DeSoto Schools earn ‘A’ for academic performance 2nd year in a row

DeSoto Parish Schools 11.08.17_1510076168027.PNG

For the second consecutive year, the DeSoto Parish School System has earned an “A” rating by the Louisiana Department of Education.

In fact, the latest release of accountability results assign DeSoto a District Performance Score (DPS) of 103.1 – the highest performance in parish history.

In 2010, DeSoto Parish ranked 45th of Louisiana’s approximately 70 school systems for academic performance. With these results, DeSoto now ranks 9th and is the highest performing district in North Louisiana.

DeSoto Parish Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley said, “I am completely humbled by our continued climb in student outcomes. These results reflect a team effort and our genuine desire to serve, care for others, ensure student learning, and celebrate the graduation of our students as citizens prepared to transform their dreams into realities.”

Each system within the State of Louisiana receives a district performance score which includes data points relative to grades 3-8 LEAP scores, high school End-of-Course test results, ACT scores, graduation rates, and the value of each graduates diplomas based on the curriculum’s rigor.

The DPS of 103.1 is a 1.2 point increase over the 2016 score of 101.9 – the year DeSoto gained its first “A” rating. This gain shows continuous academic improvement for the parish’s public school system.

DeSoto Parish School Board President Dudley Glenn said, “We are all so pleased that the knowledge, talent, and leadership of our faculty and support staff have again increased our overall performance. DeSoto Parish students continue to prosper academically with such dedicated support from across the community.”

The District Performance Score is a roll-up of the individual School Performance Scores within the Parish.

Noteworthy, for the first time in district history, no DeSoto Parish School will hold a rating of “D” or “F”. All schools have achieved letter grades of “C” or higher and 56% of DeSoto Parish Schools now hold a rating of “A”.

DeSoto’s Director of Student Learning Kathy Noel said, “Our educators, in every school, are employing the practices necessary to increase student performance. We believe we have the right recipe for growth and recognize the hard work in the field to make this happen.”

This year, the system’s greatest gains came in ACT performance. The district’s average ACT score is 19.2, up 2.10 points from 17.1 in 2012. The corresponding ACT index, as assigned by the State Department of Education, has risen in DeSoto from 47.7 points to 89.5.  All DeSoto Parish graduates must have taken the ACT.

DeSoto Parish Teacher Mindy Brown said, “DeSoto Parish Schools are going the extra mile to ensure that college is an option for all students.  We have a system that’s provided the resources to improve ACT results, enabling students the opportunity to make their dreams come true.”

The district posted a one-year increase in the following: Grades 3-8 index (81.4 to 82.3), EOC index (81.2 to 81.7), and Strength of Diploma index (103.4 to 105.1). The only indicator seeing a decrease was graduation rate, which fell from 95.8 to 94.1. The DeSoto Parish graduation rate is up from 79% over the last five years.

President of the DeSoto Parish Chamber of Commerce Van Reech said, “The business community is thrilled with the continued improvement of our local school system. A strong school system is an invaluable factor for economic development and improving the overall standard of living in our parish.”

In most recent years, the DeSoto Parish School System has been recognized both in the State of Louisiana and nationwide. It has twice been labeled as a National Institute of Excellence in Teaching “District of Distinction”, has been twice been named to the National Advanced Placement Honor Roll, has seen the largest ACT growth in the State of Louisiana, has been named a Louisiana “Top 10” district for improving academic outcomes for minority students, and has been named a Louisiana “Top 10” district for improving academic outcomes for students with exceptionalities.

DeSoto Parish PTO Parent Wendy Hooper said, “My children have been in DeSoto Parish Schools for the past ten years and it is exciting to be part of such a thriving and successful school district. I am grateful for all the hard work and dedication that the employees of DeSoto Parish Schools put forth for our children every day.”

The system seeks to continuously improve in all areas of schooling. Before the current school year began, strategic plans were in place to continue the pattern of growth and improved student outcomes. Those plans are constantly revised based on need and schools are working to improve in areas of weakness while maintaining areas of strength.

Dr. Brumley said, “I believe we’re doing this work well and focusing on the areas that really matter; we’re keeping the ‘main thing the main thing.  While we celebrate this accomplishment, we want to be better;excellence is our expectation – that’s what children deserve from us and that’s what we intend to provide.”

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