St. John Parish Public School District improves letter grade to B

Published 11:51 am Thursday, December 17, 2015

RESERVE — The St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District improved its letter grade to a B in the latest Louisiana Department of Education accountability rankings.

It is the first time the district has earned the B grade, school officials said Thursday, scoring an 85.2 as its 2015 District Performance Score. It is an improvement over last year’s score of 83.1, a C.

“It is a phenomenal achievement for our school system to be placed on the Honor Roll,” Superintendent Kevin George said. “This distinction demonstrates the work of all of our stakeholders, working as one to fulfill the educational needs of our community. I could not be more proud of this district. We have more work to do but our B status proves that we are on the right path.”

In addition, the district now features two A-rated schools. West St. John High School improved its School Performance Score more than seven points to a 106 to join John L. Ory Communications Magnet School in the A category, a distinction it has now maintained for four consecutive years.

Two schools showed double-digit growth. West St. John Elementary School grew 16.6 points, while Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School improved 15 points.

“This just goes to show that our district is moving forward. Kudos to our superintendent, his district staff, our principals, teachers, support staff and everyone who had a hand in this because it is a team effort,” School Board President Keith Jones said. “Our students are learning and growing and we are moving in the right direction.”

District Performance Scores are based on student achievement on annual assessments, academic indicators and measures of career and college readiness, such Carnegie credits earned through 9th grade, graduation rates, and earning Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Dual Enrollment.

It is the 10th consecutive year of growth for the district, school officials stressed, despite the state’s instituting of the more difficult Common Core State Standards and the more rigorous Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests.

The St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District was recognized in October for its achievement on PARCC after achieving the fourth-highest growth in the state for the percentage of students scoring mastery or above in English language arts and math.