LIVINGSTON PARISH RANKS IN STATE’S TOP 10 FOR STUDENTS EARNING AP CREDITS FOR COLLEGE
Livingston Parish Public Schools is among the state’s Top 10 highest performing school districts for student performance on the 2017 Advanced Placement (AP®) exams, according to the latest data released by the Louisiana Department of Education.
More than 38 percent of all students in Livingston Parish who took college-level AP® exams at the end of the 2016-2017 school year earned a score of 3 or better on the exam. Students who earn a score of 3, 4, or 5 are eligible for college credit at all Louisiana higher education institutions. The district’s passage rate of 38.6 percent is up from last year’s 36.9 percent passage rate. The average passage rate statewide for the 2017 exams is 34 percent.
Livingston Parish schools had 1,056 students take AP® exams this past year, giving it the greatest level of participation among other top-ranking school districts.
Supervisor of Instruction Tracy McRae said the district saw an increase in participation and performance at nearly every parish high school. Live Oak High School led the effort with 475 students taking AP® exams last year, and more than 55.4 percent of them earned a score of 3 or better. Walker High School had a 53.2 percent passage rate from the 156 students who took AP® exams at that school.
FULLY REFURBISHED CAMPUS OPENS AS NEW LIVE OAK JUNIOR HIGH
Seventh and eighth grade students in the Live Oak community were welcomed to a new, but somewhat familiar, campus on their first day of school. They became the first students to attend the new Live Oak Junior High at 35086 Old Highway 16 – the site that for many years was the original Live Oak High School.
The campus became dormant 2 ½ years ago when the new Live Oak High School campus opened on Highway 16, and all Live Oak students in grades 9-12 were transferred to the new site.
“While we were forced to prioritize our efforts elsewhere in the aftermath of the August 2016 flood, we never abandoned this project. We have worked diligently to get back on schedule to refurbish this campus so we can bring much-needed relief to the overcrowding situation in our Live Oak schools,” Superintendent Rick Wentzel said. “Much thanks and credit goes out to School Board Member Kellee Dickerson, Principal Daniel Desselle and his staff for putting in long hours this summer to get the campus ready to open on Aug. 9.”
Wentzel noted that the main campus of the new Live Oak Junior High did not flood in August 2016, so all improvement to the campus were part of the original plans. Changes include a new brick façade and archways, wrought iron fencing and beautified common spaces. The school also has an expanded cafeteria and band room, new library, updated classrooms with better lighting, air conditioning, and greater capacity for wireless access, as well as clean, well-lit hallways and fully-retrofitted gymnasiums that can function as community shelters in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
OPENING OF NEW JUNIOR HIGH CHANGES CONFIGURATION OF OTHER LIVE OAK SCHOOLS
The opening of Live Oak Junior High created some grade restructuring at the other campuses in the Watson school district. Live Oak students going into 5th grade this school year joined 6th grade students at Live Oak Middle School, while the three elementary campuses – Live Oak Elementary, North Live Oak Elementary and South Live Oak Elementary – are only housing students in grades Pre-K to 4th grade.
“This reconfiguration allows us to relieve overcrowding at all our lower class grades in the area,” Assistant Superintendent Stephen Parrill said. “By creating more educational space and improving classroom size, we can further enhance the learning environments at these schools.”
NEW COMMUNITY COLLEGE COMING TO LIVINGSTON PARISH
A new 20,000-square-foot building that will be the Northshore Technical Community College Advanced Technology Center is coming to Livingston Parish.
Gov. John Bel Edwards and local legislators made the announcement on Aug. 9. They noted that the new campus will support existing high school duel enrollment programs, customize training programs supportive of business and industry, and transfer programs in partnership with Southeastern Louisiana University.
The new campus will be built next to the existing Literacy and Technology Center on Highway 190 in Walker on land donated by the Livingston Parish School Board.
“We know that the demand for well-trained and skilled workers will expand as business opportunities in Livingston Parish expand, which is why this new facility is going to be integral to the future economic development of this area,” Gov. Edwards said.
LIONS CLUB GIVES GRANTS IN EXCESS OF $20K TO LIVINGSTON PARISH SCHOOLS
LOCAL TEACHERS PARTICIPATE IN APEL CONFERENCE
SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES FLOOD INSURANCE FOR ALL DISTRICT BUILDINGS
The Livingston Parish School Board recently approved a plan to purchase flood insurance for all buildings in the school system, including those required to have coverage by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and those not required by FEMA to have it. The district’s total annual premium for all buildings is $925,127. This amount is more than $150,000 less than what was originally quoted to the school board because a preferred rate was made available by the insurance provider for some of the zones in the district.
OCTOBER BALLOT TO INCLUDE FUNDING RENEWAL REQUEST
The Livingston Parish School Board is asking voters to renew a 10-year, 7.18 mill property tax that is dedicated to operational costs for every school in the parish.
The millage renewal is not a new tax, and it will not increase the amount of taxes currently being paid each year by parish property owners. Parish voters have supported this dedicated funding source since 1979 to pay for salaries of essential staff and employees, instructional supplies and equipment for classrooms, administrative supplies and expenses, as well as day-to-day cleaning and maintenance needs.
The election will be held on Oct. 14. Early voting is Sept. 30 to Oct. 7.