By Carolyn Roy
The Natchitoches Parish School District maintained the letter grade B, with a performance score of 88.8, a growth of 0.6 points, on school performance scores released Tuesday by the La. State Dept. of Education. Director of Federal Programs Julee Wright gave the report to the Natchitoches Parish School Board during a committee meeting Tuesday. Wright said 51 percent of schools in the state dropped on district scores, according to State Superintendent John White. Supt. of Natchitoches Parish Schools Dale Skinner said people in all facets of the school system worked tirelessly to improve the scores. He said faculty, staff, parents, food service workers, bus drivers and more were responsible for the improvement.
“Every one of these people are busting their behinds every day,” Skinner said. In addition to improving the overall grade of B, Wright said the district demonstrated an improvement in five of the seven components of the District Performance Score (DPS) indicators; Dropout Credit Accumulation Index, Assessment Index ACT, Strength of Diploma, Cohort Graduation Rate Index (Points earned for Cohort Graduation Rate), and Cohort Graduation Rate (Actual Graduation Rate) and received 10 progress points for moving students performing below Basic beyond their targeted goals.
The released scores indicate 93 percent of NPSB schools maintained or improved their letter grade standing. Steady growth continues for the district with the following letter grades:
•A-Natchitoches Magnet School (122.6); NSU Middle Lab (122.4); and NSU Elementary Lab (110.5)
•B-Goldonna Elem./Jr. High (Top Gains; 93.2); Natchitoches Central High School (92.3); Lakeview Jr. High/High School (90.8); Marthaville Elementary/Jr. High (89.2); and Provencal Elem./Jr. High (88.9)
•C-Fairview Alpha Elementary (65.2) and Cloutierville Elem./Jr. High (63.6)
•D-Natchitoches Jr. High (62.5); M.R. Weaver Elementary (58.2); East Natchitoches Elementary (56.2)
•F – LP Vaughn (35.1) and Frankie Ray Jackson Sr. Technical Center (30.5)
Wright’s report stated that since 2015, the Natchitoches Parish Early Childhood Care & Education Network, which consists of the Natchitoches Parish School Board, City of Natchitoches Early Childhood Education & Development, Natchitoches Parish Head Starts and Type III Childcare providers, have worked as a team to ensure children enrolled in their programs receive high quality care and preparation for kindergarten.
“They work together to offer children the best age appropriate academic instruction by using Tier I curriculums, offering professional development trainings and constant monitoring with a Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS).” For the first time, publicly funded Early Childhood programs, including Early Childhood Type III centers, Head Starts and public Pre-K classrooms received performance ratings of Excellent (6.00 – 7.00), Proficient (4.50 – 5.99), Approaching Proficient (3.0 – 4.49), or Unsatisfactory (1.0 – 2.99).
As a result of the Network’s efforts, the 2016-17 Performance Profile scores listed below show improvements for all Early Childhood program site types:
•Natchitoches Parish Early Childhood Care & Education Network (District Overall): 4.88 Proficient (0.28 increase) Natchitoches Parish School Board Pre-K: 5.25 Proficient (0.15 increase)
•Top Gains: L.P. Vaughn Early Learning Center Natchitoches Parish Head Starts: 4.86 Proficient (0.51 increase)
•Top Gains: Breda Town Head Start Natchitoches Parish Type III Child Care Centers: 4.86 Proficient (0.42 increase)
•Top Gains: A to Z 1,2,3 Preschool and Learning Center (Author’s Note: Scores and statistics came from Wright’s report to the school board.)
Both school performance scores and early childhood performance profiles are reported this year through Louisiana’s new interactive, online tool, the Louisiana School Finder at www.louisianaschools.com. This online tool will provide families with: •school performance scores and early childhood performance ratings to show how well schools and centers are preparing students for the next grade level •basic information about schools and centers, such as their address, website, hours of operation, licensing reports, principal or director’s name •listings of course offerings, clubs, enrichment and extracurricular activities. visit www.louisianaschools.com