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Sunday, December 16, 2018



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Lafourche named ‘A’ school district, third best in state

Lafourche named ‘A’ school district, third best in state


The Lafourche Parish School District was named one of four “A” school districts in the state under a new grading system released last week.

The district placed third in the state overall with 90.5 points, just behind Zachary Community School District (93.6) and Ascension Parish (91.2).

Terrebonne Parish School District was given a B grade of 83 points, tied for 20th in the state with Jefferson Davis Parish and one of 35 “B” schools in the state.

Under the old formula, the grades would have been reversed between the two districts, with Terrebonne receiving an A and Lafourche a B.

The 2017-18 school performance scores are based on new goals for the state’s accountability system. The state is increasing the guidelines for A schools through 2025 to ensure that they all have a “mastery of fundamental skills.” Other focuses are now placed on rewarding student progress and identifying and supporting struggling schools.

“This year’s results are based on more comprehensive information on student growth and achievement than ever before,” said Gary Jones, president of the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. “This enhanced performance data provides a more accurate snapshot of where we truly stand.”

Lafourche schools Superintendent Jo Ann Matthews celebrated the news at last week’s School Board meeting.

“We have a fine system, with great students and great staff ... and hopefully they get something they deserve, which is a pay increase,” she said.

Matthews has been superintendent since 2005 and is preparing to retire at the end of the year.

With such a long tenure at the school system, Matthews said she’s been able to appoint every single principal and assistant principal currently serving in the district.

As the district prepares for its new superintendent, Louis Voiron, Matthews said she’s confident the school system will be able to move up to the No. 1 spot in the state.

“Lafourche is on top of the mountain looking down,” she said, noting the small number of A schools.

The Lafourche School District had six A schools: Central Lafourche High, Chackbay Elementary, St. Charles Elementary, Sixth Ward Middle, South Lafourche High and Thibodaux High. The Bayou Community Academy Charter school was also given an A grade.

Only one school was given a D grade, South Thibodaux Elementary School.

Terrebonne School District also had five A schools: H.L. Bourgeois High, Dularge Elementary, Mulberry Elementary, South Terrebonne High and Terrebonne High.

Three schools were given D grades: Honduras Elementary, Legion Park Elementary and Oak Lawn Junior High.

Terrebonne Superintendent Philip Martin said the district was celebrating the news but aware of the areas where it could continue to grow and improve.

“When you’re first in some areas it’s hard to say you can get better, but you absolutely can,” Martin said, noting the district’s high scores in diploma strength and graduation rates.

Complete reports are available online at www.louisianabelieves.com.

 

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or julia.arenstam@houmatoday.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaArenstam.