BUSINESS

Ascension Public Schools maintains ranking as "A" rated district

Leslie D. Rose @Editor_Citizen

Ascension Public Schools remains one of the top performing school districts in the state according to the 2015-16 school report cards released today by the Louisiana Department of Education. Ascension maintained its "A" rating for the fifth consecutive year with an overall score of 109.3, up from 107.4 last year, and is ranked No. 4 among public school districts in the state.

"Achieving an 'A' rating for a school district as large and diverse as Ascension Parish is a monumental task, but maintaining and growing at a top level is truly commendable," said Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander.

While not pegging any schools in competition with each other, Alexander noted the remarkable successes of some schools.

"The list there of "A" schools is definitely something that we would cal noteworthy," Alexander said. "I wouldn't say any one's achievement is better. We had a lot of spots in there where people experienced success, but I'd say even where schools grew a little bit, but didn't go up a letter grade is still significant."

Out of the district's 27 schools, 12 earned "A" grades, nine earned "B" grades, three earned "C" grades, one earned a "D" grade and two earned "F" grades. The 12 schools that each earned an "A" score were Dutchtown Primary, Galvez Primary, Lakeside Primary, Oak Grove Primary, Prairieville Primary, St. Amant Primary, Lake Elementary, Dutchtown Middle, Prairieville Middle, Dutchtown High, East Ascension High and St. Amant High.

The schools that grew an entire letter grade this year were G.W. Carver Primary that moved from an 81.8 "C" to an 89.3 "B", East Ascension High that moved from a 97.9 "B" to a 101.1 "A" and St. Amant Primary that moved from a 95.9 "B" to a 103.5 "A".

As for what keeps Ascension at the top of report card rankings, Alexander credits the expertise of classroom teachers, principals and other leaders, as well as the communities.

"I think our community's commitment to education and our children's determination to be the best is one of the main reasons we do so well," Alexander said. "The collective effort of the entire Ascension Public Schools employee system - no matter what role they're in - everybody's commitment to giving children the best experience we can give them all contributes to a daily success that ultimately result in student achievement.

Our goal is to continue to improve the outcomes for our students. In terms of ranking, I really hope that our entire state continues to improve outcomes for our children. And if that happens, we'll all be number one."

EAST ASCENSION HIGH EARNS "A" RATING

East Ascension High jumped up a letter grade, earning an "A" score of 101.1. Contributing to this year's success was a 5.2 point growth in Strength of Diploma Graduation Index and a 19.4 point growth in the ACT Assessment Index.

ST. AMANT HIGH OBTAINS "TOP GAINS SCHOOL" DESIGNATION

St. Amant High School's increase from a 109.5 "A" to a 114.7 "A" earned the district's only "Top Gains School" designation by the Louisiana Department of Education. Contributing to this year's success was a 2.6 point growth in Strength of Diploma Graduation Index and a 13.6 point growth in the ACT Assessment Index.

DUTCHTOWN HIGH ACHIEVES THE DISTRICT'S TOP SCORE

Dutchtown High School's score of a 120.1 "A", up from 119.6, is the highest overall school score in Ascension Parish. Contributing to this year's success was a 7.4 point increase in the ACT Assessment Index and a 2.0 point increase in the Cohort Graduation Rate.