LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Louisiana Department of Education released its 2018-2019 school performance scores Wednesday.
The district as a whole improved 2.2 points, giving Calcasieu a B letter grade.
“We’re a steady B and we’re happy about that for right now, but we’d love to be an A and we’re going to keep working towards that," Calcasieu Superintendent Karl Bruchhaus, said.
For third through eighth grades, the schools are graded based on their L.E.A.P. test scores, while high schools are graded on a number of different criteria.
“They take end-of-course assessments for six classes, their ACT scores - everyone in Louisiana takes the ACT - they have what’s called a ‘strength of diploma’ — so, how many kids take dual enrollment classes or AP classes, what goes into the quality of a school’s diploma. Lastly, their graduation rate," Bruchhaus said.
Ten Calcasieu schools have an A, 33 have Bs and Cs and 14 schools have Ds and Fs. While a majority of the 57 schools are passing, what’s being done for those failing?
“They have a program called ‘TAP’ that helps to support teachers, they have intensive assistance from the state that comes in and helps to model lessons and so forth. There’s that continued effort to help them grow," Bruchhaus said.
One school that made a significant jump in its letter grade is Washington-Marion Magnet High School, which is now a B school.
“For the students, they’re going to have a lot of pride about themselves for the simple fact they’re going to a 'B' school now," Principal Ronnie Harvey said. “When I was first appointed principal, we were a 'D' school.”
Harvey has only been principal for a little over a year and says he can’t take full credit for their almost 15-point increase.
“I think it goes down to our chief academic officer, our administrative director, our zone director, the faculty students and staff," Harvey said. “The community support. There are many variables that go into the school performance score.”
Harvey isn’t just the principal though, he’s also a Washington Marion graduate — which makes this B grade even sweeter. He says they aren’t stopping here.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done, we’re not satisfied, we don’t want to be complacent," Harvey said. “We’re a B school now, but we want to be an A school and we truly believe that mission is possible.”