students earning ‘Top Gains’ of any Acadiana regional school (Lafayette, its contiguous districts, and Iberville Parish).

“Westside Elementary School attributes our school growth to a variety of factors. The most important factor is a strong and dedicated faculty that believes all students can learn and achieve.,” said Westside principal Lisa Thomas said.

“Our school staff is committed to standards-based instruction, bell-to-bell teaching, and targeted enrichment and remediation based on students’ needs. High expectations are the norm, not the exception, for all students and staff at Westside Elementary School.”

Four additional LPSS schools fall in the top ten: Green T. Lindon, Ossun, Katharine Drexel, and Ridge Elementary Schools. Carencro Heights and Cpl. Michael Middlebrook Elementary Schools and Early College Academy also fall among the top performers in the region.

“Our teachers are focusing on the growth of individual students. Sometimes that means pausing the planned lesson and meeting the students at whatever point they are; they may be below or above where the teacher anticipated,” Early College Academy principal Alex Melton said. “Whether that means one-on-one tutoring, extra practice on foundational skills, or individual accommodations, our teachers work hard on helping every student grow.”

Kelli Clause, principal of Ossun Elementary- “A committed, focused staff who consistently provided all students opportunities to master standards through rigorous instruction and assessments. Students worked hard to meet and exceed the high expectations that were set, trusting that the expectations were attainable. We are so proud of our students and staff for working so hard to achieve these goals.”

The Every Students Succeeds Act expects states to close achievement gaps among subgroups. While the African American subgroup maintained its 2018 ‘Top Growth’ rates and 3rd place among regional districts, LPSS did move from 21st to 14th in state rankings.

Economically Disadvantaged students improved their results by 1% with the district remaining in 3rd place in the region but improved from 19th to 13th relative to all districts in the state.

Overall, the release of School and District progress results shows LPSS making significant strides when compared to other districts in the state. Several schools received acknowledgement for outstanding performance. The larger subgroups incrementally improved or maintained performance while moving up in district rankings.

The Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners pose unique challenges with district staff quite focused on meeting the special needs of these special students. Materials released by the state are available here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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