DeRIDDER, La. -- The 2017-2018 Early Childhood Performance Ratings were recently released by the Louisiana Department of Education showing that Beauregard Parish sites earned an overall Proficient rating with a score of 5.39 on a seven point scale, according to Timothy Cooley, Beauregard Parish Superintendent of Schools, lead agency for the network.
In addition, the network received an Excellent rating for equitable access to at-risk four-year-olds in the parish.
"The Beauregard Parish Early Childhood network consists of nine sites serving children from birth through five years old," Cooley said. "This is the third year that the state has issued performance ratings for early childhood education and the third consecutive year that the Beauregard network has received a Proficient rating, improving its score each year."
All publicly funded early childhood education sites are joined in district networks and are rated on classroom observations of the interactions between teachers and students. The ratings are reported in four categories -- Excellent, Proficient, Approaching Proficient, and Unsatisfactory.
District networks are evaluated on equitable access, classroom organization, emotional and behavioral support, instructional support, curriculum quality, and certification and professional development of teachers.
When the Louisiana legislature passed the Early Childhood Care and Education Act of 2012, the state began an endeavor to unify its early childhood system and improve kindergarten readiness. This process has led to a statewide early childhood network that focuses on coordinated enrollment systems, a unified rating system, and teacher preparation and support.
The state reports scores on a seven point scale: 6.00-7.00 as Excellent, 4.50-5.99 as Proficient, 3.00-4.49 as Approaching Proficient, and 1.00-2.00 as Unsatisfactory.
The Beauregard network improved its score in all five categories rated by the state over scores issued last year. These include, for pre-kindergarten students, Emotional Support with a score of 6.14, Classrooms Organization with a score of 5.88, and Instructional Support with a score of 4.17. For toddlers, age one through three, this includes Emotional and Behavioral Support with a score of 6.53, and Engaged Support for Learning with a score of 3.77.
Overall, five sites were rated Excellent and four rated Proficient in Emotional Support, showing that teachers are responsive to students' needs and help develop their ability to interact with others. Two sites were rated Excellent and seven sites rated Proficient for Classroom Organization, showing that lessons are scheduled in a way that best helps children learn and grown.
For toddlers, 100 percent of the sites were rated Excellent for Emotional and Behavioral Support, and two sites, Bright Beginnings and Mother Goose, achieved the LDOE "Birth to Three Honor Roll" for providing high quality instruction and care.
All Beauregard sites use a Tier I Curriculum and overall 77 percent of teachers are certified at either a B.A. or C.D.A level, increasing the percentage each of the three years of the program.
"The ultimate goal of the Beauregard Early Childhood Network is to provide our children with the support and instruction to prepare them to be successful in kindergarten," Cooley said. "Data indicates that future success in education begins with a solid foundation in the formative years."
"The performance profile shows that our early childhood sites are providing high quality education and care for our youngest learners. We will strive to maintain our high rating while at the same time looking to areas where we can improve so that our children have the best possible foundation to enter kindergarten ready to succeed," he concluded.