3 Calcasieu Schools Earn High Performing, High Poverty Distinction

The following is a news release from the Calcasieu Parish School System.

LeBleu Settlement, Westwood and Western Heights Elementary Schools earned the distinction of High Performing, High Poverty Schools as designated by the Louisiana Department of Education.

To earn the High-Performing, High-Poverty (HPHP) designation, schools must meet the following criteria:

  • A baseline School Performance Score of 100 or higher for two consecutive years, based on the state's accountability system. School Performance Scores (SPS) are determined based on student scores on state assessments, attendance, non-dropout and graduation rates, depending on the grade configuration of each school. Schools in Decline are not eligible for the designation, even if their SPS remains above 100. Schools in Decline is a label assigned to schools with an SPS below 110 that drop by 2.5 points or more in one academic year.
  • At least 65 percent of the school's population must be enrolled in the federally-funded free or reduced-price meal program. Student participation in the free or reduced-priced meal program is a national indicator used to measure poverty.

For the last three years, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) has sought to identify and honor schools that are overcoming the challenges associated with educating large populations of poor and minority children. There are a total of 35 schools across the state earning this honor.

Through a partnership with the Board of Regents, LDOE is conducting an analysis of the 35 HPHP schools to determine what factors contribute to their success. Department officials will make site visits and conduct interviews with members of these school communities in an effort to identify best practices that could potentially be replicated in schools with similar demographics.

The HPHP program was launched in 2008, when the Department set out to identify schools that had achieved high academic success, despite having to overcome the social challenges associated with high-poverty student populations. In 2009, the Department raised the criteria for schools to qualify for the HPHP title.