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St. Charles School System gets award

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / August 12, 1998

LULING – The St. Charles Parish School System was recently one of 2,274school systems nationwide recognized for best meeting the needs of families choosing schools.

The 1998 What Parents Want Award is awarded by SchoolMatch of Columbus, Ohio, the nation’s largest school selection firm. Only 14 percentof the nation’s 15,620 public school districts received the award. St.Charles Parish was one of only six school systems, along with Bossier City, Lafayette and Caddo, East Baton Rouge and St. Tammany parishes, tobe honored in Louisiana. It is the first time St. Charles Parish has receivedthe award.

“What this award means for us is that St. Charles Parish is consistentlyproviding the type of education that parents are looking for in a school system,” Rochelle Touchard, St. Charles Parish Public Schools PublicInformation Director for external communication, said.

SchoolMatch helps corporate employee families find schools that match the needs of their children. SchoolMatch also conducts effectivenessaudits of school systems and assists corporations with site selection studies.

SchoolMatch had been getting questions from parents about school systems around the country. The independent, nationwide service sent outquestionnaires to parents who assigned values to each question. Theservice then was able to match up the families with a school system in the area in which they were transferring.

The What Parents Want Award is based on seven criteria parents most often look for in school systems, including that the school system is competitive in academic test scores and is academically solid but not so rigorous as to intimidate their children; competitive in teacher salaries; and recognized for excellence by a national foundation or by the U.S.Department of Education. SchoolMatch does not get the information fromthe school systems directly but from auditible information that the school system must send to the state Department of Education.

The service is offered as an employee benefit by about 400 companies.

Corporations and consumers use SchoolMatch when moving across town, upgrading residences, relocating to a new area, when negotiating child custody issues and for general information about schools.

School administrators use SchoolMatch to focus on goals for school system improvement based upon the performance of comparable school systems.

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