Administrators agree that tutoring is key

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 19, 2009

Vidalia — Administrators collectively say solving the issues with after-school tutoring programs is the path to raise test scores in Concordia Parish.

On Thursday, administrators met with the school board to discuss growth in LEAP and iLEAP scores.

“Tutoring and one-on-one are the best methods for improving scores,” said John Bostic, Monterey High School Principal.

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Vidalia Junior High Principal Whest Shirley said the before-school math tutoring and after-school programs on all four subjects helped improve their scores.

“We were able to hire a math resource teacher and offer after-school tutoring programs that helped lead to the success of our growth,” said Dorris Polk, Principal of Vidalia Lower Elementary.

Monterey Junior High School offered after-school tutoring programs, as well, which helped lead to their growth.

“I consistently saw the parking lot full of cars, like they were attending a football game, at Mrs. Julia’s tutoring program,” Bostic said.

Ferriday High School assistant principal Derrick White said they witnessed a small increase from students who attended their after-school tutoring program regularly.

Unfortunately, many schools faced problems with keeping students around after school.

Monterey High School and Ferriday Jr. High combated this problem by offering in-school tutoring, to little success.

Ferriday Upper Elementary School had to cut its tutoring program due to cuts in its funding.

Schools also tried other methods to improve scores.

Both Ferriday Upper and Lower Elementary Schools offered family learning nights.

“The family learning night was a huge success this year,” said Sheila Allwood, Ferriday Lower Elementary School Principal.

At Vidalia Upper Elementary, Vidalia Junior High and Vidalia High they offered rewards for students on good behavior.

“Students who achieved and had good behavior were rewarded with ice cream days,” said Phillis Cage, Vidalia Upper Elementary School Assistant Principal.

Shirley said that his school also offered mock testing to help improve scores.

“Practice makes perfect,” he said.

Schools also released estimated scores to help discuss their growth.

“These scores are just guesses at this point — guesses that we are only using for planning purposes at this point,” said Paul Nelson, Director of Academics.

Loretta Blankenstein, Concordia Parish School Board Superintendent, said that they would release official scores to the public in October.