LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - According to the Louisiana Department of Education, Pearl Watson Elementary School exhibited the highest percentage of growth in school performance scores among all the schools in Calcasieu Parish for the 2009-2010 school year.
This year Pearl Watson scored a baseline score of 84.7, which is 23.0 points higher than their baseline score of 61.7 back in 2009. Pearl Watson's composite score for 2010 is the average of the two baseline scores which is 75.8.
School officials said they were hoping to raise their baseline score at least 9.9 point this year, but they more than doubled that goal.
"We were a little surprised but we kind of looked at the initiatives we put in place and had a good feeling we were going to grow," said Tiffany Washington, assistant principal for Pearl Watson Elementary School.
Recent initiatives that officials have taken include behavior programs, after school tutoring, and small group interventions.
"We incorporated not just low students but we also brought in our high and medium students and bumped those students up as well," said Washington.
Students at Pearl Watson said they have improved their standardized test scores as a result of the after school tutoring.
"It helped us think and we did better on the test when we would study more and do more homework because it was great practice," said Angel Tomlin, a fifth grade student at Pearl Watson Elementary School.
Officials said they are also hoping to continue the growth for school as a whole and eventually receive a two star rating.
"We're in a much, much better position now," said Rodney Geyen, Principal of Pearl Watson Elementary School. "If we did the same thing we did last year, we're very confident we'll move from a one star school to a two star school."
Pearl Watson is also hoping to boost their student population and bring back students they have lost to other schools with higher ratings.
"I think if they see a growth in the school and if the culture and climate has changed, then those parents are going to be willing to send those students back in their home district," said Washington.
If you would like to know just how well your school did in this year's performance results, click on "School Performance Scores" to the right.