BOBBY ARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer
St. Landry Parish School Superintendent Milton Batiste III feels the District is trending in the right direction academically, but he also admits there is still a need to improve state test scores in the Opelousas area which features four “D” or “F” St. Landry public schools.
Recent annual student performance scores released by the Louisiana Department of Education show the District graded an overall “C” in 2023, which closely mirrors the same percent score recorded last year.
This year, St. Landry received a District performance score of 73.1. In 2022 St. Landry was given a 70.6.
Neighboring Acadia Parish ranked a “B” District, jumping over five percent points and graded an 86.2 in 2023, while nearby Evangeline Parish received a 78.3 “B.” Like Acadia, Evangeline Parish improved the overall test results by a similar five percentage points this year.
Batiste feels that progress is being made individually in most of the St. Landry public schools.
“I think what is important is that 32 of the schools District-wise, showed growth. In Opelousas we are not yet where we want to be, but we will continue working with our principals, supervisors and our instructional specialists and coaches in order to make improvement,” Batiste said during a Wednesday interview.
Top Performers In St. Landry
Four parish schools – East Elementary in Eunice, Eunice High, Palmetto Elementary and the Magnet Academy For The Cultural Arts in Opelousas each received “A” report cards for 2023.
All four schools received an “A” in 2022 and showed increases in academic proficiency again this year.
Eunice High experienced a six-percentage point gain over last year.
Other Opelousas Public Schools
With the exception of the continued high academic performance of the MACA faculty and students, no other school in the Opelousas area recorded better than a “C” average.
City-wide, Park Vista and Opelousas High received “C” grades.. Each displayed one percentage point of growth over last year.
Grolee Elementary recovered from its “F” rating in 2022 and scored a “D” in 2023.
Northeast and Creswell elementaries each again had grades of “D.”
Opelousas Junior High and Opelousas Middle School were ranked as “F” or failing schools for a second straight year. The scores at OJHS in 2023 did improve by three percentage points over last year.
Creswell improved by six percentage points over last year, while Opelousas Middle School dropped by the same amount of percentage points.
Opelousas State Charter School Grades
The two state charter schools in Opelousas — J.S. Clark Leadership Academy and St. Landry Charter School – also received state performance scores in 2023.
For the second straight year J.S. Clark was rated as a “C” school. Clark’s scores in 2023 dropped by two percentage points over last year.
St. Landry Charter, which opened in 2022, improved eight percentage points to a “D” this year. In 2022, St. Landry Public Charter received a 46.4 percentage score or “F.”