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“All we’re focused on is giving those students who did not pass the LEAP the remediation they need so they can be successful.” Sandra billeaudeau, district assistant superintendent
LAFAYETTE — Fourth- and eighth-grade Lafayette Parish students who failed the high-stakes LEAP test start work Wednesday on their second chance.
At least 19 percent of fourth-graders and 22 percent of eighth-graders in Lafayette Parish are eligible for a summer remediation program designed to help them pass the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program test, according to state figures. Students can retake the test in late June.
The standardized test, given to fourth- and eighth-graders in the spring, measures their knowledge in math, science, social studies and English language arts, but requires students to meet certain standards in only math and English to advance to the next grade. To be promoted, students must score at basic or above in English or math and approaching basic or above in the other subject.
Districts are required to offer a LEAP remediation program, but students aren’t required to take advantage of the extra instructional help.
In Lafayette Parish, at least 407 of an eligible 577 fourth-graders and an estimated 400 of an eligible 609 eighth-graders registered for the remediation, district instructional supervisors said Tuesday.
“Parents are welcome to walk-in (Wednesday) and register,” said Melanie Wiley, district instructional supervisor for elementary English language arts.
Fourth-grade remediation is scheduled at Plantation and Live Oak elementary schools, while eighth-grade remediation is at Scott and Lafayette middle schools.
The four-week program is also open to home schoolers and private-school students who must take the test before enrolling in the fifth or ninth grade at a public school.
In Lafayette Parish, 81 percent of fourth-graders and 78 of eighth-graders passed the test, according to state figures. The results show a 3 percentage point increase by both grade level groups from last year.
Also released last week were the results of the Graduation Exit Examination, or GEE, given to 11th-graders and the iLEAP given to third-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders.
District officials said Tuesday that the testing data is under review and it’s too soon to make any determinations on district or school performance based on the preliminary data.
“All we’re focused on is giving those students who did not pass the LEAP the remediation they need so they can be successful,” said Sandra Billeaudeau, district assistant superintendent.
The statewide results of the standardized testing show that 68 percent of Louisiana students tested on grade level, a 2 percentage point increase from 2011.
No Acadiana area school district saw the same gains; however, at least three parishes in the area reported 1 percentage point gains from last year: Lafayette and St. Mary at 69 percent and St. Martin at 62 percent.
Students in Vermilion Parish exceeded statewide performance with at least 72 percent of their students on grade level; however, in 2011, 73 percent of the district’s tested students were on grade level.
Fourth- and eighth-graders in Acadia Parish charted the largest gains compared to their Acadiana peers, although the district’s overall achievement based on the spring scores dropped from 65 percent in 2011 to 64 percent in 2012.
Superintendent John Bourque said the district has focused over the past few years on building younger students’ vocabulary and reading-comprehension skills. A new reading program targeting students in pre-K through fifth grade began in all schools three years ago, Bourque said.
“It’s taken that long for it to settle in because change doesn’t happen overnight,” Bourque said. “Our staffs have worked hard this year.”
Fourth- and eighth-grade students in Evangeline continued to outperform their Acadiana peers as the parish charted the highest percentage of students who met the LEAP standards needed for promotion. At least 89 percent of the district’s fourth-graders and 81 percent of eighth-graders passed the test, according to state figures.