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Tangipahoa Parish School System, Louisiana

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Tangipahoa Parish School System
Amite, Louisiana
Tangipahoa Parish School System.png
District Profile
Superintendent:Mark Kolwe
Graduation rate:69.2%[1]
Number of schools:34
Budget: $196.9 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Andy Anderson (R)
Board members:9
Term length:4 years
Tangipahoa Parish School System is a school district in Louisiana. In the 2011-2012 school year, Tangipahoa Parish was the 12th-largest school district in Louisiana and served 19,511 students.[2]

About the district

Tangipahoa Parish School System is located in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana.
Tangipahoa Parish School System lies in eastern Louisiana in Tangipahoa Parish. The seat of parish government is Amite City. Tangipahoa Parish was home to approximately 125,412 residents according to 2013 estimates by the United States Census Bureau.[3]


Tangipahoa Parish underperformed compared to the rest of Louisiana in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 19.3 percent of Tangipahoa 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 $40,491 compared to $44,673 statewide. The poverty rate in the parish was 22.1 percent compared to 18.7 percent for the entire state.[3]

Racial Demographics, 2013[3]
Race Tangipahoa Parish (%) Louisiana (%)
White 67.3 63.5
Black or African American 30.3 32.4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.4 0.8
Asian 0.7 1.7
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 1.3 1.5
Hispanic or Latino 3.8 4.7

Presidential Voting Pattern,
Tangipahoa Parish[4]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 17,722 31,590
2008 16,438 31,434
2004 15,345 26,181
2000 15,843 20,421

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] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.


The superintendent of Tangipahoa Parish School System is Mark Kolwe. In 2013, his performance was reviewed and his contract was extended. The evaluation rated performance in several areas on a scale of one to five, with one being the highest and five being the lowest. Kolwe scored 1.38 overall and received the following scores in five areas: 1.3 on relationship with the board, 1.5 on relationship with community, 1.17 on relationship with staff and personnel, 1.46 on educational leadership, 1.12 on business and 1.63 on personal qualities.[6]

The Tangipahoa Parish chapter of the NAACP urged the school board not to renew Kolwe's contract citing a lack of improvement in the district and Kowle's lack of background in education. The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education granted the school district a waiver for Kolwe's initial appointment as his background is in finance.[6]

School board

Tangipahoa 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.

Tangipahoa Parish School Board
District Member Partisan
A Walter Daniels Democratic Democratic Party January 1, 2015 December 31, 2018
B Gail Pittman-McDaniel Republican Republican Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
C Andy Anderson Republican Republican Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
D Therese P. Domiano Independent Independent January 1, 2015 December 31, 2018
E Brett K. Duncan Republican Republican Party January 1, 2011 December 31, 2018
F Mike Whitlow Republican Republican Party January 1, 2015 December 31, 2018
G Jim H. “Jay” Kelly Appointed January 20, 2015 October 2015
H Sandra Bailey-Simmons Republican Republican Party January 1, 2003 December 31, 2018
I Rose Quave Dominguez Republican Republican Party January 1, 2007 December 31, 2018

School board elections

See also: Tangipahoa Parish School System special elections (2015)

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. One seat, District G, is up for special election on October 24, 2015. 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. 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.[7]

Public participation in board meetings

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


It shall be the policy of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board to conduct all meetings open and with welcomed participation by the public. The Board may, upon formal motion, recess into or call executive sessions upon two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present, for discussing private matters as provided by law. At no time shall actions be taken or resolutions made during executive session.

At the end of regular Board meetings, thirty (30) minutes shall be set aside for any citizens in the audience who wish to speak before the Board. Each speaker shall be limited to five (5) minutes. If a group is represented, only one (1) spokesman shall be allowed to speak. The President of the Board shall exercise his/her discretion as to who will be allowed to speak. Employees of the Tangipahoa Parish School Board shall be allowed to address the Board during the public input period and allowed to address an agenda item as citizens of the community, provided normal procedures for the request are followed.

A public comment period shall be held before any vote is taken on an agenda item. The comment period shall precede each agenda item. However, a person is not entitled to take up business before the Board unless the item in which he/she is interested has been placed on the agenda of that meeting. In addition, the President of the Board may recognize persons at the Board meetings for the purpose of introducing such persons.

Any citizen wishing to speak before the Board at any of its meetings concerning a current agenda item shall be allowed to do so by filling out a request form which will be provided and presenting same to the chair at the beginning of the meeting. Each speaker shall be limited to three (3) minutes with a maximum time of 30 minutes per agenda line item. All rules governing public participation at Board meetings shall remain in effect.

In the event that the Board should add an item to its agenda after the Board meeting begins, the Board President shall orally request of the audience whether anyone in attendance would like to speak on the added agenda item. Each person indicating a desire to do so shall be given an opportunity to address the Board on each agenda item added. The Board shall delay deliberations on that agenda item until such time as all interested members of the public have had an opportunity to speak.

Speakers may offer objective criticism of School Board operations and programs, but the Board will not hear complaints about individual school personnel or other persons at a public session. Other channels provide for Board consideration of complaints involving individuals, and in particular these concerns should be addressed through the grievance procedure for handling complaints. The Board’s grievance procedure provides a mechanism for which these matters can come before the Board, if the grievance procedure did not resolve the concerns of the citizen.

The President shall have the authority to terminate a person's comments when, in his/her discretion, such action is warranted. The President shall have the authority to remove any person disrupting or interfering in any manner with the conduction of a meeting of the Board.[8]

—Tangipahoa Parish School System, (2008)[9]


The table below displays the budget for Tangipahoa 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
2013-2014 $155,768,242 79.7% $0 0% $23,278,936 11.9% $1,607,186 0.8% $14,861,062 7.6% $195,515,426
2014-2015 $157,984,064 80.2% $0 0% $15,817,845 8% $1,136,236 0.6% $22,008,576 11.2% $196,946,721
Averages: $156,876,153 80% $0 0% $19,548,390.5 10% $1,371,711 1% $18,434,819 9% $196,231,073.5

Teacher salaries

Tangipahoa Parish Public Schools employs 2,637 people. Teacher salaries are categorized based on higher education achievement, years of service and demand for certain positions. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate courses with raises at credit intervals. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. Merit pay can also be given to teachers based on their effectiveness evaluation. Those ranked "highly effective" receive $150, "effective proficient" receive $100 and "effective emerging" receive $50.[11]

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

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
Bachelor's degree 41,000 52,498
Master's degree 42,000 54,646
Master's + 30 42,200 55,873
Educational specialist 43,000 56,888
Ph.D or Ed.D 44,100 57,597

Schools in Tangipahoa Parish School System


Tangipahoa Parish School System served 19,511 students in the 2011-2012 school year.[2] The district does not publicly archive enrollment data on its website.

District schools

Tangipahoa Parish School System operates 34 school which are listed below in alphabetical order:

Tangipahoa Parish School System
School Name
Amite Elementary Magnet School (PreK-4) Loranger Elementary School (PreK-4)
Amite High School (9-12) Loranger High School (9-12)
Champ Cooper School (PreK-8) Loranger Middle School (5-8)
Chesbrough Elementary School (PreK-5) Martha Vinyard Elementary School (5-6)
D.C. Reeves Elementary School (3-4) Midway Elementary School (PreK-2)
Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center Natalbany Elementary School (3-5)
Hammond Eastside Elementary Magnet School (PreK-8) Nesom Middle School (6-8)
Hammond High Magnet School (9-12) O.W. Dillon Elementary School (PreK-6)
Hammond Junior High Magnet School (7-8) Perrin Early Learning Center (PreK-K)
Hammond Westside Elementary Montessori School (PreK-6) Ponchatoula High School (9-12)
Independence Elementary School (PreK-4) Ponchatoula Junior High School (7-8)
Independence High School (9-12) Roseland Elementary Montessori School (PreK-6)
Independence Middle Magnet School (5-8) Southeastern Louisiana University Lab School (K-8)
Jewel M. Sumner High School (9-12) Spring Creek Elementary School (PreK-5)
Jewel M. Sumner Middle School (6-8) Tangipahoa Alternate Solutions Program (TASP) (K-12)
Kentwood High Magnet School (7-12) Tucker Elementary School (1-2)
West Side Middle School (5-8)
Woodland Park Elementary Magnet School (PreK-K)

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.


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 80 11 10 55 13 31 54 16 30 44 16 40
Fall 2012 49 18 33 32 13 25 59 12 29 53 11 36
Spring 2012 73 14 13 49 14 37 48 21 31 47 20 33
Fall 2011 47 20 34 50 16 33 48 13 38 52 13 35


LEAP and iLEAP percentile ranks[13]
Year Mastery and
above (%)
Basic and
above (%)
2014 District 18 62
Statewide 24 69
2013 District 17 60
Statewide 23 66
2012 District N/A 60
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, 53 percent of students taking end-of-course tests across all subjects in the district earned a good or excellent score. This was up 2 percent from 51 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
2014 79.0 C
2013 77.6 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]


Board term limits

Terms won in the 2014 election were the first to be affected by the imposition of term limits on school board members in the parish. On November 6, 2012, Tangipahoa Parish voters elected by over 80 percent to instate term limits.

Ballot text:


Within Tangipahoa 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)
Approveda Yes 35,312 80.55%

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.[19][7]

Contact information

Tangipahoa Parish School System.png
Tangipahoa Parish School System
59656 Puleston Rd.
Amite, LA 70422
Phone: 985-748-7153

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  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, "Tangipahoa 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. 6.0 6.1 The Advocate, "Tangipahoa board extends superintendent’s contract," June 13, 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. Tangipahoa Parish School System, "Policy Manual Display And Reference Guide: Public Participation," October 2008
  10. Tangipahoa Parish School System, "Business Department," accessed December 11, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Tangipahoa Parish School System, "Teacher Salary Schedule 2014-2015 School Year," 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