Parish students scoring at highest levels

Staff reports

The data from this year’s report from the La. Department of Education shows the parish has increased the number of students who score Mastery and Advanced, the two highest levels of the LEAP, iLEAP and GEE tests.

“Growing the number of students who are proficient in all subject areas is at the very foundation of what we do in Ascension; but, it’s also our goal to help our students excel beyond the promotional standard and perform at the highest achievement levels,” said Ascension Parish School Superintendent Patrice Pujol.

Students in fourth grade English/language arts had a substantial increase of six percent in the Mastery category and one percent in Advanced. In math, they improved two percent in both Mastery and Advanced, while in science they grew three percent in the Mastery category.

Eighth graders also made significant gains. In the science category, the number of students scoring Mastery grew by eight percent, and in social studies, an additional four percent scored Mastery and three percent more scored Advanced. More eighth graders also scored at the highest levels in English/language arts with three percent more scoring Advanced, and two percent more scoring Mastery.

High school students increased scores at the highest levels in science and social studies. Most notable was the increase in science with eight percent more students scoring Mastery and two percent more scoring Advanced. And in social studies, the number of students scoring Mastery and Advanced improved by one percent in each category. They also grew their Mastery scores by three percent in math and one percent in English/language arts.

Pujol praised the district’s teachers and administrators for their successful implementation of school improvement initiatives and one-on-one attention to student learning. It is these efforts and the attentiveness to the specific needs of the students that have forged Ascension ahead as one of the state’s top-performing school districts. She also noted that the district is implementing an accelerated academic recovery program next year – known as the Turnaround Zone – to further advance student achievement in the parish.

“We are always looking for ways to improve how we serve the needs of our students, teachers, and administrators,” Pujol noted. “Our Turnaround Zone will be the first of its kind in Louisiana and it will focus on seven schools that we have identified as needing innovative embedded support to move the School Performance Scores into the highest tiers of performance.”

“We are pleased we have already received a $1 million grant to go toward our efforts, and that state education leaders recognize our Turnaround Zone as a possible model for the state,” Pujol said.

In the state department’s report some of the greatest improvements in grade levels taking the iLEAP test were,

. Sixth grade students grew six percent in math and two percent in science in the Advanced category

. Fifth grade students grew four percent in social studies in Mastery, two percent in both Advanced and Mastery in science, and two percent in Mastery in English / language arts. In English / language arts third grade students grew two percent in Advanced and seventh graders two percent in Mastery

The number of percent proficient students in Ascension increased in all four core subject areas tested in third grade.

While both sixth and seventh graders grew in three of the four tested areas.

“We congratulate our students on their academic success, and we pledge to continue doing our part to move our students forward,” she said.