The U.S. Department of Education today recognized six Louisiana public schools as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors schools that are either high-performing or have closed achievement gaps, especially among minority or disadvantaged students. These schools demonstrate that all students can achieve at high levels.
Three of the selected schools are recognized as “Exemplary High Performing Schools.” They are among the state’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels. The schools include:
T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School, Calcasieu Parish: T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School is a K-5 school that serves approximately 300 students. The school’s fine and performing arts magnet program is nationally certified and allows students to participate in enriching experiences every day. Students are encouraged to take learning risks, expand their creativity, develop leadership qualities and cultivate communication skills. The artistic programs, innovative curriculum opportunities and safe, nurturing environment directly contribute to the school’s high levels of academic achievement.
Caddo Magnet High School, Caddo Parish: Caddo Magnet High School serves approximately 1,000 students. It has a college atmosphere that develops students socially and academically. Diverse course offerings include art and music; foreign languages; Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM); and 28 rigorous Advanced Placement courses that offer students college-level credit opportunities. The school’s programming results in students who understand the importance of working with others and appreciate the value of hard work.
Lusher Charter School, Orleans Parish: Lusher Charter School is a K-12 school that serves approximately 1,800 students. It offers a broad array of art and STEM coursework, as well as early college-credit opportunities. Core values of kindness, respect, responsibility and hard work are reinforced throughout the students’ education. These values, the school’s focus on student well-being and its balanced program of arts and high academics have led to Lusher’s status as one of the highest performing K-12 schools in Louisiana and as one of the most sought-after schools in New Orleans.
Three of the selected schools are recognized as “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools.” They are among the state’s highest-performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years. The schools include:
- Lewis Vincent Elementary School, Livingston Parish: Lewis Vincent Elementary School serves about 400 students. The school focuses on the needs of all students and provides ways for students and educational staff to receive assistance and support. The school also emphasizes the importance of attendance and positive behaviors, using special incentives like the “Principal’s 200 Club” to positively affect the school climate and decrease discipline problems. It is committed to high standards and exemplary school performance scores.
- Montegut Elementary School, Terrebonne Parish: Montegut Elementary School is a PK-4 school that utilizes technology and evidence-based curricula to engage students in important learning. The school fosters a climate of continued growth for educators and students alike. Students receive individualized instruction through “Cubs Grow Time” and after-school tutoring, which highlights both gaps and opportunities for all students. If students cannot do something today, they believe it is because they can’t do it yet. If they have mastered all content for their grade, the school challenges them to do more.
- Vacherie Elementary School, St. James Parish: Vacherie Elementary School offers PK-6 students a welcoming, family-like environment. The school is known for guiding previously low-achieving students to perform on grade level or beyond. It does this by emphasizing reading, varying classroom strategies, screening students to determine their individual needs, creating small intervention groups of educators to assist students and involving parents in the process. The school’s focus on individualized instruction results in students excelling to their maximum potentials.
An awards ceremony will be held Nov. 7-8, 2018, in Washington, D.C., to honor each of the recipients. Each winner will receive an engraved plaque and flag signifying its status as a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School to display on their campus.