Students LEAP into success

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / June 6, 2000

LULING – A preliminary review of the LEAP and Iowa Test scores achieved in St. Charles Parish leaves curriculum and instruction supervisors well pleasedwith the progress made, and 220 fourth- and eighth-graders are signed up for remedial summer classes, starting June 12.

Felicia Gomez, executive director of curriculum and instruction, and Rachel Allemand, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, commented on those Louisiana Educational Assessment Program test results last week.

Bad news mixed with the good, though, indicate that some funding available for tutoring programs which contributed to the progress is not guaranteed for the coming school term.

“After-school tutoring resulted in improved math scores at Carver, Norco K- 3, R.J. Vial and St. Rose Primary,” said Allemand. “But the grants we’ve hadfor the past two years are not available next year. We’re applying for a newgrant for Carver Elementary.”Also, preparations are wrapping up for the LEAP summer school program, which will work to prepare 106 fourth-graders and 138 eighth-graders for retakes in July. Good news, Allemand added, is that of the 244 studentseligible for the LEAP summer school, 220 are already enrolled.

The state education department is providing one-third of the funding for the LEAP summer school, the balance of the $92,000 total being picked up by the school district. The expense will fund salaries, transportation andsupplies.

“We’re making every effort to reach the last ones, but if they show up on the first day of summer school we’ll take them,” Allemand said.

Language arts classes will be conducted June 12-July 11 from 8:30 a.m. to11:30 a.m. Math classes will be held June 12-July 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30a.m. Students who require both will take classes June 12-July 11 from 8:30a.m. to 3 p.m.At Hurst Middle School in Destrehan, 13 fourth-graders and five eighth- graders will have to take language arts classes in the mornings. Twenty-seven fourth-graders and 58 eighth-graders will take math classes in the mornings. Some 20 fourth-graders and 19 eighth-graders must take bothlanguage arts and math classes and must bring a bag lunch for the half-hour lunch period.

At J.B. Martin Middle School in Paradis, four fourth-graders and one eighth-grader will take language arts only, 29 fourth-graders and 40 eighth-graders will take math only and 13 fourth-graders and 15 eighth-graders will take both.

St. Charles Parish teachers and administrators were generally pleased withthe early results of the LEAP test, given to 1,499 fourth- and eighth-grade students March 13-17. Also, 32 non-public school students took the testwith 10 more due to take the July tests.

School by school passing rates showed 93 percent of fourth-graders passing the language arts portion and 71 percent passing the mathematics portion.

Among eighth-graders, 86 percent passed the language arts segment and 67 percent passed the math portion.

Remedial LEAP math tests will be taken July 6, and language arts tests will be taken July 10 and 11.

Results from those tests will be received by Aug. 8 for eighth-graders andAug. 14 for fourth-graders, with the start of the new school year set Aug.17. Without passing these tests, those students will not be eligible to beadvanced to the next grade.

“It’s rigorous and demanding, but it’s the kind of think I would want students to do,” Allemand said.

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