LEAP test scores on officials’ minds before students fill parish classrooms

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – School starts in just a few days, but Superintendent Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman has test scores on his mind.

The Concordia Parish School District begins classes Aug. 20 but district officials expect to receive the summer LEAP retest scores Aug. 15.

&uot;That’s just one of the things that everybody’s tense about right now,&uot; Peterman said.

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In the midst of preparing for school, the test scores are a &uot;biggy&uot; Peterman said.

This is because performance on the Louisiana Education Assessment Program test in math and English determines which classes students will attend during the school year.

Students in the fourth to eighth-grade who did not pass the LEAP test in the spring had to pass a July retest in order to be promoted to the next grade in all of their subjects.

Students who fail the LEAP retest will be placed in transitional classes for the subjects they failed, and take fifth or ninth-grade classes in other subjects.

So the anticipated scores hang in the background of the district’s plans for school.

The district expects less than 4,000 students this year, down slightly from last year, Peterman said.

But the school district has a few changes in store for the students.

&uot;We still want to keep trying to improve ourselves academically. That’s number one,&uot; Peterman said. &uot;We also want to keep improving the environment of learning for our students, and the morale of our employees.&uot;

Changes include the construction of 22 new classrooms – nine at Monterey School, nine at Vidalia Upper Elementary and four kindergarten classrooms at Ferriday Lower Elementary. Construction began this summer, and it is currently on schedule for completion by the second semester of school.

&uot;The buildings are going up pretty quickly,&uot; Peterman said.

The classrooms will replace portable facilities at the schools.

In other changes this year, the district wants to develop an in-school tutorial program for students in the fourth- and eighth-grade with identified needs.

&uot;(We’re) trying to get them extra help during the day,&uot; Peterman said. &uot;So many kids can’t come to after-school tutoring.&uot;

The school district is also making changes to its alternative school policies this year and starting an administrator development program, Peterman said.

Also in Concordia Parish, classes will start at Huntington School Aug. 15.

&uot;We’re just kind of carrying forth as usual, so to speak,&uot; Emily Guida, the school’s elementary supervisor

She expects about 235 students – about the same as last year.

&uot;We’re just getting our plans (together) to have a nice uneventful start of the school year,&uot; Guida said.