Welsh High’s LEAP scores among top in state

Published 4:17 am Sunday, August 14, 2022

Spring LEAP tests scores indicate that Jeff Davis Parish students have grown in many tests areas, according to Curriculum Supervisor and District Assessment and Accountability Contact Rory Myers.

The district was among the top districts for one-year growth in LEAP with Welsh High School being singled out as one of the top schools in the state.

“Overall we are seeing growth,” Myers said. “We are up three percent on our mastery and above districtwide, which is a nice number to be at.”

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The data ranks Jeff Davis Parish in 11th place on the state’s top district’s for one year growth in LEAP.

“When you look at the combined data it tells you that we’ve grown three points from 2021 scores, but it also tells us that we are almost back to where we were in 2019,” Myers said. “It puts us a point off from 2019 in both our grades 3-8 and our totals, but it tells us we are getting back to where we were before COVID and hurricanes, at least statistically.”

“We still have areas that we want to improve in and need to be very mindful that each child may still need help closing those gaps with unfinished learning, but the big picture tells us that we are getting close to where we were in 2019 and pre-COVID and hurricanes.”

The data is only a summary on the percent of students achieving mastery or above on the test scores. School performance scores and assessment indexes have not been released.

Jeff Davis Parish School Superintendent John Hall is pleased with the progress being made.

“I am proud of what our teachers and staff have done in preparing our students,” Hall said. “We have had two very difficult years with storms and COVID. It is amazing to see their hard work pay off with student success.”

Welsh High School ranks 6th on the state’s top 15 schools for one-year growth. The school grew 14 percentage points in mastery and above on a high school index. In 2021, 31 percent of the students scored mastery and above compared to 45 percent in 2022.

“They have really shown growth in multiple subject areas, not just one area, but across the board.” Myers said.  “A lot of good things are going on at Welsh High. We are very proud of them.”

Myers believes more schools will be showing growth and moving up in letter grades when school level results are released.

Myers said there is growth noted in every subject area, which is something to celebrate across the board.

“The fact that every subject area grew is a big deal,” she said. “That says across the board that we have worked really hard to see that growth in all four subject areas and that speaks to each department at the district level as well as the school level.”

All the district’s subject areas are showing growth from 2021, she said. Math and science are back to pre-COVID numbers with grades 3-8 slightly above their 2019 numbers for precent mastery and above.

Social studies is almost back to the 2019 score with good growth from 2021. A lot of growth is also noted in high school social studies and American history, which should be represented when school indexes are released later this year.

In math, students are at or above percent mastery or above from 2019 with the total percentage being one point above the 2019 totals.

Good growth was also shown in English language arts (ELA) compared to 2021.

Myers attributes the growth to the district’s continued focus on students’ needs.

“We’ve done a lot of looking at what kids need from 2019 to 2021,” she said. “Our school leaders and teachers are meeting the needs of our students and closing those learning gaps. They are aware of their curriculum, the LEAP level of rigor and meeting their kids where they are and moving them to where they need to be. That’s a lot of work on a school.”

The district has hired instructional coaches to support the schools and teachers across the district as they meet the needs of students, which Myers says has also contributed to the test growth.

The test scores are used by the district to determine its strengths and weaknesses, set goals for the coming year and to make curriculum decisions.

The focus of the new school year will be to keep moving students toward the mastery level and focusing on literacy, updating curriculums as needed and working in response to intervention to meet the individual needs of students.

Students in grades 3-8 were scored in four areas: English language arts (ELA), math, social studies and science.

High School students were tested in English I, English II, Algebra I, geometry, biology and American history.