Three Livingston Parish high schools among best in United States

Three Livingston Parish high schools among best in United States
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POSTED: Saturday, August 10, 2013 - 12:00pm

UPDATED: Saturday, August 10, 2013 - 4:06pm

Three Livingston Parish High Schools have been named among the nation’s best public high schools, according to this year’s rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

Holden, Maurepas and Springfield high schools were among the 72 schools in Louisiana to receive a Bronze Medal ranking for their academic performances in 2013, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s latest report.

The Bronze Medal is given to those schools throughout the nation that excel at a variety of measurable performance outcomes. It is based on a key principle that a high school must serve all students well, not just those bound for college.

Scores from these schools on tests such as the iLEAP, LEAP and ACT were compared to those of students across the nation. Specifically, the performance of students with disabilities, minority students, and economically disadvantaged students was also assessed and found to be exemplary.

All three schools had high proficiency levels throughout their student body. Holden was noted for its high math proficiency, 81 percent, while Maurepas had high proficiency scores in both English, 72 percent, and math, 86 percent. Springfield had a 74 percent proficiency rating in English and a 70 percent proficiency in math.

“We are very proud of the hard work and dedication of our faculty and students to attain these high levels of academic performance and to be recognized as some of best schools in the nation,” Superintendent John Watson said.

Watson noted that the Livingston Parish School District contains nine traditional high schools and two freshmen schools. And while three schools were awarded bronze medals, the other schools join them as some of the state’s top performing campuses, he said.

The U.S. News & World Report first released its Best High Schools rankings in 2007. The project is intended to identify the country's top-performing public high schools. The goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students – from the highest achieving to the lowest achieving – in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.

Watson noted that this is the fourth time Holden High School has been awarded a Bronze Medal ranking by U.S. News, including last year when it shared the distinction with Springfield High School. This is the second year for Springfield to be honored with a Bronze Medal ranking and the first time for Maurepas High School to be named to the list. French Settlement High School is also a past recipient of the Bronze Medal ranking.

In addition to these distinctions, French Settlement Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Education for its superior academic performance and dramatic gains made in student achievement, particularly among minority and disadvantaged students. Springfield Elementary and Southside Elementary have been past recipients of the Louisiana Department of Education’s High Performing, High Poverty School designation, which recognizes those schools that have successfully overcome challenges associated with educating large populations of poor and minority children. And this year, Albany Upper Elementary was named a Higher Performing School by the National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA), a department of ACT that recognizes schools for raising student achievement levels more quickly than schools that enroll similar student populations.

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