Property Donated to Livingston Parish Schools for Future School Campus Site
The Livingston Parish School Board recently accepted a donation of nearly 16 acres of land off 4-H Club Road, located south of Denham Springs, to be used as a potential site for a future elementary or middle school in the Denham Springs School District. The property, which consists of 15.981 acres, is located adjacent to the future site of Nickens Lake Subdivision off 4-H Club Road.
“This donation will provide the Denham Springs district with the land it needs to build a new campus in an area where we are anticipating future growth,” School Board Member Buddy Mincey, Jr., said. “While we do not have a projection on when a new campus will be needed, we want to prepare for what appears to be an inevitable need to help us manage our growth.”
Mincey said the donation agreement will stipulate that the Livingston Parish School System has 25 years to build a school on the property or the land could revert back to the original owner. The agreement includes an additional five-year period to purchase the land at the appraised value if the school system had not begun construction on the property within the first 25 years. Mincey noted that the agreement gives the school system a full 30-year option on the property.
Livingston Parish Schools Rank 5th for ACT Scores
The Livingston Parish School District ranks 5th in the state with a composite ACT score of 20.5. The state average is 19.4. At the same time, more students within the parish are achieving “college-going” scores of 18 or higher on the ACT, which is allowing more graduates to enter college without needing to take remedial courses. The number of Livingston Parish seniors who scored an 18 or higher on the ACT during the 2014-2015 school year increased by 319 over those achieving the same mark in the 2011-2012 school year.
According to the state’s latest report, those district with the highest composite ACT scores are St. Tammany Parish, 21.5; Central Community Schools, 21.1; Zachary Community Schools, 20.7; Ascension Parish, 20.6; Livingston Parish, 20.5; West Feliciana Parish, 20.5.
Livingston Parish Students Continue to Perform on Advanced Placement Exams
According to the report, 368 students in the 2014-15 school year earned an AP exam score that resulted in college credit, which is a 50-percent increase from the previous year, when 243 students earned college credit.
AP courses in high school offer students the opportunity to earn college credit in the same subject, depending on the outcome of an end-of-course exam. Those students who score a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP exam can earn college credit and have those credits transferred to nearly any college in the nation and all colleges in Louisiana.
The largest increase in participation occurred at Albany High School, where participation grew from approximately 30 students taking AP courses in 2014 to 120 taking AP courses in 2015. Holden High increased its count from about 20 students taking AP courses in 2014 to 66 taking AP courses in 2015. Walker Freshman High, which offered AP courses for the first time last year, led the parish with a 70.8 percent rate in the number of students who scored a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP exam. More than 57 percent of Walker High School’s AP students earned a qualifying score for college credit last year, while nearly 54 percent of Live Oak High School’s AP students earned a qualifying score for college credit.
Assessor Sponsors 15th Year of Parish-Wide School Supply Drive
Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor and his team of volunteers recently completed their 15th year of providing needy children in Livingston Parish, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, with the school supplies they need to be successful in the classroom. This year’s Assess the Need campaign collected more than $46,000 to benefit more than 2,600 students. The supplies were distributed to all the parish’s schools. Donations were collected outside the parish’s Wal-Mart stores and through business sponsors.
“It’s hard to believe that we started this program 15 years ago. In many ways it seems like yesterday that my wife and I were sitting at our breakfast table with some of our teacher friends discussing the need in our schools and putting a plan of action together,” Taylor said.
Taylor noted that he will once again sponsor the Chef’s Showcase, which will feature the parish’s restaurants and their top dishes, along with a live and silent auction, on Oct. 15, with proceeds benefitting Assess the Need. Tickets are available at the Livingston Parish Assessor’s Office.
Industry Helps Livingston School Teach Construction Skills
The Livingston Parish School System recently received a $59,630 check from private industry to support a program that taught welding and electrical construction skills to dozens of students last semester.
Stacy Polozola, the district’s career and technical education coordinator, said the after-hours classes at the campuses of Denham Springs, Live Oak and Walker High schools will help provide the state and region with workers ready to fill a growing number of highly technical jobs. The Associated Builders and Contractors Pelican Chapter sponsored the grant through the Louisiana Construction Education Foundation. The grant paid for materials and supplies that were needed and paid for all the instructors’ time after hours.
Polozola said Denham Springs High School signed up 34 students in its after-school classes – half in welding and half in electrical instruction; Pathways in Walker had 18 welding students and Live Oak High School enrolled 13.