Calcasieu schools earn funds for academic progress

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

State Education Superintendent John White will present Calcasieu Parish Top Gains schools with more than $160,000 today.

The schools are being recognized for student academic progress and achieving Top Gains level for the 2011-2012 school year.

White will present a check to the principals of each school at 1:30 p.m. at the Calcasieu Parish School System offices. Twenty

schools will receive $8,453 each to be used for educational purposes.

“All our schools have done well, but these schools are exceptional and reached their growth targets going above and beyond,”

said Administrative Director of Elementary Schools Dolores Hicks. “It is hard work being able to target the areas in which

there are weaknesses and being able to enhance their strengths.”

In Louisiana, more than 400 schools earned the title of Top Gains School for the 2011-2012 school year. Schools achieve Top

Gains status if they make notable growth from one year to the next and are not in a subgroup component failure.

Depending on the school’s letter grade, the School Performance Score must increase a certain amount of points, from 2 to 10,

for the school to be considered a Top Gains School. Overall student performance on state assessments and annual growth by

low-performing student subgroups are factors in improving performance.

“Our high schools work continuously on

professional development,” Administrative Director of High Schools David

Buller said.

“That’s really been a plus for our schools because ... they put

into their master schedules daily to work with targeted students

in areas that need work or improvement.”

Director of High School Curriculum Pat Deaville said area high schools have exceeded the growth targets set by the state.

Deaville said all 11 high schools grew and that any monetary awards will be put back into the system for school improvement.

“I really think what has happened is

that since we’ve moved to Common Core state standards we have broadened

the playing field,”

Director of Elementary Curriculum George Reado said. “We have been

working for the past two years preparing for what is happening

right now.”