LIVINGSTON PARISH PUBLIC SCHOOLS EARN “A” GRADE FROM STATE
The Livingston Parish Public School System received an “A” rating from the Louisiana Department of Education for the 2013-2014 school year after its grading system indicated that the district’s overall score improved nearly 12 points and the number of parish schools with “A” grades almost doubled.
Livingston Parish earned a District Performance Score of 103 points, up from last year’s overall score of 91.1 points, to rank it among the state’s top performing public school districts. At the same time, the number of individual schools receiving an “A” grade grew from 10 to 19, accounting for nearly half of all the district’s elementary, middle and high school campuses.
Superintendent John Watson attributed the growth to a number of factors. “We are very blessed to have quality individuals working with our most precious asset, our students. Our teachers and school administrators, as well as the entire staff at each school site, do an amazing job day in and day out.”
DOYLE SCHOOLS RECEIVE NEEDED EXPANSIONS
Several students at both Doyle High School and Doyle Elementary could come back to new classrooms after the Thanksgiving Holiday break, as both campuses are undergoing expansion projects that are on schedule to be completed next month.
Doyle High School has a new 8,400-square-foot building that includes a new band room, four classrooms, bathrooms and storage areas. The band hall has a large rehearsal room with 20-foot ceilings to help accommodate for the sound; an ensemble practice room, six small practice rooms, a large instrument storage room, a music library, a work room for cleaning instruments, the band director’s office and sound-rated doors and walls. The adjoining classrooms have adequate space for up to 30 students and a teacher in each room, he said.
Doyle Elementary is receiving four new classrooms, along with extra bathrooms and storage space. The new addition is adjacent to the school’s third hallway, located near the school playground. The new wing is expected to replace the temporary classrooms that are currently on the campus.
Doyle High School’s new addition includes a large band hall, four classrooms, bathrooms and storage areas. A large section of the building’s ceilings are 20-feet tall to accommodate the sound in the band hall’s large rehearsal area.
DENHAM SPRINGS STUDENT NAMED NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLAR
Morgan J. Rea, a senior at Denham Springs High School, has been named a National Merit Scholarship Program semi-finalist. To qualify for the scholarship program, Rea had to have an outstanding academic record, be recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm her earlier performance on the qualifying test. The nationwide pool of semi-finalists represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors.
LIVE OAK HIGH STUDENTS ACHIEVE TOP AP HONORS
Live Oak High School has been in the state’s Top 10 rankings for the past two years for the percent of students who have scored a 3 or higher on Advanced Placements tests and for the increase in the number of students taking AP courses. During that time, several students have earned individual honors through their achievements in AP coursework.
The following students have been granted AP Scholar status for receiving scores of 3 or higher on three or more exams: Mary Kate Andrepont, Peyton Blackwell, Kelsey Guerin, Jayse Reedy, Daryl Roberts, Victor Rushing and Laura Staub.
Giovanni Mustachia received the title of AP Scholar with Honors for receiving an average of 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams.
Three students received the title of AP Scholar with Distinction for receiving an average of 3.5 or better on all AP exams taken and for scoring a 3 or higher on five or more of the exams. Those students include Kaycie Bennett, Samuel Johnson and Josh Stafford. Bennett also received a commendation from the National Merit Scholar program.
BESE APPROVES NEW RULES TO ADDRESS EBOLA THREAT
The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education recently approved precautionary rules that give local school superintendents authority to dismiss schools due to an emergency that now includes “any actual or imminent threat to public health or safety, which may result in loss of life, disease or injury.”
Any student or staff member can be removed if there is reliable evidence or information from a public health officer or physician that he or she has a communicable disease considered a threat to the school population, according to the new policy.
Superintendent John Watson said school officials have been given information on symptoms and other information about communicable diseases from the Centers for Disease Control, and links to that information about Ebola and the Enterovirus D68 are on the school website.
BUSINESS PARTNERS OF COMMUNITY-BASED PROGRAMS RECOGNIZED
School officials in the Special Education Department recently honored those local businesses and community organizations that participated this year in the district’s transitional training efforts for students with disabilities.
Those businesses recognized as training sites include: Dollar General Store in French Settlement; Walgreen’s Pharmacy, Carter’s Grocery, LaQuinta, Stine Lumber, Papa John’s and Wholly Ground Coffee House in Walker; Denham Springs High School Cafeteria, Don’s Seafood Hut, First Baptist Church and Walgreen’s Pharmacy in Denham Springs; Oak Point Fresh, Walgreen’s Pharmacy and Live Oak Methodist Church Thrift Store in Watson; Doyle High School Cafeteria, Doyle High Custodians and Livingston Parish School Food Service in Livingston; Anytime Fitness and The Learning Curve Daycare in Albany; and Mrs. Heather’s Pumpkin & Strawberry Patch and Carter’s Grocery in Springfield.
Those businesses recognized for hiring community-based students after successful completion of the Community Based Program include: Albany High School Cafeteria, Southeastern Louisiana University and OPTIONS in Hammond, Winn Dixie and John’s Grocery in Walker, Sam’s Club, Open Door Baptist Church Daycare, PARDS and Subway Restaurant in Denham Springs; and the Watson Branch Parish Library.
Some of the participants in this year’s Community-Based Program include, pictured left to right: Erica Sharp, Jason Ellis, School Board Member Jeff Cox, Trudy Culler, Superintendent John Watson, (front row) Peggy Langlois, Cindy Brooks, Priscilla Jackson, Doris Collins, Barbara Giovingo, Jessica Baker, April Morgan, Leah Smith and Director of Special Education Jeanne Ebey, Ed.D.