At a press conference on May 15, St. Charles Parish School Board officials were delighted to announce that the results from the parish's annual LEAP testing showed an improvement over last year's scores.
The LEAP Test is given to students in fourth and eighth grades with tenth grade taking the Graduate Exit Exam.
In 2005, fourth grade students scored 78 percent which increased this year with a percentage of 82. Eighth grade students also improved over last year with a percentage of 77.
"Test scores have improved. In the past, students have always struggled in the math testing area. This year it is good to see that fewer students are falling in to this category," said LEAP Testing Coordinator Rachel Alleman.
In years past, fourth grade students were required to score Approaching Basic in both areas of the LEAP test. With this year's testing, students are required to score Basic or higher in the testing areas of math and ELA. Also in previous years, eighth grade students were required to score approaching basic on testing areas. Starting with the 2006 testing, students were required to score basic on one area and approaching basic on the other.
Labeled as a limited impact zone by the state, the parish will separate the scores of displaced students from that of students that were enrolled in the school system prior to Hurricane Katrina. The first of two sets of scores reflects the combined overall test result percentages with the second reflecting the scores by displaced students.
A rough estimate reflects one hundred and twenty nine fourth graders are expected to participate in summer school with one hundred and sixty six of eighth graders expected to participate. Seventh and eighth grade students on the will attend summer school at R.K. Smith Middle School and fourth and eighth grade students attending at Harry Hurst Middle School. Retesting is scheduled for June 27-29. Students in need of remedial GEE classes will attend Hahnville High School. Transfer students are also eligible for summer school by paying a one hundred dollar registration fee that refundable upon the student enrolling as a permanent student in the parish.
In addition, overall LEAP test scores included special education students. Less than three percent of special need students do not take the LEAP Test. Students enrolled in special education classes take a modified LEAP Test that allows officials to better measure the student's abilities.