Ten Rapides Schools Fail to Make the Grade - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Ten Rapides Schools Fail to Make the Grade

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RAPIDES PARISH, La. - The grades are out, and 20 percent of Rapides Parish schools have failed the test.

Arthur F. Smith Middle Magnet School is one of ten schools that received an 'F' from the state this year.

"We're very disappointed, but we're not discouraged," said Dr. Norvella Williams, Arthur F. Smith principal.

That's because Williams knows that nine of the ten failing schools would have passed last year, but the state is raising the standard. A 75 is now the passing score, up from the required score of 60 in 2011. 

So schools are now taking action.

"We're addressing those needs we know we have," Williams said. 

This week, Arthur F. Smith is hosting a free math camp, meant to help students find fun ways to apply math to the real world.

"We know we're weak in math, so we're trying to get a jumpstart on math," Williams said.

Faculty and staff are another focus, according to Superintendent Gary Jones.

"That's the two things. You have to have strong leadership, strong faculty," Jones said.

Williams agreed. "Staffing was a problem. Eliminating some waste, getting people who will help us reach our goals."

But students and parents have a say, too. Children who are zoned for failing schools can choose to attend another approved school.

"I would say it's their choice, but they're making a big mistake," said Williams.

Arthur F. Smith parent Carletha Stewart said, "It's not the school, it's the child. So as long as the kids and my child continues on with his successful career, he'll be successful."

As the school year gets ready to kick off, Principal Williams knows it's not just her students who have work to do.

"Parents can trust us. We're going to do well," Williams said. 


Failing schools in Rapides Parish are:

- Acadian Elementary New Vision Academy (63.8 performance score)

- Alma Redwine Elementary New Vision Academy (73.9)

- Arthur F. Smith Middle Magnet School (70.8)

- D.F. Huddle Elementary New Vision Academy (74.3)

- Hadnot-Hayes STEM Elementary School (72.8)

- Horseshoe Drive Elementary New Vision Academy (72.4)

- Julius Patrick Elementary School (72.6)

- North Bayou Rapides Elementary New Vision Academy (70.9)

- Rapides Training Academy (54.8)

- W.O. Hall Elementary School (74.4)

For more information, visit: http://www.louisianaschools.net/data/district_accountability_reports.aspx

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