On Wednesday the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) released data that listed Vernon Parish as an Outstanding School System in English Learners.

The Department of Education’s list shows the Vernon school district with a growth of 57 percent which places them 4th in the state.

English Language Learners is instruction for students who speak a different native language to learn English as a second language. Currently, there are 132 Vernon Parish students in the program.

Renita Page, a Curriculum Director at the VPSB, said that teachers at every grade level deserve credit for this recognition.

“Instructing English Learners involves teachers at every level. Preschool through high school,” Page said.    

“This is the result of a lot of hard work and dedication by the teachers, paraeducators, and the students,” she added.

The school district rated 2nd in the subgroup Economic Disability. Mastery in this subgroup was achieved by 42 percent of the students.

Starting in 2025 the LDOE will require that a school have a growth rating of 100 percent in its Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) test for that school to be designated as an “A” school.  

There are currently seven schools in the parish that the LDOE designated as an “A” school.

Curriculum Director Anne Smith said that the school district is already well above the state average in English language arts (ELA) and math. “We are at 53 percent in ELA. The state average is 43 percent,” Smith said. “And in math, we’re at 42 percent compared to the state average of 33 percent.”  

“We are already ahead of the curve and we will be proficient in 2025,” Smith added.

Superintendent of Vernon Parish schools James Williams said that he’s confident the teachers, parents and students will continue to work hard to maintain their “A” ratings.

“I’m proud of the schools we have here in this parish and the hard work that all of the employees do,” Williams said. “The state is raising the bar, but we’ve raised ours too.” Williams added.  

Assessment scores for individual schools in the district will be released in the late fall.