Calcasieu Parish schools rewarded for high performance - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu Parish schools rewarded for high performance

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Some positive news that impacts a third of the schools in Calcasieu Parish: Twenty schools made the "Top Gains School" list for improving student achievement for the 2011-2012 school year.

Here's the list: 

Alfred M. Barbe High School
Bell City High School
DeQuincy High School
Dolby Elementary
Frasch Elementary
W.T. Henning Elementary
Sam Houston High School
Iowa High School
John. F. Kennedy Elementary
E. K. Key Elementary
Maplewood Middle School
Moss Bluff Elementary
A.A. Nelson Elementary
Cypress Cove Elementary
Prien Lake Elementary
Starks High School
Vincent Settlement Elementary
Vinton High School
Westlake High School
Westwood Elementary

This is a huge achievement, according to State Superintendent John White who presented a check for $169,077 to be divided among those 20 schools as a reward for their improvements. Each school will receive approximately $8,453.

"It takes so much work to make a great school, but 20 schools in this parish didn't just make gains last year, they made big gains and it's really important that we come out and say thank you," White said.

Those school principals were excited as well. The money will go toward school educational purposes.

"We really are excited about the reward," said Dr. Dinah Robinson, principal at JFK Elementary. "My teachers, my students, we all work so so hard to make sure our kids receive what they need so they can be successful."

Principal of Westwood Elementary, Jerry Treme, said it was tough trying to meet the growth target. 

"We're very honored and I'm very excited and I'm very excited for our community," Treme said.

The principals will make sure the money is spent wisely on instructional tools for the classrooms.

But what is the secret to their improvement?

"Reading is the success to everything you do in life. You have to know how to read and that's what we're doing," Robinson said.

"Reading is key," principal of Dolby Elementary, Missy Bushnell, said. "Our students have really shown growth in their reading and the better readers they are, they're going to be successful in all subject areas."

Schools also showed improvements in other subjects such as math and social studies.

"We got to find the path to career or college for every child in high school. If we can do those things, we know we're on our way up, but it's examples like these educators here today that show us what's possible," White said.

For more on the schools improvement in Calcasieu Parish, check out the raw interview with Superintendent John White attached to the right of this article.

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Here is the news release from the Louisiana Department of Education:
  
Today, State Superintendent of Education John White visited Calcasieu Parish to present a check for $169,077 to Calcasieu Parish Public Schools Superintendent Wayne Savoy to recognize 20 schools in the district for their dedication to increasing student achievement and earning the Top Gains School designation for the 2011-2012 school year.

"We applaud these schools for their dedication to increasing student achievement," said State Superintendent of Education John White. "It's a privilege to be able to celebrate that achievement by rewarding them with additional funding to sustain this momentum."

"I am very proud of all of our schools in Calcasieu Parish. These schools exemplify what all schools are trying to do, finding ways to sustain continual growth," said Calcasieu Parish Schools Superintendent Wayne Savoy.

For the 2011-2012 school year, 440 schools in the state earned the Top Gains School designation. Top Gains Schools improved their School Performance Score by or beyond a pre-determined growth target, from 2 to 10 points. Each school will receive $8,453 to be used for educational purposes.

"In Calcasieu Parish, student achievement is in the forefront of everything we do. All decisions are data driven and used to directly affect student growth," said Tony McCardle, principal at Frasch Elementary School. "Our motto, All Students are Important to Us, shows our commitment and dedication to providing only the best for our students. Reward monies will be used for technology, materials and professional development that will directly impact student achievement."

"One of the major goals for the State of Louisiana and the Calcasieu Parish School System is that all students are Reading by 3rd grade. All monies will be used at John F. Kennedy Elementary to hire Response to Intervention (RTI) tutors to assist K-3 in enhancing their reading & comprehension skills. Also, RTI tutors will be hired to work with our fourth & fifth graders to enhance their math & constructive response skills," said Dr. Dinah Robinson, principal at John F. Kennedy Elementary School.

 About Top Gains Schools

This year 440 schools in the state earned the Top Gains School designation. Top Gains Schools improved their School Performance Score by or beyond a pre-determined growth target, from 2 to 10 points, and will receive $8,453 each for educational purposes within the school. For a complete listing of 2011-2012 Top Gains Schools, please click here.
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