LIVINGSTON PARISH SCHOOLS IMPROVES DISTRICT PERFORMANCE SCORE
Livingston Parish Public Schools improved its overall District Performance Score by nearly one point, inching the district closer to an A Rating, according to the Louisiana Department of Education’s latest accountability report.
The district score climbed from 88.5 points in 2022 to 89.4 points in 2023 – just 0.6 points shy of the state’s threshold for an A Rating. That score continues to rank Livingston Parish Schools at No. 11 in the state, positioning it as the highest B-ranking district in the state.
“Our district continues to demonstrate a high level of achievement across the board. I want to congratulate our teachers and staff and our students on their hard work and commitment to grow and learn despite many challenges that still exist in our system,” Superintendent Joe Murphy said.
Livingston Schools saw the greatest gains in the 2022-2023 comparison among high school indicators with the strength of diploma score jumping up 5.5 points, from 116.7 to 122.2 points; its ACT index growing by 3.5 points, from 79.9 points to 83.4 points; and in its graduate rate index, improving by 3 points, from 100.5 to 103.5 points.
Half of all the district’s 44 campuses increased their School Performance Scores, while four schools went up a letter grade. The district now boasts of 10 A-rated schools, 27 B-rated schools, and 7 C-rated schools.
LOCAL SCHOOLS EARN “A” RATINGS, RECOGNITION FOR STUDENT PROGRESS
According to the Louisiana Department of Education’s latest accountability report, Livingston Parish has 10 schools that have earned an “A” rating. Those schools include Live Oak High School (116.3), Walker High School (101.3), French Settlement High School (100.5), Denham Springs High School (99.6), Springfield High School (98.3), North Live Oak Elementary School (95.0), Juban Parc Elementary (94.7), Holden High School (94.6), Freshwater Elementary (92.6), and Eastside Elementary (91.0).
Springfield Elementary and Walker High School showed the greatest growth, improving their School Performance Scores by 5.9 points and 5.7 points, respectively.
Twenty-four schools earned recognition as Top Gains and/or Opportunity honorees – 21 schools received “Top Gains” honors; 11 received “Opportunity” honors; and 8 received both. The “Top Gains” designation is awarded to schools from the Louisiana Department of Education that demonstrate excellence in student progress from one year to the next. A school is designated as “Top Gains” if the progress index is 90 or higher and they are not in Urgent Intervention Required for any reason. The “Opportunity” honorees perform in the 90th percentile or above for students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students or English learners, and do not earn any Urgent Intervention Required labels for student groups and/or discipline.
CULINARY STUDENTS COMPETE IN COOK-OFF
Livingston Parish Schools recently hosted a Culinary Cook-off for five high school culinary teams who competed to have their dish featured as a menu item for the district’s mobile Curbside Café.
Those high schools competing were Albany High School, Denham Springs High School, French Settlement High School, Live Oak High School, and Springfield High School. The competition was held Nov. 7 at the district’s Professional Development Center in Satsuma and was sponsored by the district’s Child Nutrition Department. Tyson Foods donated the prizes for the winners and the chicken ingredients for some of the dishes.
The Denham Springs High School culinary team won the competition with its Tex-Mex Chicken Macaroni & Cheese dish. Albany High School earned second place for its Chicken Fajita Sliders. French Settlement High School received third place for its Chicken Quesadillas.
The winning dish will be included on the Curbside Café menu next semester. The winning culinary team also won a cutlery set and $500 to purchase kitchen utensils and supplies for the team’s classroom. The second-place team received a cutlery set and the third-place team won a plating utensil set.
DENHAM SPRINGS ELEMENTARY HOSTS STEM DAY
Students at Denham Springs Elementary recently enjoyed a day of hands-on activities and games in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math as part of the school’s effort to create greater awareness and learning of STEM concepts.
“Hands-on STEM programs and activities do more than teach science and mathematics concepts, they help our students discover applications and spark their creativity,” said Denham Springs Elementary Principal Bridget Castille.
She said the teachers on her campus include STEM concepts and learning activities in their daily lessons, but they felt a school day dedicated to the subject would be a fun way to help emphasize the importance of the subject matter.
Castille noted that STEM education looks different for elementary students than it does for college, high school, or even middle school students.
While elementary students might work on simple engineering design projects, the main goal is not to prepare them to become professional engineers, although more students may become interested in those careers as a result. Rather, an elementary STEM curriculum aims to help students develop basic skills that apply to many parts of life, not just technology and engineering careers.
“STEM projects provide unique opportunities for students to practice critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration, among other skills,” she said. “STEM is intended to give students a solid foundation for future learning,” Castille said.
Dr. Ron McMorris, District 8
- Newly elected to office, began serving in January 2023
- Chairman of Athletic Staff and Medical Committee, member of Plant Site Committee, Cost Savings Initiative Committee
- Owner of Elite Chiropractic Sports and Nutrition Clinics in Walker, Livingston and Albany
- Licensed Chiropractor concentrating in brain injuries and sport medicine
- Earned a Doctor of Chiropractic from the Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas
- Former member of Board of Regents for the Texas Chiropractic College and Chiropractic Association of Louisiana
- Member of Colyell Baptist Church
- Graduate of Doyle High School and Southeastern Louisiana University, kinesiology and athletic training
- Married to Karen McMorris of Walker, Father to Jules McMorris, third grader in Livingston Parish Schools
“Go not where others have gone. Go ye instead and blaze your own trail.”