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Lutcher and Romeville elementaries are lowest schools in St. James Parish

By Rebecca Burk / L’Observateur / February 21, 1998

VACHERIE – At a request by the state, assistant superintendent Caldonia Ceasar searched back three years into St. James Parish School recordsconcerning attendance, suspension and expulsion, test scores and drop out rates. She was asked to determine which two schools are the lowestaccording to this criteria.

She came up with Lutcher Elementary and Romeville Elementary.

“We had about four or five schools that could have been named had we not really analyzed them,” Ceasar told the school board at Tuesday night’s meeting at Vacherie Elementary as she handed out detailed reports of each school’s ranking depending on these four criteria.

In attendance, the average over the past three school years has been on the high side at the two schools, with Lutcher Elementary having 97 percent in attendance and Romeville Elementary having 95 percent in attendance.

Test scores were broken into three grade levels with two categories.

Third-graders at Lutcher Elementary averaged an 84 for the past three years in language arts and a 77 in math. At Romeville their average was an89 in language and 87 in math. The highest average in language was atSixth Ward Elementary, where third-graders averaged a 95, and in math the highest average was 90 at Paulina Elementary School.

Fifth-graders at Romeville averaged a 76 in language and a 73 in math, while at Lutcher they averaged a 72 and a 77. The highest average inlanguage was a tie at Gramercy Elementary and Vacherie Elementary, where fifth-graders averaged an 87. In math, the highest average was a 97at Paulina Elementary School.

Seventh-graders at Romeville Elementary averaged an 87 in language and an astoundingly low 43 in math. Lutcher Elementary is a kindergartenthrough sixth-grade school. The highest average in language was at St.James Junior High, where seventh-graders averaged a 90. The highestaverage in math was also at St. James Junior High. Seventh-gradersaveraged a 93.

Fourth- and sixth-grade scores were also checked using scores from the Norm-Referenced Test. The average score for fourth-graders at LutcherElementary was a 26, while Romeville’s average was a higher 29. Theschool with the highest average for fourth-graders on the NRT is Paulina Elementary with a 61.

The average score for sixth-graders on the NRT at Lutcher Elementary is a 30, and Romeville’s average is a much lower 24. The school that scoredthe highest in sixth grade on the NRT was, again, Paulina Elementary with a 52.

Nineteen students faced in-school suspensions at Lutcher Elementary during the 1996-97 school year, while over at Romeville 34 faced the suspensions.

For the last three years the average of out of school suspensions at Romeville Elementary was nine, while at Lutcher Elementary the amount was one.

There were no drop outs at either school.

She asked for permission to turn the names of these two schools in to the state with these figures, in hopes for more funds to improve them. Theboard approved unanimously with a motion by George Nassar, which was seconded by Kenneth Foret.

“It looks like it took a lot of time and a lot of effort to get this together,” board member Richard Reulet said, referring to the reports. “You have mysupport.””I know it’s hard to compare an elementary school and a high school,” Foret said, as Ceasar nodded in agreement. “Now the low achieving schoolswill get some help. Hopefully they’ll send some money with that help.”Ceasar, who thinks a lower pupil-teacher ratio would be just the thing to cure the problems in the schools, just like Foret, is hoping for more funds to improve the schools. “More money for more teachers would impact thescores and the children’s lives too,” she said.

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