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DeSoto Jumps Ahead to 23rd in State Rankings for District Performance…
By Dr. Cade Brumley
Schools exist for student learning; everything else compliments the learning process. Learning, as we all know, can take place in many ways and places. Our students learn from books, from technology, from teachers, from each other, from experiences, and much more. Our students learn inside our classrooms, in our band halls, on our athletic facilities, in their homes, and in their communities. In DeSoto, we are constantly seeking ways to improve the teaching and learning process to help the students we serve. Currently, we are celebrating our growth in a very important indicator – District Performance in comparison to other districts in the State of Louisiana.
Showing great growth, the DeSoto Parish School District has moved from 29th out of 74 districts in the State of Louisiana to 23rd. We jumped six places through the collaborative efforts of our students, teachers, leaders, parents, community, and School Board! Just a few years ago, DeSoto wasn’t even ranked in the top half of districts in Louisiana. Now, we’re 23rd and looking to break into the Top 20 districts in the State.
“We should all be proud of this progress,” said Coday Johnston, School Board President. “I want to personally thank everybody for their hard work and encourage them to keep it up!”
This hasn’t happened by chance; it’s materializing because we’re becoming increasingly systematic and purposeful in our efforts to provide educational opportunity to students. It’s happening because our talented workforce understands that every moment matters and they seek to maximize their time with our students. We’re progressing because our students believe that higher expectations are just another bar to reach. We will not stand complacent; instead, we will strive forward to educate, learn, and live more abundantly.
“I believe we have seen progress because our schools embrace a shared leadership model strongly supported by district level teams,” said Nicole Bolen, DeSoto’s Executive Master Teacher. “Our schools exemplify goal setting, monitoring, and strategic professional growth to provide meaningful learning for all students.”
This academic performance rating considers several different factors in a formula to reach a District Performance Score (DPS). Performance on iLEAP, LEAP, End-of-Course (EOC) Exams, the ACT test, Graduation Index Points, and Graduation rates all blend together for a final score. It is imperative that our students score well and graduate with their cohort for our district to keep inching forward in the rankings. As educators, we are working to examine data points for all the indicators. Through this, we understand the necessity to determine where our students are, pick them up, and move them forward. This cyclical process is taking place in Biology Labs, in Counselor offices, and on the football fields each day.
While this school year is only in its infancy, we are already marching forward in efforts to be the best district in the State of Louisiana. We all have a vital role in this process and we’ll only succeed if every member of the DeSoto School’s team, including students, employees, and the community, work to support each child in the absolute best way possible. A leader may need to adjust a practice, a teacher may need to better optimize class time, a parent may need to mandate nightly reading, a community member may need to ensure students are off the streets at a decent hour. While wonderful people are doing wonderful work, there are always ways to improve. All help is appreciated.
Being ranked 23rd is better than being ranked 24th but not quite as good as being ranked 22nd. With that said, our students deserve a FIRST class education and we’re doing our best to provide that each day. The best is yet to come!
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Common Core-Building Dreams (informative for parents, teachers, administrators)
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