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June Inhern, supervisor of early childhood for the St. Landry Parish public schools, at the Nov. 7 School Board meeting. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)

St. Landry Parish early education state accountability scores released

Early childhood education data was released by the Louisiana State Department of Education on Nov. 5.
In September of 2018, the St. Landry Parish Board acquired Head Start in order to provide greater opportunity and quality education through a Tier I curriculum for all students of St. Landry Parish, a school district news release stated.
“This was a huge endeavor but one that is well worth the investment and returns and the data is, even at this very early stage, beginning to tell that story.
“St. Landry Parish Early Childhood Network, which consists of the St. Landry Parish School Board, St. Landry Parish Head Start Centers, and Type III Childcare Centers, have been working collaboratively to ensure all children enrolled in their programs receive high-quality care and kindergarten readiness. The network agencies work diligently to offer engaging academic instruction through Tier I curriculums, professional development and extensive monitoring with the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, the release stated.
The rating system for Early Childhood Education is as follows: Excellent; High Proficient; Proficient; Approaching Proficient; and Unsatisfactory.
The gains demonstrated in PreK, Head Start, and Childcare Centers are outlined below.
— “Excellent” rating in Overall Equitable Access. This is up from Approaching Proficient last year.
— 93% of sites using a Tier I curriculum, this is up from 69% the previous year.
— 100% of school sites are proficient and above
— 93.3% of St. Landry Parish Early Childhood Network sites are proficient and above
— None of the sites are required to participate in site improvement planning
— None of the sites are unsatisfactory
— Certified Lead Teachers (BA or CDA Level) increased from 34% last year to 77% this year
St. Landry Parish pre-kindergarten programs were also among those recognized by the Louisiana Department Of Education for their academic progress. Of 113 sites recognized in the “Excellence” category in the state, 6 were SLPSD sites. Schools having an “Excellent” rating in pre-kindergarten programs include Glendale Elementary, Grand Prairie Elementary, Krotz Springs Elementary, South Street Elementary, Southwest Elementary and Park Vista Elementary. Sites achieving a rating of “Excellent,” the highest possible rating on the annual performance evaluation, are among the best in the world.
Krotz Springs Elementary pre-kindergarten program also earned a spot on the Louisiana “Top Gains” list.
Sites on this list have significantly improved their performance from the previous year. Only 57 sites were recognized as “Top Gains” in Louisiana.
Eight childcare centers and one St. Landry Parish Head Start Center was awarded “Birth to Three Honor Roll.” The LDOE recognizes these sites for providing high-quality instruction and care to the state’s youngest learners. The significance of this honor hinges on the fact that Louisiana serves far fewer economically disadvantaged children in this age category, and performance categories within this age group typically score lower. The following St. Landry Early Childhood Network sites are on the “Birth to Three Honor Roll” list:
— Leonville Head Start
— God’s Future Scholars Christian Childcare
— Jen’s Infants and Toddlers
— Tons of Fun Daycare and Preschool
— TLC Creative Blessings
— Lots of Love Christian Academy
— The Apple Tree
— Eunice Country Day Nursery School, LLC
— Pumpkin Patch of Eunice
Superintendent Partick Jenkins noted, “Early Childhood Education programs are critical components to SLPSD’s overall success. One of our overarching goals in our strategic plan is to have preschool students enter kindergarten with critical readiness skills needed for future learning and development. The academic progress demonstrated is a testament to the hard work of our students, staff, parents and our community stakeholders.”

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