Leesville, LA -- The Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) released the District and School Performance Scores on Wednesday, November 6. Once again the Vernon Parish School District (VPSD) performed near the top. With a score of 92.1 and a growth of 3.2, the School District rated 5th overall in the state and rated 4th highest in the public school system, finishing 15 points above the state average of 77.1.
Missing the top public school spot by only .7 points, Vernon received an "A" rating on 4 of the 5 indicators. LDE indexes utilized in rating schools are the K8 and High School Progress Index, ACT/Workkeys Index, Strength of Diploma Index and Graduation Rate Index. None of the school districts rated above VPSD achieved an "A" rating in 4 out of 5 indices.
Responding to the LDE scores, Superintendent of Vernon Parish Schools James Williams released this statement “ I’m excited about these high scores! They are a result of the dedication and hard work by all stakeholders. Our schools are continuing to do an outstanding job of educating the children in our communities.”
The LDE release also showed that Vernon Parish’s score of 102.9 was the highest ACT/ Workkeys index in the state. Workkeys assessments are developed to solve actual workplace problems. Unlike other assessments, Workers assigns a value on a range of hard and soft skills relevant to any occupation, versus giving only an indication of reading and writing competency.
Further increasing Vernon Parish’s overall rating is an achievement made by 13 of the 16 VPSD schools: recognition as a Top Gains School. The Top Gains School rating is given to a school if it earns the equivalent to an "A" letter grade on the progress index. Vernon Schools earning this distinction are Anacoco Elementary, Anacoco High, Evans, Hicks, Hornbeck, Parkway/North Polk, Pickering High, West/East Leesville, Pickering Elementary, Pitkin, Rosepine Elementary, Rosepine High and Simpson.
Eight Vernon Parish schools received the necessary ratings to be recognized as Equity Honoree recipients. This acknowledgment is reserved for schools whose subgroup scores in English language learners, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students are in the 90th percentile. Schools acknowledged for this achievement included Anacoco High, Evans, Hornbeck, Leesville High, Pickering High, Pickering Elementary, Pitkin and Rosepine High.
While discussing the success of Vernon Parish schools Fort Polk Progress President, Mike Reese, stated “The achievements of these schools is directly related to the support our schools receive from the community and the work they’ve done to ensure high academic standards for all students, including the many military students who bring unique perspectives and needs to the school system.” Reese continued by sharing “Our military partners continue to stress that education opportunities are one of the most important items for military families. I am incredibly proud that the Vernon Parish School District continues to meet this challenge.”
Williams’ statement also recognized the hard work and dedication necessary by all to achieve this success: “We have excellent and caring teachers and staff who have high expectations for all students. Our students are motivated and attentive and come to school each day ready to learn. Our parents are supportive and recognize the importance of daily attendance and student achievement.”
Williams continued, stating “The community understands the necessity of a strong public education system and supports our schools in all aspects of learning. Our school administrators encourage success for all students. The Vernon Parish School Board Central Office Staff are always willing to support the needs of our schools. I would also like to recognize the cooperation and support of the Vernon Parish School Board that has always considered academics as a top priority in our system. All stakeholders work tirelessly together to provide a quality education for all Vernon Parish students.”
The 4 school districts ahead of Vernon are Zachary Community Schools, an independent school district with a score of 95.9; Vermilion Parish, a public district with a score of 92.8; Lafourche Parish, a public district with a score of 92.5; and Ascension Parish, a public district with a score of 92.3.
Vernon was one of only 9 school districts in the state to receive an “A” rating.