OBERLIN — The Allen Parish School District showed steady growth in its school performance scores with the district ranking 13th overall in the state.
The parish also received top marks from the state for improving the quality of education for its youngest children.
Superintendent Kent Reed said the district’s overall performance score was 86.6 for last school year, which gives the parish a “B” rating. The score was above the state’s average of 77.
School districts had to score 90 or above to receive an “A” rating. Allen Parish was 3.4 points short of receiving the “A” rating.
“We showed an overall district growth of 1.5 points from the previous year score of 85.1, so we did grow but not quiet as much as we would have liked to,” Reed said.
The parish now ranks 13th out of 71 school districts. The district previously ranked 14th in the state. “Our two short-term goals are — we want to be an ‘A’ district and we want to get in that Top 10, hopefully we can get there,” Reed said.
The school performance scores and letter grades are part of the state’s school accountability program. They are calculated based on individual students’ performance on state tests, ACT scores and graduation rate.
Of the 11 schools in the parish, three were ranked as “A” schools, six as “B” schools and two as “C” schools. There were no “D” or “F” schools in the parish.
Kinder Elementary and Oberlin High schools received state recognition as top gains honoree. Equity honoree achievement was awarded to Kinder High School.
Oakdale High and Oberlin Elementary schools were both top gains and equity honorees.
“Our goal is continuous improvement,” Reed said. “We showed growth but we’re looking forward to making some adjustments and some changes in the way we are administering curriculum and assessments and we hope to continue to move forward.
“Our goal is obviously we want to be an ‘A’ school, but we’ve got to do better on our assessment index across the board in English language arts and math.”
The district will continue to focus on ELA and math, as well as targeting science in the future, he said. Early childhood performance ratings from the state also showed the parish earned an overall high proficient rating with a score of 5.42 out of 7. The scores are based on classroom observations of teacher-child interactions for public school, Head Start and licensed child care centers in the parish.
“Early childhood programs for birth to 4-year olds are getting organizing and growing in our parish,” Reed said. “That is going to help our students when they start our pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs.”
The parish also received an excellent rating for equitable access to at-risk 4-year-olds and ranked above the state average in emotional support, classroom organization and instructional support for pre-kindergartens classrooms for 3- to 4-year-olds. The parish also outscored the state in emotional and behavioral support and engaged support for learning for toddler classrooms for 1- to 2-year olds.
Oberlin Elementary School received excellence honor roll with Kids R Us Christian Center in Oakdale receiving birth to 3 honor roll status.
Former Early Childhood Director Carleen Mahaffey said the parish has continued to see a steady growth every year since the state began reporting the performance of early childhood programs.
“The very first year we were 26th in the state, the second year we were 23 and this year we are 10th,” Mahaffey. “That is just amazing. We are staying the course and we are going to keep trucking on and get better and better.”
She attributed the growth to the parents, teachers and administrators of the programs. At least 83 percent of the teachers in the network are certified by the state.