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Aug 6, 2013 7:31 PM by Akeam Ashford

Lafayette Schools Receive Second Straight Failing Grade

For the second straight year both Alice Boucher and J.W. Faulk Elementary schools in Lafayette have been deemed academically unacceptable by the state.

Both schools received an "F" from the state this past school year. The schools scores are based on the Leap and ILeap testing at the end of the school year.

Superintendent Pat Cooper says the blame doesn't fall on the students, but on him.

Previously, both schools had received enhanced teaching and support staff as part of Cooper's "Turnaround" plan, but those resources were later lost as needs were addressed elsewhere.

"I think we just can't worry with a lot of the fluff and the bells and whistle and things," says Cooper. "We got to make sure they're healthy, that they're ready to start school, ready to learn, and we got to make sure they learn their reading, writing and arithmetic to the level that they need to be functioning at third grade."

Both elementary schools have the largest number of minority students in the parish: Faulk with 96 percent, Boucher with 95 percent. Both schools also deal with a large percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, which is also an indicator of poverty.

"What we have to do is understand that they don't come to school intellectually deficient, they come to school experientially deficient," Cooper said.

To fix the problem, Cooper says there are there are three things he'd like to see done differently.

"We got to make sure they're healthy, that they're ready to start school ready to learn, and we got to make sure they learn their reading, writing and arithmetic to the level that they need to be functioning at third grade," Cooper said.

Since these schools are academically unacceptable, parents have the option to send their children to Carencro Heights, Ossun, or Prairie elementary schools.

Transportation will be provided for those students. The deadline for parents to decided is August 12.

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