Tests causing confusion, late start to schools

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 6, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – Thanks to standardized tests, Concordia Parish students will start school a week later this year, take spring break earlier and, in more than 200 cases, won’t know until just before the start of school the grades and classes in which they will be placed.

In March, the Concordia Parish School Board voted to start the 2000-01 school year a week later than the previous year so that the district would have time to receive students scores on the LEAP retest and place them in the appropriate grades and classes.

Even so, the district does not expect to receive retest scores until Aug. 8 for eighth-graders and Aug. 14 for fourth-graders and will start school Aug. 21.

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This is the first year Louisiana fourth and eighth grade students are being required to pass the math and English portions of the LEAP test in order to pass to the next grade. Students who made passing grades last year but failed both portions of the test in the spring and during the retest in July will be held back in fourth or eighth grade this year.

Students who failed one section of the test will be moved to the next grade but will have to take special transitional classes in the section they failed.

For now, students have been temporarily placed in the grade they would attend based on their spring LEAP scores.

Once retest scores are in, that could change, &uot;and we may have to shuffle some students, but were hoping not many,&uot; said Superintendent Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman.

Spring break will also be pushed up from March to February, in large part due to testing schedules, he added.

The LEAP and Iowa tests will be taken March 12 through 16, while the Graduate Exit Exams will be taken April 2 through 4.

Otherwise, the Concordia Parish School Districts calendar for the 2000-01 school year will be similar to the previous years calendar.

The school year will end May 30. Huntington School, a private school in Ferriday, will not release its calendar until next week.

Its school year starts Aug. 14.