Making student attendance a top priority; high test scores

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In Louisiana, schools statewide are practically on lockdown as students take the leap exam. Attendance during these days is crucial. One of the top performing school districts in the state is Vermilion Parish.

Vermilion Parish educators say perfect attendance becomes top priority on the first day of school in August; rather than when testing beings.

Vermilion Parish School System Director of School Leadership Kimberly Etie’ says the Vermilion Parish is ranked number four in terms of academic performance in Louisiana.  “We’re aiming to increase that rating.”

Aiming higher will take students being in school beginning in August, not just when the testing period arrives. Etie’ says students in Vermilion parish take mock exams year-round. “With the teachers they’re accustom too that they’ve been with all year long.”
    
When testing begins in April and May, an absent student may have to take a makeup exam and losing the benefit of testing in a comfortable environment. Etie’ says a change of scenery can affect performance. “The person administering that test may be someone that they’re not familiar with and may not have been in that environment,” Etie said.

Diane Comeaux is the Assistant Principal at J.H. Williams Middle School.  The school is recognized by the state as a school of growth.

Comeaux says attendance can have a cycling impact. Everyone plays a part in moving forward.  “Hard working teachers as well who come to school and prepare the lessons to teach the students,”  Comeaux said.

Comeaux says learning doesn’t stop after testing.  She says students need to be in attendance to the end of the year in order to get the additional instruction they need to make it to the next level.  
 

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