Schools rank 10th in state after performance scores

October 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

School district performance scores were recently released and St. Charles Public Schools ranked No. 10 statewide.
The district's score went from 104.9 in 2009 to 105.5 this year, a 0.6 increase. The state average is 92.5, up from 89.4 last year.

Rachel Allemand, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the parish, said that St. Charles usually ranks in the top 10 for district performances.

“St. Charles Parish has continued to increase its performance score for each of the past four years,” Allemand said.

While the district as a whole improved from last year, there are still no schools that earned above three stars in the parish. The highest a school can be rated is four stars, meaning a score of over 120.

During the regular legislative session this year, the state decided to switch from using stars to using letter grades to define district scores, so a three-star school could soon be called a “B” school. Allemand said that a state-level committee is currently figuring out how the stars will translate to letter scores.

New Sarpy Elementary scored the highest with a score of 118. Scores increased from last year in all but five parish schools.

Norco Elementary K-3 had the greatest improvement, scoring 9.5 points higher this year.

However, 11 of the 17 schools in the district did not meet the state's target growth rate.

The only schools that did meet the state's goal were Allemands Elementary, Hahnville High, Albert Cammon Middle, Harry Hurst Middle, New Sarpy Elementary and Norco Elementary K-3.

Luling Elementary had the lowest score with 85.7, but that is still up from 81.8 last year.

“At 80 percent, Luling Elementary has the highest percent of students receiving free or reduced lunch in the district,” Allemand said. The amount of free and reduced lunches signed up for can often be an indicator of poverty.

“Studies indicate that children living in poverty often lack access to books and early life experiences that develop the language skills needed for reading, writing and speaking,” Allemand said. “The school district provides many extra programs and services to reduce the impact of poverty on student learning at Luling Elementary.”

Some of these programs include additional teaching staff to allow for more small group and individual instruction, extra funding for tutoring programs and a reading intervention program.

“While there is always room for improvement, the recently released scores indicate that St. Charles Parish students continue to achieve at high levels,” Allemand said.

View other articles written By Michelle Stuckey

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