St. Landry Parish schools see increase in LEAP testing scores

OPELOUSAS, La. - It has been a tough year for St. Landry Parish schools between the $99 million dollar tax bill not going through in March to failing schools being constant throughout the parish

Tuesday revealed a positive in parish schools though.

This coming after the release of improved LEAP scores throughout the parish.

"Once you're clearly understanding how to play the game, you can have those big gains," says Superintendent Patrick Jenkins.

Jenkins says leadership at the schools is a large reason for the jump in the scores.

To help those leaders out, the school board sent instructional specialists to each school.

"They have provided professional development, additional training for our teachers and staff members and I think that has made all the difference in the world," says Jenkins.

School board member Charles Ross says increased student energy and focus make the biggest difference when it comes to testing.

The credit for that goes to the higher-ups.

"However go the leadership of the school or the principal is the way the school is going to possibly be," says Ross.

The biggest leap you could say Grand Prairie Elementary going from a 35 to a 53, that 18 point increase actually nearly doubles who was second in growth.

"Grand Prairie was a C school but close to a B by just a few tenths of a point and I think that hunger and desire the staff has there to prove a point," says Jenkins.

Jenkins points to more increases in scores than decreases as just a small checkpoint in a larger plan of success going forward.

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