Slaughter charter school shows gains

The Slaughter Community Charter School made academic progress in its second year of operation, the school’s director told parents attending an awards program Thursday.

The school opened with seventh- and eighth-grade classes in August 2011 under an agreement with the East Feliciana Parish School Board.

It added the ninth grade last year and will add the 10th grade when classes resume in August.

Director Linda Saucier said 61 percent of the school’s students passed, or scored at the “basic” level or higher, on the state Integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program and Louisiana Educational Assessment Program tests given last year. The two tests also are known as the iLEAP and LEAP, respectively.

This year, 71 percent of the students achieved proficiency on the iLEAP, LEAP and end-of-course tests given for ninth-grade students in certain subjects.

“I’ve never seen teachers work so hard,” said Saucier, who is in her first year at Slaughter.

At the school, seventh-graders take the iLEAP test, while eighth-graders take the LEAP test. The achievement levels are advanced, mastery, basic, approaching basic and unsatisfactory.

Saucier said she hopes the percentage can be raised by another 10 points in the coming year.

This year, the math scores grew the most, with 82 percent of the seventh-graders scoring at the basic, mastery or advanced levels and 83 percent in the eighth-grade, she said.

In contrast, only 33 percent of East Feliciana Middle School’s seventh-graders scored at basic or above on the iLEAP math exam. In the eighth grade, 41 percent of students scored at basic or above in math, according to data the state Department of Education released Wednesday.

The charter school’s test scores are used in determining East Feliciana Parish’s overall district performance score, which will be released later this year.

Chrissie O’Quin, a veteran educator who serves on the charter school board, said the school will be able to add 10th-graders in August without having to add buildings to its temporary campus.

She said the board hopes to have a permanent campus established by the following year.

In addition to the director, the school had 10 faculty members this year.

O’Quin said a dean of students, counselor and several more teachers will be added next school year.