Schools await report cards from state
Students and parents await their grades with hopes and apprehension. Under the Louisiana education accountability program, so do schools.
Schools get their letter grades from the Louisiana Department of Education this week.
The state assessment of local schools is used to measure progress and to identify schools and specific student groups — including minorities, children from low-income homes, special needs students and English language learners — that need more intensive intervention.
As a district, St. Mary flirted with a top grade of A for two years, coming within fractions of a point of meeting the standard. The parish would have received an A in 2018-19, but the state raised the standard for judging student performance.
On the standardized LEAP test for students in grades 3 through 8, the standard was raised from Basic to Mastery. Students are tested on English, math, science and social studies.
Elementary school grades are also based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test given to fourth and eighth graders, and the English Language Proficiency Test for students for whom English is a second language.
High schools are judged according to student performance on state tests and the ACT taken by college-bound juniors, graduation rates, and factors such as results of College Level Examination Program and Advanced Placement courses.
The criteria are used to develop a school performance score. Schools with A grades have scores of at least 90. B schools have scores of 75-89.9; C schools 60-74.9; D schools 50-59.9; and F schools below 50.
Last year, the parish had three A schools, the three east St. Mary high schools: Berwick, 102.8; Patterson, 92.1; and Morgan City, 91.1.
The B elementary schools were J.S. Aucoin, Bayou Vista, Berwick, Hattie Watts, Wyandotte and M.E. Norman. Centerville High also got a B.
Six schools had C grades: W.P. Foster and Raintree elementary schools; Morgan City, Patterson and Franklin junior high schools; and Boudreaux Middle.
Two schools had D grades: Maitland and LaGrange elementary schools.
Despite the overall good performance in the district, the state found 12 areas where St. Mary schools needed more intensive supervision.
For LaGrange Elementary, the need encompassed all students.
The state said intervention is needed for students with disabilities at Bayou Vista, Berwick, W.P. Foster, LaGrange, Maitland, Hattie Watts and Raintree elementary schools; and Patterson, Boudreaux, Morgan City, Berwick and Franklin junior highs.
Intervention is needed on behalf of black students at Maitland and Foster elementary schools and Patterson Junior High, the state said, and on behalf of economically disadvantaged students at LaGrange and Maitland. The performance of English learners was also identified as needing intervention at Morgan City Junior High.