It’s official: Plaquemines Parish Public District is an A, according to the Louisiana Department of Education’s recent release of performance scores. The district now ranks fifth in the state.
“This is a celebration for people of this parish,” said Superintendent of Schools Denis Rousselle. “Our teachers deserve so much credit; they’re down in the
trenches everyday making a difference.”
Rousselle says that four years ago, one of his main charges was putting a certified teacher in every classroom and he feels that really “set the tone for what we wanted the district to become.”
Additionally, he says the forward progress of the district can be credited to businesses in parish who have donated their money and their time to ensure the
“Through the support of the business community, we’ve been able to provide mentors for students and do things like hire instructional coaches to ensure all
of our teachers remain effective,” said Rousselle. “Hopefully they
feel as proud as we feel.”
Belle Chasse High, Belle Chasse Primary and Boothville-Venice Elementary received an A performance grade this year. But other schools throughout the parish also fared extremely well: South Plaquemines High went from a D in 2011 to a B in 2012; South Plaquemines Elementary and Phoenix High School both maintained C grades.
The new letter grading scale reflects a combination of individual student scores on the LEAP, iLEAP and End of Course Testing (for High School) as well as attendance and dropout rates, and graduation outcomes. These are combined to get the numerical score, which in turn, creates the letter grade. Additionally, the letter grades are calculated by a two year average of performance data to get a baseline average.
Based on 2012 performance growth, the state has identified “Top Gains” schools which are those that achieved their Growth Targets— a point value based on
the school’s score for the previous year. A school graded an “A” must grow by five points for the next year to become a Top Gains school, and a “B” graded school must grow by 10 points for the next year. Top Gains schools who meet their growth targets will receive monetary rewards to be used for any educational purpose.
SPHS, BCHS, BCPS, BVES and SPES are now what the state calls “Top Gains.”