Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith celebrates the district's "A" ranking from the Louisiana Department of Education.

Amanda Simmons

Bossier Schools has earned the designation of an ‘A’ ranked public school district.

The Louisiana Department of Education handed out statewide report cards last week, which showed Bossier earning academic gains in the 2016-17 school year. Overall, the district had an increase of 9.4 points, boosting its performance score to a 101.1 and an ‘A’ letter grade.

Airline and Haughton High Schools also went up a letter grade, becoming ‘A’ ranked schools. Bossier High and Waller Elementary moved the needle as well and increased a letter grade; and Cope Middle, Plain Dealing High and Stockwell Place Elementary were named Top Gains schools, based on individual student progress.

The announcement of scores gave Plain Dealing High a big reason to celebrate. They increased their score by 13 points, the highest number of any school in the district, to an 84.2 and a ‘C’ designation.

Saying Plain Dealing’s Principal Sandrina Isebaert is proud of her school is a complete understatement.

“We’re going in the right direction,” she said. “This proves that we’re doing the right thing and that our teachers and kids are really working hard. I’m happy about the [school performance score], but I’m happier seeing these kids actually believing in themselves.”

Isebaert also praised the students, faculty and administrators at Carrie Martin Elementary for their scores.

“They have made it easy for us to have growth here because of the hard work they’re putting in there,” she said. “This has been a true community effort. We’re all part of the same town, same family with one overall goal.”

Superintendent Scott Smith applauded their achievements and those of the entire district over the past year.

“I am excited beyond measure for our students and employees for the exhaustive efforts shown and outstanding job they did throughout the year amid sweeping curriculum changes and the academic performance bar being raised,” Smith said. “Everyone at Bossier Schools is a piece of the puzzle, from teachers and students to administrators and support personnel.”

In the year and a half since he took over the district’s top position, Smith placed priority on integrating Professional Learning Communities at each school and putting a mentor/mentee program in place, ensuring that every child has an adult they work with to chart their individual blueprint for academic success and personal best. A complete curriculum realignment was also implemented, changing the way the district teaches and tests students.

This mentorship program is what Isebaert said has helped her students tremendously.

“We’re focusing on each individual child and doing what’s best for them,” she explained. “This school has always focused on providing what each student needs in order to be successful. The more we do that, the more success we’ll have and we’re seeing that in our scores.”

More importantly, the students are seeing it for themselves.

“Our students have shown more growth than expected by the state,” Isebaert said. “The teachers have set high expectations and really believe in our students. That makes a big difference. To see a smile on a kid’s face when they get the results back…that’s the reason why we do this.”

Isebaert said she plans to have a school-wide celebration in the near future to reward students for their latest achievement.

Earlier in the year, Bossier Schools claimed the sixth place spot for overall ACT composite score ranking in Louisiana and exceeded the state average in science scores by 10-percent on the 2017 LEAP proficiency exam.     

2017 School Performance Scores/Letter Grades

  • Airline HS – 104.3/A
  • Apollo ES – 101.1/A
  • Bellaire ES – 91/B
  • Benton ES – 97.3/B
  • Benton MS – 110.3/A
  • Benton HS – 118.4/A
  • Bossier ES – 62.4/D
  • Bossier HS – 75.1/C
  • Carrie Martin ES – 95.3/B
  • Central Park ES – 54/D
  • Cope MS – 107/A
  • Curtis ES – 83.4/B
  • Em Grove ES – 75.8/C
  • Elm Grove MS – 85.1/B
  • Greenacres MS – 75.9/C
  • Haughton MS – 95.5/B
  • Haughton HS – 102.5/A
  • Kingston ES – 119.8/A
  • R. V. Kerr ES – 59.7/D
  • Legacy ES – 112.3/A
  • Meadowview ES – 65.6/D
  • Parkway HS – 106.4/A
  • Plain Dealing HS – 84.2/C
  • Plantation Park ES – 75.4/C
  • Platt ES – 90.8/B
  • Princeton ES – 85/B
  • T.L. Rodes ES – 90.8/B
  • Rusheon MS – 46/D
  • Stockwell Place ES – 117.1/A
  • Sun City ES – 88.9/B
  • Waller ES – 67.4/C
  • W.T. Lewis ES – 101.3/A
Previous articleOpen container proposal advances amid questions
Next articleBossier churches prioritize safety after deadly shooting