There's good news for several schools in St. Landry Parish. At least two are no longer labeled as “academically unacceptable.” Both Opelousas Junior High School and Southwest Elementary school have shown improvement this past year. Last year, six schools were failing throughout the parish.
The school year is in full swing at OJHS and students and faculty are starting to see their hard work pay off. Labeled last year as an “academically unacceptable school,” they've come out of the weeds.
Although exact scores have not yet been released, Principal Jude Victorian says they've gone up at least a letter grade.
“The credit goes towards the hard work of our faculty and staff who work tirelessly long hours after school and many were here on the weekends,” said Victorian.
And it was a joint effort between the central office, parents and volunteers to step in and make sure students were up to speed. That included an after-school tutoring program, which gave helped faculty learn a lot as well.
“We did utilize that time to address areas of concern whether it be math, English language arts, science or social studies,” said Victorian.
And opening up more computers labs also helped, so students could practice standardized testing through state programs like EAGLE, PASS, and PLATO.
Besides the computer labs, teachers are even tailoring their curriculum to the iLEAP and LEAP tests so on test day, students don't get tripped up on the type of question or how it's asked. Assistant principal Timothy Villmarette says focusing on those tests takes up a bulk of the school year.
“Every six weeks, we get teachers tests and we look to make sure their tests are being created in that same test format,” said Villemarette.
Although it's been no easy feat, Victorian says he's pleased with the progress so far.
“A tremendous amount of work and we still have a lot of work to do,” said Victorian. “This is not over with.”