Educators to Ferriday: Diversify teaching

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — Improving curriculum and instruction should be the top priority at Ferriday Junior High and High School, a team of educators that worked last fall to assist the schools told the Concordia Parish School Board Monday.

Concordia Parish school employees have observed teachers and conducted surveys and focus groups of district workers and parents in order to help raise standardized test scores. A team was also assigned to help Ferriday’s lower and upper elementaries.

Both the junior high and the high school have their strong points, such as hard-working faculty and staff, facilities that are generally in good condition and some academic improvement, team members said.

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But they added that, in order to improve test scores, teachers at both schools need to use different methods of teaching and questioning students and need to make better use of technology.

&uot;The faculty are well-trained and capable, … but they should have more diverse classroom strategies,&uot; said Beatrice Williams, who reported the Ferriday High findings to the board. Ferriday High also needs to offer a larger variety of electives and cultural activities, she said.

Other top issues to be addressed at Ferriday High included discipline problems and a lack of parental involvement. Problems at Ferriday Junior High included getting staffers to work as a team, parent apathy and a need for renovations to the school’s annex building.

Those findings, along with findings the lower and upper elementary team presented to the board in January, will be discussed Wednesday at a meeting of the district’s Curriculum Committee, said Fred Butcher, district director of curriculum and instruction.

The committee will work to find ways to address those problems and present its recommendations to the School Board at the board’s March 7 meeting, he added.

The district sent assistance teams to Ferriday schools because the school’s standardized test scores were below average. That was done even though the scores were not low enough for the state to order that such teams be formed.