School district officials key in on ways to increase graduation rates

St. Charles Parish Public Schools have consistently ranked well state-wide, and this past year was no exception.

The district was named a 2022 Best School Districts by Niche, a website which rates school systems based on “a rigorous analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with test scores, college data, and ratings collected from millions of Niche users.”

The district was ranked high in several categories including, but not limited to, as the #3 Best School District in Louisiana, the #2 Best School District for Athletes in Louisiana, the #1 Best School District in New Orleans Area, the #2 Safest School District in New Orleans Area, the #2 District with the Best Teachers in New Orleans Area and the #4 Best Place to Teach in Louisiana.

And although St. Charles Parish ranks third overall in the state, it has the second lowest graduation rate of the top 10 ranked school districts. With 15 school and 9,440 total students, SCPPS has a graduation rate of 86 percent. The website reported that 83 percent of graduates are reading proficiently, and 78 percent of graduates are math proficient.

District Executive Director of Secondary Schools Chris Kimball said the school system is doing several things to increase graduation rates in the district.

“Our high schools are taking many proactive steps to increase our cohort graduation rate,” he said. “Also, many factors play into students graduating on time. Most school initiatives in some way play into keeping a student in school and progressing.”

Kimball said general student achievement initiatives include student support advisories, social-emotional wellness initiatives, school spirit and equity initiatives, the student advisory committee and ACT/Workkeys initiatives.

“Both schools encourage all students to get involved in the arts, athletics and clubs on campus,” he said of Destrehan and Hahnville High Schools.

Kimball said as another way to push up graduation rates, the district tracks students’ grades and monitors attendance and enrollment several ways.

“Schools have created a cohort tracking sheet,” he said. “School office specialists track truant absences and notify parents after three missed days, parents/counselors after five days missed and administration follow up intervention on tenth day. Counselors review at risk cohort students weekly and make contact with students and families.”

He added that administrators make home visits and make referrals to child welfare and attendance departments when needed, and that there is an attendance recovery initiative, credit recovery program and after-school tutoring initiative.


About Monique Roth 759 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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