EDUCATION

Iberville Parish shows modest school performance growth

Staff Report

The Iberville Parish public school system showed modest growth in academic performance for the 2021-22 school year, according to results the Louisiana Department of Education released last week.

Iberville’s overall score of 74.9 shows a growth of 1.9 percent for the year, which keeps the school system with a C letter grade.

The parish has not met its pre-COVID numbers, but it’s well on its way that direction, Schools Superintendent Dr. Arthur Joffrion said.

Iberville had a 77 score for 2019-20 but dropped to 73 based on simulated data for 2020-21, during the peak of the pandemic.

Iberville Parish School Superintendent Dr. Arthur Joffrion

“What we want to do now is go about the 77, which would bring us where we were before COVID,” he said.

Six of the seven schools showed improvement.

Three scored a B and four notched a C.

White Castle High, Dorseyville Elementary and Iberville Elementary all surpassed their pre-COVID scores.

Schools that earned a B included White Castle High, Plaquemine High and East Iberville. Crescent, North Iberville, Dorseyville and Iberville Elementary all scored C.

Plaquemine High was the only school in the system whose score dropped last year. The PHS performance score slipped .8 percent, according to the state report.

None of the schools in the system were labeled with “intervention” for discipline, nor did any receive that mark on the “comprehensive” level.

The two schools that are “urgent intervention required” for special education – Iberville Elementary and Dorseyville Elementary – were both on progress to exit that distinction.

In 2019, Iberville had three B schools, three Cs schools and one D.

In 2021, Iberville dropped to one B school, gained five C schools and remained with one D.

The average growth of schools was five points.

Crescent Elementary was labeled a “top gain” for achieving an A in student process.

In addition, Iberville received A’s for all three high schools – Plaquemine, White Castle and East Iberville – in strength of diploma and graduation rate.

In progress, Iberville has two As, four Bs and one C.

“Only our schools receive the performance scores, so we don’t want to forget about the great work our academies are doing,” Joffrion said. “MSA West, MSA East, the former Iberville Virtual Learning and the former Iberville STEM Academy all contributed to the success of the school system.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BESE waived all of its policies related to the production of School Performance Scores and letter grades for the 2020-21 school year. In their place, the Department released simulated School Performance Scores, which are unofficial results that show what performance scores would have been in 2020-2021. While simulated School Performance Scores did use actual data verified by school systems, they were not official results.

The scores show that Iberville is moving past the setbacks the pandemic brought in 2020 and 2021, he said.

“With COVID-19, we definitely hit a road bump,” Joffrion said. “Learning loss is something that’s real and it definitely had an impact on our school system, and it definitely continued into last year because there were still several quarantines and COVID-19 was much more prevalent, so we’re hopeful we will continue growth and remain on the upward trajectory because we’re seeing a much more normal – less COVID-19 and less quarantine – than we saw last year.”

Joffrion believes the school should continue moving in an upward direction now that the pandemic is behind them. Much of that is because students and teachers are back in a classroom setting.

“I, as superintendent, and our system believe that the best form of consumption is face to face,” he said. “Nothing can replaces teachers … they’re our greatest resource.