‘It’s all for the children’ Superintendent says about bond issue

This letter published in the Feb. 17, 2022, print edition. Send your letters to the editor to jgray@natchitochestimes.com

Dear Editor:

As the bond issue election to improve schools in the city Saturday approaches, I believe the accomplishments the system has made will speak for themselves. I think improving the facilities will be a step forward in promoting more learning. It’s all for the children.

I am aware of criticism of me personally that could be a factor. Many of the people who criticize me have done nothing to help. It would be nice if the people who are negative tell you the facts before they encourage you to vote no. I wonder how much more we could have accomplished by working together for the betterment of all the students instead of being negative and telling untruths to get the voters to not support the children. I hope you will consider the following progress our school system has made.

During the 2014-2015 school year: •Out of 75 districts only eight grew more than Natchitoches Parish. We grew 4.2 points. •Out of 69 school districts, only eight grew in graduation rate more than Natchitoches Parish. We grew 8.0 points. •Natchitoches was sixth in the state for increasing opportunities for students with disabilities. We grew 17.8 points. •Natchitoches was seventh in the state for increasing opportunities for African American students. We grew 12.1 points. •Natchitoches was eighth in the state for increasing opportunities for economically disadvantaged students.

During the 2015-2016 school year: •Natchitoches Parish was among the Top 10 districts in the state for ACT gains. •In the last two years our graduation rate improved 14 points. •When the 2015-2016 scores for the state were released, we improved from a “C” to a “B” school district. •72 percent of the 2016 graduates earned either NSU dual enrollment credit or earned an industry-based credential. This is an increase from 2015 where 67 percent of students achieved the above. •Natchitoches experienced growth on ACT during the 13-14 to 15-16 school years growth of 18.2. Only 41 percent of students were scoring 18 or above on the ACT in 13-14, but this grew to 50 percent over the new two years.

During the 2016-2017 school year: •NPSB maintained the letter grade “B” in the first year of online computer testing. •Our district performance score was is 88.8, 2 points higher than the state average of 86.8. •NPSB received maximum number of progress points over the past three years. •NPSB Title 1 Federal Programs moved from a high-risk district to a low-risk district due to our new director reducing 37 citations to no citations. •NPSB’s ACT Assessment Index has grown from 47.8 in 2015 to 82.2 in 2017. •NPSB Special Education Department moved from a moderate high-risk category to a low-risk as result of citations being removed under direction of our new director.

Dale Skinner

Superintendent Natchitoches Parish Schools