By Superintendent Alison Hughes
All schools in Red River Parish increased in performance points for the 2018 school year in both the old and new formulas for classifying school performance.
Red River High School, the flagship school of the district, is now labeled a “B” school in the state. Their progress of more than 9 pts in several indicators is admirable. We are very proud of the work they are doing to help students graduate with meaningful diplomas.
Red River Parish School District increased and now has a letter grade of a “C” in the new formula. In the old formula, the District grew by more than 5 pts. The District was given letter grades of “A” in graduation rate and strength of diploma. The greatest area of concern is the K8 & High School Assessment index, which purely measures the level of achievement of individual students on the LEAP 2025 exam. Although the District grew in the old formula by more than 5pts, in the new formula, while still showing growth, the District scored a 42.4. However, a “C” grade was awarded in the new formula for progress toward mastery which means that although some students did not score mastery on the LEAP test, they did make projected growth.
Although the state has once again changed the formula by which schools are rated, the comparison of the old 2017 formula to the old 2018 formula allows a true picture of growth.
Red River High grew 9.4 pts in SPS.
Red River Jr. High grew 2.6 pts in SPS.
Red River Elementary grew 4.4 pts in SPS.
This growth is reflected in the ratings of “B” awarded to Red River High School and Red River Elementary in student progress toward Mastery. This significant increase proves that these schools have implemented powerful change that positively impacts individual students on a daily basis. Red River Jr. High was rated a “C” in this category and shows improvement with each benchmark.
The solid growth shown by our schools can be attributed to sweeping changes in expectations, curriculum, and professional development for all teachers. Teachers and Administrators are now more acutely aware of the expectations of the new high stakes testing and are addressing individual student needs in progressing toward proficiency.
Change is difficult and overwhelming change takes time but the work of the past three years is now paying off. We have implemented a new curriculum in ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies. We have changed the grading system for all students to reflect true mastery of content. We are spending more time in professional development than ever before and our staff of now highly trained teachers are performing expertly in the classroom. While we are not where we would like to be as far as school ratings, we know that our dedicated, professional, and caring staff at Red River Parish Schools are working to achieve this level of growth for the next 5 years.