Schools consider how to help student athletes succeed after graduation

Athletic directors at Ascension Parish’s four high schools have for the first time consolidated college and career readiness data to help student-athletes reach academic goals and to be prepared for life after high school.

These academic indicators, including average ACT exam scores, overall graduation rates and grade-point averages, will give the Ascension Parish school administration a “snapshot” of what academic benchmarks high school student-athletes have already met and an idea of future goals, according to David Alexander, parish schools director of secondary education.

East Ascension, St. Amant, Donaldsonville and Dutchtown high schools will use these indicators “to make sure their athletic program is actually serving the students in preparation for whatever their post-secondary endeavors might be,” Alexander said.

Alexander’s presentation took place during the Ascension Parish School Board’s athletic committee meeting Tuesday.

The projections used in the college and career readiness indicators were based on test scores and academic figures from 2013 high school graduates, Alexander said.

According to data provided by the schools and presented to committee members on Tuesday:

Donaldsonville High School student-athletes received a 16.8 as an average ACT composite score and the school administration wants to increase that score to 18 during the 2013-14 school year.

Dutchtown High School student-athletes received a 22.7 average ACT composite score with a goal of increasing that score to a 23.

St. Amant High school student-athletes received a 21.59 average ACT composite score with a goal of increasing its score by 5 percent to 22.67.

East Ascension High School student-athletes received a 22.4 average ACT composite score with a goal of increasing the score by 1 or 2 points.

The ACT exam is a test of college readiness scored on a scale of 1-36. Students get a composite score, which represents an average of their reading, English, math and science results.

According to academic results released by the state Department of Education in July, the state’s average score was 20.3.

The national average was 21.1.

The college and career readiness data and indicator plan also addresses increasing or maintaining scores on the state’s End-of-Course exams, improving or maintaining student athlete graduation rates and improving grade point averages and how each school can implement these improvements.

Athletic directors from each high school will meet in June to compare this school year’s academic data from student athletes and adjust future data projections if needed, Alexander said.