The following is a release from the Beauregard Parish School Board:
DeRIDDER, La -- The State Department of Education released the 2018 District Performance Scores (DPS) and School Performance Scores (SPS) for K-12 schools showing Beauregard Parish has maintained a letter grade of "B" and has increased its point total. Under the new scoring scale, the district earned an 83.8.
"The State Department of Education is transitioning to a new accountability formula with stringent requirements for schools and districts which make it even more challenging to meet standards," said Timothy Cooley, Superintendent of Beauregard Parish Schools. "We are elated that Beauregard Parish has maintained a letter grade of "B" and at the same time has improved our score under both the old scoring formula, showing an increase of 2.2 points, and also under the new scoring formula, showing an increase of 2.4 points."
The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) assesses students annually in the Louisiana Believes accountability program for grades 3-12. The spring 2018 assessments mark the first year that scores are being reported under the LEAP 2025 program's new formula.
The LEAP 2025 program, which meets the requirements of the federal "Every Students Succeeds Act" (ESSA), includes an eight year transition toward new benchmarks and is designed to move all students toward scoring "Mastery" or "Advanced" on all accountability testing.
Every student not achieving "Mastery" on the LEAP 2025 exams receives a growth target designed to show how much progress the student must make toward "Mastery" to be on target. Students earning "Mastery" or "Advanced" receive a continuing growth target to achieve or maintain an "Advanced" score. Schools and districts receive "Progress" points on their Performance Scores in relation to the extent students meet the new individual growth targets.
Under the new scoring formula, every school in Beauregard Parish increased or maintained its letter grade over last year, and eleven schools increased their total earned points from the previous year. Two schools earned an "A," seven school earned a "B," and three schools earned a "C." No schools received a "D" or "F" letter grade.
Six schools earned an "A" in their Progress scores: Carver Elementary, DeRidder High School, East Beauregard Elementary, K.R. Hanchey Elementary, Pine Wood Elementary, and Singer High School. One school in the district, DeRidder High School, was designated "Equity Honoree" by outperforming 90 percent of schools across the state in three sub-groups -- Students with Disabilities, English Language Learners, and Economically Disadvantaged.
Scores are also reported for nine sub-categories used to determine the overall scores. Beauregard Parish increased in six of the nine sub-categories assessed with four scores in the "A" range and none below a "C" range. They include: K-8 Assessment increased one point to a 65.9; K-8 Progress increased 0.6 points to an 85.2; Dropout Credit Accumulation Index decreased 2.1 points to 145.7; High School Assessments decreased seven points to a 63.3; High School Progress increased 5.1 points to a 90.5; ACT decreased a half a point to 76.3; Strength of Diploma increased 3.3 points to 103.2; Cohort Graduation Index increased 15.5 points to 123.5; and the Graduation Rate increased 3.1 points to a 94.7.
"We are pleased with our sub-category scores across the board," said Cooley, "However, we have identified specific areas where we will focus resources for improvement. We will be targeting High School Assessments as the End of Course tests change to timed and more rigorous assessments, and we will be creating district and school plans to improve our ACT composite scores."
Fort Polk Progress President Michael Reese expressed his gratitude to BPSB for its efforts in ensuring students were prepared for new scoring formula in the accountability testing.
"Many Fort Polk soldiers and their families turn to BPSB to provide a quality education for their kids," Reese said. "BPSB is continuously making strides to ensure that improvements are made to ensure that its students are able to excel academically. These improving scores -- in a year of change in the accountability system -- showcase that, and we are thankful to BPSB for making academic excellence a priority."
Under the new 150-point scale being used for the 2018 assessments, districts and school scores designate the following: 90-150=A; 75-99.9=B; 60-74.9=C; 50-59.9=D; and 0-49.9=F.
School scores and letter grades reported under the 2018 new formula include: Carver Elementary,67-C; DeRidder High School 94.7 - A; DeRidder Junior High School, 73.8 - C; East Beauregard Elementary,85.2 - B; East Beauregard High School, 81.9 - B; K.R. Hanchey Elementary, 67 - C; Merryville High School, 78 - B; Pine Wood Elementary, 76.3 - B; Singer High School, 75.7 - B; South Beauregard Elementary, 79.3 - B; South Beauregard Upper Elementary, 76.4 - B; and South Beauregard High School, 93.3 - A.
In the LEAP 2025 program, all elementary schools are evaluated on 75 percent assessment index and a 25 percent growth index. If an elementary school does not have a tested grade, then that school shares the School Performance Score (SPS) of the closest related school in the district with a tested grade. In Beauregard Parish, K.R. Hanchey Elementary shares an SPS with Carver Elementary.
All middle schools are evaluated on 70 percent assessment index, 25 percent growth index, and 5 percent dropout credit accumulation index. DeRidder Junior High School is the only school classified as a middle school by the LDOE in Beauregard Parish.
All high schools are evaluated based on 25 percent assessment performance and progress, 25 percent ACT/WorkKeys, 25 percent strength of diploma, and 25 percent cohort graduation rate. DeRidder High School is the only school in Beauregard Parish classified as a high school by the LDOE.
All combination schools are evaluated on a weighted value of assessment tests for K-8 testers and on assessment tests, ACT, and cohort graduation numbers for 9-12 testers.
"Overall, we are extremely proud of our students, teachers, and schools for our district and school performance scores this year," concluded Cooley. "In a difficult transition year, for our district and our schools to maintain or increase their letter grades and point totals is significant. We will continue to provide our schools, teachers, administrators, and students the tools necessary to move forward under this new phase of the accountability system."