St. John Public Schools district performance score falls to “C”

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

RESERVE — The majority of schools in the St. John the Baptist Parish Public School District improved their school performance score during the 2016-17 school year, according to school report cards released Tuesday by the Louisiana Department of Education. However, District leaders lamented the District’s overall drop into the C category.

The overall District Performance Score fell in 2016-17, down just over one point to an 83.8 to put it in the C category. The school system’s District Performance Score was 85.2 for 2015-16, which was a B.

“While we are disappointed in the small drop in our overall District Performance Score, we are encouraged that the majority of our schools grew and are now A, B or C schools,” Superintendent Kevin George said. “We will keep working hard every day to make sure our schools and district are meeting expectations.”

John L. Ory Communications Magnet was the only school to earn an A in St. John Parish.

Those earning Bs were West St. John High and East St. John Elementary.

Schools earning Cs included Lake Pontchartrain Elementary, East St. John High, Emily C. Watkins Elementary, Garyville/Mt. Airy Math & Science Magnet, LaPlace Elementary and West St. John Elementary.

Fifth Ward Elementary earned a D.

School leaders stressed six of the District’s 10 evaluated schools improved from the 2015-16 school year, with two schools — East St. John Elementary and Garyville-Mt. Airy — moving up a letter grade.

In addition, Lake Pontchartrain Elementary School grew its score by 10.1 points and has been named a Top Gains school by the Louisiana Department of Education. The department recognizes schools as Top Gains schools when they outperform their pre-determined growth goal.

All of the district’s schools are now an A, B or C, with the exception of Fifth Ward Elementary.

The only remaining D school, K-8 during the 2016-17 school year, was reconfigured this school year to educate preK through fourth-grade students, with East St. John Elementary, a B school, reconfigured to educate fifth through eighth.

This was done to allow educators to pool resources and more efficiently design curriculum for the appropriate age groups to ultimately increase student performance.

“We are proactive as a district,” George said. “We evaluate our schools throughout the school year and take corrective action even before the state releases this data. We are always looking for ways to improve and these school and district performance scores will be used to evaluate further how we can do just that.”

School Performance Scores are based on student performance including assessments and readiness, graduation, diploma strength and progress. District Performance Scores are also based on student achievement on annual assessments, academic indicators and measures of career and college readiness, such Carnegie credits earned through ninth grade, graduation rates, ACT scores and earning Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Dual Enrollment.

To assist parents in evaluating schools, the Louisiana Department of Education today announced the launch of Louisiana School Finder.

Louisiana School Finder hosts detailed information about each school’s offerings and academic performance. It can be accessed at

For the 2017-18 school year, the District has taken measures to address some of the areas that contributed to the decline.

Seniors are now scheduled into ACT-prep electives to help increase their academic skills and ACT scores, are given the opportunity to take the ACT WorkKeys test, which measures students’ knowledge of the skills required for success in the workplace, and are given the opportunity to retake the statewide-ACT test.