St. Charles Parish Public Schools, Louisiana

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St. Charles Parish Public Schools
Luling, Louisiana
St. Charles Parish Public Schools logo.jpg
District Profile
Superintendent:Felecia Gomez-Walker
Enrollment:9,743
Graduation rate:84%[1]
Number of schools:15
Budget: $189.7 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:John "Jay" Robichaux (I)
Board members:8
Term length:4 years
St. Charles Parish Public Schools is a school district in Louisiana. In the 2011-2012 school year, St. Charles Parish was the 19th-largest school district in Louisiana and served 9,743 students.[2]

About the district

St. Charles Parish Public Schools is located in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana.
St. Charles Parish Public Schools lies in southeastern Louisiana in St. Charles Parish. The seat of parish government is Hahnville. St. Charles Parish was home to approximately 52,617 residents according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau.[3]

Demographics

St. Charles Parish underperformed compared to the rest of Louisiana in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 20 percent of St. Charles 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 $59,197 compared to $44,673 statewide. The poverty rate in the parish was 12.8 percent compared to 18.7 percent for the entire state.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2013[3]
Race St. Charles Parish (%) Louisiana (%)
White 70.7 63.5
Black or African American 26.4 32.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.8
Asian 1.0 1.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.4 1.5
Hispanic or Latino 5.7 4.7

Presidential Voting Pattern,
St. Charles Parish[4]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 8,896 15,937
2008 8,522 16,457
2004 8,856 14,747
2000 8,918 11,981

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 St. Charles Parish Public Schools is Felecia Gomez-Walker.[6] She was appointed to the position on July 2, 2013, following the resignation of Rodney Lafron who had served as superintendent for more than 18 years. She is the first female superintendent for the district. James Melohn served as the interim superintendent while negotiations were completed for Gomez-Walker's contract. Prior to serving as superintendent, Gomez-Walker was the assistant superintendent for secondary schools and quality assurance. She also previously taught first and second grade, worked as an instructional specialist and served as assistant superintendent of elementary schools and curriculum, instruction and assessment.[7]

School board

St. Charles Parish Public Schools is overseen by a school board comprised of eight 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.

St. Charles Parish School Board
District Member Partisan
Affiliation
Term
Began
Term
Ends
1 Ellis Alexander Sr. Independent Independent January 1, 2007 December 31, 2018
2 Melinda Huff Bernard Republican Republican Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
3 Dennis J. Naquin Republican Republican Party January 1, 2007 December 31, 2018
4 Clarence "Sonny" H. Savoie Democratic Democratic Party January 1, 1987 December 31, 2018
5 John L. Smith Democratic Democratic Party January 1, 1983 December 31, 2018
6 John "Jay" Robichaux Independent Independent January 1, 2003 December 31, 2018
7 Arthur Aucoin Independent Independent January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
8 Alex "Al" Suffrin Independent Independent January 1, 2007 December 31, 2018

School board elections

See also: St. Charles Parish Public Schools elections (2014)

The eight 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. Eight 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.[8]

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. This term limit first took effect with terms beginning on or after January 2015 and does not apply retroactively to terms started prior to that date.[8]

Public participation in board meetings

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

Public Participation

The Board encourages citizens to appear at its meetings. If someone wishes to address the Board, the following procedures from the St. Charles Parish Public Schools Policy & Procedures Manual must be followed.

  • A speaker must complete a speaker card in person and personally submit it to the Superintendent's secretary or Public Information Coordinator at least five minutes prior to the beginning of the meeting. No cards will be accepted after 6:25 PM.
  • Individuals will speak in the order in which the cards are submitted and will be allowed three minutes each. The Board can vote to increase or decrease the time by a majority vote. Additional material may be submitted in writing.
  • A group that wishes to speak shall select one person to be its representative.
  • Comments are limited to matters that are strictly relevant to the agenda item. Speakers are not allowed to ask questions or make requests of the Board or Staff. No accusatory comments or comments relative to the performance of specific or potential employees will be permitted.[9]

—St. Charles Parish Public Schools website, (2014), [10]

Budget

The table below displays the budget for the St. Charles Parish Public Schools:[11][12]

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
2013-2014 $130,815,388 70% $6,547,925 3.5% $30,326,659 16.2% $9,935,579 5.3% $9,148,584 4.9% $186,774,135
2014-2015 $136,369,201 71.9% $6,563,048 3.5% $29,775,299 15.7% $9,719,927 5.1% $72,336,541 38.1% $189,661,129
Averages: $133,592,294.5 71% $6,555,486.5 3% $30,050,979 16% $9,827,753 5% $40,742,562.5 22% $188,217,632

Teacher salaries

St. Charles Parish Public Schools'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 pursuing a graduate degree. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing a higher starting salary. Additionally, teachers can receive merit pay of $750 a year for being evaluated as "highly effective."[13]

The following table details the salary schedule for teachers in the 2014-2015 school year:[13]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
Certified teacher 44,565 63,315
Advanced degree 45,315 64,065

Schools in St. Charles Parish Public Schools

Enrollment

St. Charles Parish Public Schools served 9,743 students in the 2011-2012 school year.[2] The district does not archive enrollment information on its website.

District schools

St. Charles Parish Public Schools operates 15 schools which are listed below in in alphabetical order:

St. Charles Parish Public Schools
School Name
Albert Cammon Middle
Allemands Elementary
Destrehan High School
Ethel Schoeffner Elementary
Hahnville High School
Harry Hurst Middle
J.B. Martin Middle
Lakewood Elementary
Luling Elementary
Mimosa Park Elementary
New Sarpy Elementary
Norco Elementary
R.J. Vial Elementary
R.K. Smith Middle
St. Rose 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:[14]

DIBELS Next results[15]
Testing date Kindergarten 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade
Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%) Core (%) Strategic (%) Intensive (%)
Spring 2013 68 18 13 64 21 15 70 16 14 57 20 23
Fall
2012
59 17 24 58 20 22 66 14 21 60 16 24
Spring 2012 63 23 13 54 20 26 61 21 18 50 18 32
Fall
2011
56 19 25 58 17 26 36 18 20 61 14 25

iLEAP and LEAP

LEAP and iLEAP percentile ranks[15]
Year Mastery and
above (%)
Basic and
above (%)
2014 District 35 84
Statewide 24 69
2013 District 31 82
Statewide 23 66
2012 District N/A 79
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.[9]

Louisiana Department of Education website, (2014), [16]

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.[9]

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

In the 2013-2014 school year, 73 percent of students taking end-of-course tests across all subjects in the district earned a grade of good or excellent. This was up 2 percent from 71 percent in 2012-2013.[15]

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[18]
Year Performance
score
Letter
grade
2014 105.9 A
2013 104.3 A
  • 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.[9]

Louisiana Department of Education website, (2014), [19]

Issues

Board term limits

On November 6, 2012, St. Charles Parish voters elected by almost 80 percent to instate term limits. Terms won in the 2014 election were the first to be affected by the limits.


Ballot text:

LOCAL OPTION ELECTION

Within St. Charles 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?[9]

Louisiana Secretary of State's website, (2014), [20]



Parishwide School District Local Option
Term Limits Proposition (2012)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 18,150 79.90%
No4,56420.09%

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 years.[21][8]

Contact information

St. Charles Parish Public Schools logo.jpg
St. Charles Parish Public Schools
13855 River Rd.
Luling, LA 70070
Phone: 985-785-6289

See also

External links

BP-Initials-UPDATED.png
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, "St. Charles 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. St. Charles Parish Public Schools, "Administration," accessed December 3, 2014
  7. The Times-Picayune, "Felecia Gomez-Walker will be the first woman to lead St. Charles Parish schools," July 2, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Louisiana Secretary of State, "QUALIFICATIONS OF CANDIDATES," accessed September 2, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. St. Charles Parish Public Schools, "About Our District: School Board Public Participation," accessed December 3, 2014
  11. St. Charles Parish Public Schools, "District Budget," accessed December 11, 2013
  12. St. Charles Parish Public Schools, "2014-2015 Budget," accessed December 11, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 St. Charles Parish Public Schools, "Salary Schedule 2014-15," accessed December 3, 2014
  14. Louisiana Department of Education, "DIBELS Next," accessed November 24, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Louisiana Department of Education, "Test Results," accessed November 24, 2014
  16. Louisiana Department of Education, "Annual Assessments," accessed November 24, 2014
  17. Louisiana Department of Education, "End-of-Course Tests," accessed November 24, 2014
  18. Louisiana Department of Education, "Performance Scores," accessed November 24, 2014
  19. Louisiana Department of Education, "School Letter Grades," accessed November 24, 2014
  20. Louisiana Secretary of State, "Official Election Results," accessed December 4, 2014
  21. Louisiana Secretary of State, "HOW ARE CANDIDATES ELECTED?," accessed September 2, 2014