Aug 3, 2012 7:25 PM by Steven Albritton
The state recently raised the minimum level for acceptable schools. With that change, six schools in St. Landry Parish received the "Academically Unacceptable" rating, or AUS. Schools knew the change was coming and tried their best to get within compliance.
"We've been knowing this for three years. So the schools have been slowly preparing and the districts have been preparing," Opelousas Junior High Assistant Principal Timothy Villemarette said.
Opelousas JH actually improved almost five points over the last year. They would have been acceptable if not for the change. They are continuing to try and improve their school and hope for a 10 point gain next year.
"We have some great leadership and they're just giving us ideas and tools to work with. And we're going to do the best we can," Villemarette said.
Creswell Elementary fell below the line for a fourth consecutive year. Principal Geri Kaye Victorian says part of that was due a yearly change at principal.
"Because of those circumstances it strongly impacted our students. Now that I'm here and we know that we have a consistent principal with a consistent plan, I think that'll make a huge difference," Victorian said.
Victorian went on to say that the entire community has to help get these schools in better standing. The way the scoring system operates, it includes students test scores, teacher evaluations and even attendance. Victorian says the effort has to come from everywhere.
"The biggest thing for me is for the public to understand that they have to support their local schools and without their support we cannot change. I know that our track record hasn't been good, but you can't judge the current administration or the current students on past performance. I need them to give my staff and myself a chance. We believe we are not an "F" school; and we believe that we can show that we are not an "F" school with the support of our parents and our community," Victorian said.
Along with Creswell and Opelousas Junior High; North, Southwest, South Street and Washington Elementary Schools were also AUS.
Any student attending one of these schools has the option to transfer to a better performing school. Transportation will be provided by the distracts. The deadline to turn those forms into the school board is August 15th.