BATON ROUGE, La.– Eight schools across Louisiana have been nationally recognized for exceptional student performance or for closing the achievement gap among historically disadvantaged students. Two schools have been named National Title I Distinguished Schools by the National Title I Association, and six schools have been nominated by the state to receive 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools awards from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE).
“These students, educators and communities should be commended for their commitment to advancing learning opportunities for all students and for making significant strides,” said State Superintendent John White. “We are proud to count them among Louisiana’s schools.”
National Title I Distinguished Schools
Thomas Jefferson High School for Advanced Studies in Jefferson Parish and Belle Chasse Primary School in Plaquemines Parish have been named National Title I Distinguished Schools.
The National Title I Association’s Distinguished School Program annually recognizes two schools in every state that are identified as Title I. Title I schools, a designation based on the percentage of their students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals, receive additional federal funding to support populations of at-risk or economically-disadvantaged students through enhanced programming.
To be selected as a Distinguished School, schools must have a student population with at least 35 percent or higher poverty rate for each year, and either demonstrate high academic achievement for two or more consecutive years (High Achieving Schools) or significantly close the achievement gap between specific student groups and their peers (Closing the Achievement Gap).
Thomas Jefferson High School for Advanced Studies was recognized in the category of High Achieving Schools. The school has earned an “A” letter grade for three consecutive years. More than 95 percent of students scored Good or Excellent on end-of-course exams, graduated within four years, and scored at least a 21 on the ACT; 93 percent of graduates completed college-level coursework or attained proficiency with an industry-valued skill; and 87 percent of students enrolled in college upon graduation.
Belle Chasse Primary School was recognized in the category of Closing the Achievement Gap. The school has earned an “A” letter grade for three consecutive years, and from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017, it narrowed the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their peers by 11 percent, and between students with disabilities and their peers by 12 percent.
Both schools were invited to attend the National Title I Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, this week, February 8-11, where they will be honored among distinguished schools nationwide.
2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools
Six schools have been nominated by the state to receive 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools awards. The USDOE’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public 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 nominees are recognized as “Exemplary High Performing Schools” and are among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments and graduation rates. They include T.S. Cooley Elementary Magnet School in Calcasieu Parish, Caddo Parish Magnet High School in Caddo Parish, and Lusher Charter School in Orleans Parish.
Three of the nominees are recognized as “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools” and are among the state’s highest-performing schools in closing achievement gaps between student subgroups and all students over time. They include Lewis Vincent Elementary School in Livingston Parish, Vacherie Elementary School in St. James Parish, and Montegut Elementary School in Terrebonne Parish.
The nominated schools will now submit an application to the federal government for the award, and winners will be announced by the USDOE in the fall. Recipients will be honored during an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., where they will receive an engraved plaque and flag signifying their status as a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School.
To learn more about National Title I Distinguished School Program, click here.
To learn more about the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, click here.