Rapides Parish School System, Louisiana

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Rapides Parish School System
Alexandria, Louisiana
Rapides Parish School System logo.jpg
District Profile
Superintendent:Nason "Tony" Authement
Enrollment:24,028
Graduation rate:67.0%[1]
Number of schools:51
Budget: $222.5 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Janet H. Dixon (D)
Board members:9
Term length:4 years
Rapides Parish School System is a school district in Louisiana. In the 2011-2012 school year, Rapides Parish was the eighth-largest school district in Louisiana and served 24,028 students.[2]

About the district

Rapides Parish School System is located in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
Rapides Parish School System lies in central Louisiana in Rapides Parish. The seat of parish government is Alexandria. Rapides Parish was home to approximately 132,723 residents according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau.[3]

Demographics

Rapides Parish underperformed compared to the rest of Louisiana in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 18.3 percent of Rapides Parish residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 21.4 percent for Louisiana as a whole. The median household income for the parish was $40,946 compared to $44,673 statewide. The poverty rate in the parish was 19.9 percent compared to 18.7 percent for the entire state.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2013[3]
Race Rapides Parish (%) Louisiana (%)
White 64.1 63.5
Black or African American 32.0 32.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.9 0.8
Asian 1.4 1.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander >0.05 0.1
Two or More Races 1.7 1.5
Hispanic or Latino 2.8 4.7

Presidential Voting Pattern, Rapides Parish[4]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 20,045 37,193
2008 20,127 36,611
2004 18,904 34,492
2000 18,898 28,831

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[5]

Superintendent

The superintendent of Rapides Parish School System is Nason "Tony" Authement who filled the position on June 1, 2013. Prior to his appointment, Authement was the secondary education supervisor for the Terrebonne Parish School District. He also worked as a teacher, coach and principal prior to that position.[6]

School board

Rapides Parish School System is overseen by a school board comprised of nine partisan members who are elected to represent geographical districts for four-year terms. The partisan affiliation in the table below represents the affiliation which the officeholder held in his or her most recent election.

Rapides Parish School Board
Member District Partisan
Affiliation
Term
Began
Term
Ends
Wilton Barrios Jr. A Republican Republican Party January 1, 2003 December 31, 2018
Steve Berry B Republican Republican Party January 1, 2003 December 31, 2018
Julie McConathy C Republican Republican Party N/A December 31, 2014
Janet H. Dixon D Democratic Democratic Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2014
Stephen Chapman E Republican Republican Party January 1, 2003 December 31, 2018
John E. Allen Jr. F Democratic Democratic Party January 1, 2007 December 31, 2018
W. Keith Breazeale G Republican Republican Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
Darrell Rodriguez H Democratic Democratic Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
Pam Webb I RepublicanRepublican Party N/A December 31, 2014

School board elections

See also: Rapides Parish School System elections (2014)

The nine school board members are elected concurrently by district in partisan elections. This means that regular school board elections are held every four years with all members being up for re-election at that time. Additionally, all members are elected by a geographically defined district which they represent. Nine seats were up for general election on November 4, 2014. The next general election will be in November 2018.

School board candidates in Louisiana are elected by majority vote, which means the winner must receive more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the general election to win the seat. Runoff elections are held between the top two candidates for races where no candidate receives a majority. Candidates who are unopposed at the end of a candidate filing period are considered elected as of that date.[7]

Any member who at the end of his or her term has served more than two and one-half terms in the last three consecutive terms cannot be re-elected in the following term. However, they can be re-elected following the one term break. These term limits first takes effect with terms beginning on or after January 2015 and does not apply retroactively to terms started prior to that date.[7]

Public participation in board meetings

The Rapides Parish School Board maintains the following policies on public testimony during board meetings on their website:

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS

The Rapides Parish School Board desires the citizens of the District to attend its meetings so that they may become better acquainted with the schools and so that the Board may have opportunity to hear the wishes and/or ideas of the public.

It is the policy of the Board to conduct all meetings in full view of and with welcomed participation by the public. However, the Board reserves the right to recess into or call executive sessions for discussing matters as provided by state law. At no time shall actions be taken or resolutions made during executive sessions.

REQUEST FOR ITEM TO BE PLACED ON AGENDA

All delegations or individuals who wish to place an item on the agenda for consideration by the School Board shall submit their written requests to the Superintendent at least five (5) working days prior to the meeting date, stating what matters they wish to take up with the Board and the approximate time such matters should consume at the meeting. Such items will normally be included on the agenda of the meeting at which the delegation or individual wishes to appear before the Board. If not submitted on time to be placed on the agenda, the item may be held over for the next scheduled meeting of the Board. Each delegation appearing before the Board shall select in advance one (1) person as its spokesperson, and the presentation shall be limited to fifteen (15) minutes. The Board reserves the right to alter the time limitation of presentations as the need arises.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS

A period of public comment shall be held prior to Board vote on each individual agenda item. Comments by speakers during the public comment period shall be limited to and relevant to the individual agenda item or motion before the Board and shall be free of profanity and personal invectives and should be focused upon the wisdom or advisability of adopting or defeating the particular motion(s) relating to the agenda item.

Each individual speaker during the public comment period shall be allotted a three (3) minute period in which to speak. At the expiration of the speaker’s time the presiding officer of the Board may, in the officer’s discretion, extend additional time not to exceed three (3) minutes to an individual speaker.

In accordance with the Open Meetings Law, the Board President shall orally request of the audience whether anyone in attendance wishes to speak on any agenda item whether the agenda item was placed on the original agenda or was added to the agenda by unanimous roll-call vote as provided by law. Additionally, if a motion is made to add an item to the prepublished agenda during an open meeting, the board president shall inquire of the audience whether anyone in attendance wishes to speak on the issue of the propriety of adding the item to the agenda as opposed to having the item considered in the normal course of agenda preparation as provided by policy BCBD, Agenda Preparation and Dissemination.

The presiding officer will warn any speaker of a violation of the public comment policy regarding the time or content of comment. If the violation continues, the presiding officer may deny the speaker the opportunity to further address the Board during that particular comment period.[8]

—Rapides Parish School System website, (2008), [9]

Budget

The table below displays the budget for the Rapides Parish School System:[10]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2010-2011 $197,803,000 88.9% $9,945,000 4.5% $11,421,000 5.1% $3,133,000 1.4% $215,000 0.1% $222,517,000
Averages: $197,803,000 89% $9,945,000 4% $11,421,000 5% $3,133,000 1% $215,000 0% $222,517,000

Teacher salaries

Rapides Parish School System's teacher salaries are categorized based on higher education achievement and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by earning a graduate degree. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing a higher starting salary. Additionally, teachers can receive annual merit pay in the amount of $300 for being evaluated as "highly effective" or $150 for "effective proficient." For positions for which there is a particular demand, an extra stipend of $350 may be offered.[11]

The following table details the salary schedule for teachers in the 2014-2015 school year:[11]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
B.A. 36,415 48,415
Advanced degree 36,915 48,915

Schools in Rapides Parish School System

Enrollment

Rapides Parish School System served 24,028 students in the 2011-2012 school year.[2] The district does not publicly archive enrollment data.

District schools

Rapides Parish School System operates 51 schools which are listed below in alphabetical order:

Rapides Parish School System
School Name
A-F G-O P-Z
Acadian Elementary Glenmora Elementary Paradise Elementary
Aiken Virtual Program Glenmora High Peabody Magnet High
Alexandria Middle Magnet H. R. Lawrence Upper Elementary Peabody Montessori
Alexandria Sr. High Hadnot-Hayes S.T.E.M. Elementary Phoenix Magnet Elementary
Alma Redwine Elementary Horseshoe Elementary Pineville Elementary
Arthur F. Smith Middle Magnet J. B. Nachman Elementary Pineville High
Ball Elementary J. I. Barron Elementary Pineville Junior High
Bolton High Julius Patrick Elementary Plainview
Brame Junior High L. S. Rugg Elementary Poland Junior High
Buckeye Elementary Lessie Moore Elementary Rapides High
Buckeye High Mabel Brasher Elementary Rapides Training Academy
Caroline Dormon Jr High K-8 Martin Park Elementary Rosenthal Montessori
Carter C. Raymond Elementary Mary Goff Elementary Ruby Wise Elementary
Cherokee Elementary North Bayou Rapides Elementary Tioga Elementary
CONNECTIONS Northwood High Tioga High
D. F. Huddle Elementary Oak Hill Elementary Tioga Junior High
Forest Hill Elementary Oak Hill High W.O. Hall Elementary

Academic performance

Louisiana administers three main sets of tests to measure the academic performance of K-12 students: DIBELS Next, iLEAP and End-of-Course tests. Additionally, districts are given a letter ranking of A-F based on performance across all grades of students.

DIBELS Next

The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills test, also known as DIBELS Next, is administered to K-3 students statewide. The test places students into one of three categories. Those who meet the benchmark levels are placed in the "core" category, indicating they only need core reading curriculum going forward. The other two categories indicate students who need "strategic" or "intensive" intervention in reading education. The following chart outlines the percentage of students in the district in each of the categories:[12]

DIBELS Next results[13]
Testing date Kindergarten 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade
Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%)
Spring 2013 59 19 22 61 13 26 59 17 25 52 15 33
Fall
2012
56 17 27 55 14 31 65 11 24 58 10 31
Spring 2012 58 21 21 58 14 28 56 17 27 48 17 36
Fall
2011
57 18 24 57 13 30 62 13 25 56 12 32

iLEAP and LEAP

LEAP and iLEAP percentile ranks[13]
Year Mastery and
above (%)
Basic and
above (%)
2014 District 23 68
Statewide 24 69
2013 District 22 67
Statewide 23 66
2012 District N/A 67
Statewide N/A 68

Louisiana 3rd through 8th grade students statewide are tested annually in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. These tests are called iLEAP and LEAP.

On both tests, students can earn the following scores:

  • Advanced: A student demonstrates superior performance in the subject.
  • Mastery: A student demonstrates competency of challenging subject matter and is well prepared for the next level of schooling.
  • Basic: A student demonstrates only fundamental knowledge and skills in the subject.
  • Approaching Basic: A student only partially demonstrates the fundamental knowledge and skills of the subject.
  • Unsatisfactory: A student does not demonstrate the fundamental knowledge and skills.[8]

Louisiana Department of Education website, (2014), [14]

The table on the right compares the percentage of district students scoring either mastery and higher or basic and higher on the iLEAP and LEAP with the statewide averages. The percentage of mastery and higher is not available prior to 2013 results.

End-of-course tests

High school students in Louisiana take end-of-course tests in algebra I, geometry, English II and III, biology and U.S. history. The students receive one of the following four scores on each test:

  • Excellent: A student demonstrates superior performance of the course content.
  • Good: A student demonstrates mastery of course content and is well prepared for the next level of coursework in the subject.
  • Fair: A student demonstrates only the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for the next level of coursework in the subject.
  • Needs Improvement: A student does not demonstrate the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for the next level of coursework in the subject.[8]

Louisiana Department of Education website, (2014), [15]

In the 2013-2014 school year, 63 percent of students taking end-of-course tests across all subjects in the district earned a grade of good or excellent. This was up 5 percent from 58 percent in 2012-2013.[13]

District letter grade

Louisiana uses a letter grade system of A through F to describe school performance scores. The table on the right outlines the district's letter score by year. The scores are based on the following measurements:

A-F Letter Grade Results[16]
Year Performance
score
Letter
grade
2014 86.4 B
2013 75.7 C
  • Elementary schools (K-6): 100 percent of the school grade is based on student achievement on annual assessments in English language arts, math, science, and social studies. Schools may also earn points for significant improvement with students who are academically behind.
  • Middle schools (7-8): 95 percent of the school grade is based on student achievement on annual assessments with the final 5 percent based on credits earned through the end of students’ 9th grade year. Schools may also earn points for significant improvement with students who are academically behind.
  • High schools (9-12): Half of the school grade is based on student achievement (25 percent on the ACT and 25 percent on End-of-Course assessments). Half of the school grade is based on graduation (25 percent on the graduation index, which rewards achievements like Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam credit, and 25 percent on the cohort graduation rate, the percentage of students graduating in four years). Schools may also earn points for significant improvement with students who are academically behind.[8]

Louisiana Department of Education website, (2014), [17]

Issues

Board term limits

On November 6, 2012, Rapides Parish voters elected by almost 80 percent to enact term limits. Terms won in the 2014 election were the first to be affected by this change.


Ballot text:

LOCAL OPTION ELECTION

Within Rapides Parish School District: Shall the number of terms of office that any member of the school board may serve be limited to three consecutive four-year terms?[8]

Louisiana Secretary of State's website, (2014), [18]



Parishwide School District Local Option
Term Limits Proposition (2012)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 40,914 79.25%
No10,71320.75%

Starting with terms that began on or after January 1, 2015, any member who, at the end of his or her term, has served more than two and one-half terms in the last three consecutive terms cannot be re-elected in the following term. However, they can be re-elected following the one term break. The limit does not apply retroactively to incumbents, thus allowing them to potentially serve up to 12 more consecutive years.[7][19]

Contact information

Rapides Parish School System logo.jpg
Rapides Parish School System
619 Sixth St.
P.O. Box 1230
Alexandria, LA 71309
Phone: 318-487-0888

See also

External links

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Suggest a link

References

  1. Louisiana Department of Education, "District and State Graduation Rates (2005-2006 to 2012-2013)," accessed November 24, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed June 17, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 United States Census Bureau, "Rapides Parish, Louisiana, Quick Facts," accessed September 3, 2014
  4. Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Results," accessed September 2, 2014
  5. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  6. The Times, "Authement accepts job in Rapides Parish," April 30, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Louisiana Secretary of State, "QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES," accessed September 2, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  9. RAPIDES PARISH SCHOOL BOARD POLICY MANUAL DISPLAY AND REFERENCE GUIDE, "PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS," September 2008
  10. United States Census Bureau, "Public Elementary–Secondary Education Finance Data," accessed December 11, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rapides Parish School System, "Teacher Salary Schedule 9-Month Position 2014 - 2015," accessed December 3, 2014
  12. Louisiana Department of Education, "DIBELS Next," accessed November 24, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Louisiana Department of Education, "Test Results," accessed November 24, 2014
  14. Louisiana Department of Education, "Annual Assessments," accessed November 24, 2014
  15. Louisiana Department of Education, "End-of-Course Tests," accessed November 24, 2014
  16. Louisiana Department of Education, "Performance Scores," accessed November 24, 2014
  17. Louisiana Department of Education, "School Letter Grades," accessed November 24, 2014
  18. Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Election Results," accessed December 4, 2014
  19. Louisiana Secretary of State, "HOW ARE CANDIDATES ELECTED?," accessed September 2, 2014