ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Louisiana Department of Education's 2017 performance scores are out and Rapides Parish Schools dropped four tenths of a point, maintaining a "B" score for another year.
While this is a slight drop from a solid 92 in 2016 to a 91.6, the school board is still proud of their accomplishments this year.
Superintendent Authement presented district highlights showing that six schools moved up a letter grade and four schools moved out of turnover status.
He said that all schools took a hit this year from the new social studies assessment administered by the state and that grades fifth through eighth took their first computer based assessment effecting performance scores.
Authement said the plan for improving the district's score is to focus on the growth and progress of every child in the school system.
"Ensuring that we have high quality teachers in every classroom and that we have strong effective leaders in every school," said Authement. "We need to ensure that we are teaching to grade level. That we are teaching to the curriculum and rigor those standards call for.
During the meeting the board also voted to approve funds for two new Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) programs in parish schools. The programs aims to prevent dropout rates among at-risk youth.
Alexandria Senior High is getting the program and Bolton High School's program is expanding. Currently, students are being turned away from the program because there aren't enough spaces. The extra funds will open up more spots and resources for students at the school.
There will now be eight JAG programs in Rapides Parish Schools.
School safety was also a hot topic at Tuesday's meeting. The board approved a motion to start a Safe Schools Task Force.
The task force will include local law enforcement on a committee that will go around to parish schools and evaluate security protocols and procedures. They will bring back any recommendations for increased security to the school board.
The next school board meeting will be December 5th.
Visit the attached link to see how Rapides Parish schools and other parishes ranked on the Louisiana Department of Education's school performance assessment.