Parish schools score well statewide

Published 12:01am Friday, July 12, 2013

VIDALIA — The Concordia Parish School District experienced the third most growth in the state of Louisiana for students scoring “good” or “excellent” on state end-of-course exams from 2009 to 2013.

During that period, Concordia Parish increased the total number of “good” and “excellent” scores by 28 percent. Currently, 58 percent of Concordia Parish students fall into those categories.

The end-of-course tests are administered to students finishing algebra I, geometry, English II, English III, biology and U.S. history. In addition to being a requirement for graduation for students, the tests are used to calculate 25 percent of a school’s state-measured school performance scores.

Students’ end-of-course tests can also be rated as “fair” and “needs improvement.”

At Thursday’s meeting of the Concordia Parish School Board, Superintendent Paul Nelson commended the district’s faculty and staff for the growth.

“We are going to work toward more growth and continued improvement in our schools,” Nelson said. “The principals have done a good job adjusting to new (state) rules and regulations, and so have the teachers, and hopefully we will have another good school year.”

In other news from the meeting:

-The board had a public hearing for and then set the tax millage for the coming year.

Business Manager Tom O’Neal said the board ratified the taxes at the same rate as last year with one exception, a 25-mil tax that voters renewed last year.

Prior to the renewal, the tax had been levied at 23.5 mils, but because of the renewal, the school board had to levee it at the level renewed by voters, O’Neal said.

“Any increase will be minimal once it is spread across the entire parish,” he said.

-The board voted to change the district’s policy about requests for leaves of absence.

Nelson said the change — which requires employees seeking a leave of absence to ask for it at least 30 days before the start of school — was necessary to help the district plan for staffing.

-The board voted to move its meeting next month to Aug. 15.

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