BATON ROUGE, La. – School districts in Sabine and DeSoto parishes are No. 9 and No. 10, respectively, when it comes to top student growth in the state, according to a progress report the education department released Tuesday.
Both rounded out the Top Ten Top Growth districts among the 70 districts statewide. This was DeSoto’s second consecutive year to earn the highest recognition in the state.
In addition, Caddo and Bossier school districts received top honors when it came to the number of “outstanding schools,” with Caddo boasting of seven and Bossier, five.
The Louisiana Department of Education’s progress report tracks where students, including those most vulnerable, are making progress toward fully mastering key concepts and skills in English language arts and math year-after-year. The data complements the recent release of proficiency rates on the LEAP 2025 assessments and will factor into the annual school performance scores and letter grades to be published this fall.
“This is outstanding news once again for our district,” said DeSoto schools Superintendent Clay Corley. “We are excited to be recognized as a district that continues to excel in the academic growth of all students. This recognition is due to the commitment of our administrators, teachers and support personnel who continue to reinforce a growth mindset across our district each day.”
School districts earn top distinction in the progress measure by showing improvement on English language arts and math assessments that are on track to mastery of key skills and content by eighth grade (elementary/middle school) or 10th grade (high school), and for outperforming other similar student groups statewide.
DeSoto was the second highest school system in the state when it came to growing English language learners in English language arts and math.
The top 10 outstanding school systems in the state are:
- Ascension Parish
- Lafourche Parish
- Vermilion Parish
- St. James Parish
- Zachary Community School District
- Central Community School District
- Lincoln Parish
- Terrebonne Parish
- Sabine Parish
- DeSoto Parish
When it comes to individual school achievement, Caddo led the way with seven campuses commended for top growth in key subject areas. Among those noted for having the highest gains in Northwest Louisiana, Caddo Parish Magnet High School and North Highlands Elementary School set the bar with 62 percent of students in each school in making progress toward fully mastering critical concepts in English language arts and math.
“Caddo is proud to see an accountability system in which Louisiana students are being recognized for the progress they are making toward mastery of skills,” Caddo schools Superintendent Lamar Goree said. “More so, we are excited to see our district growing in a variety of key indicators across our diverse schools. In rural, urban and suburban school environments, our students are improving in their academic understanding and we look forward to continued upward momentum as we work to meet the needs of all students.”
In Bossier Parish, 70 percent of the schools increased the percentage of students earning mastery or advanced in grades 3-8 math, Algebra I and geometry, the largest gains being made at Benton, Curtis and Legacy Elementary schools.
Stockwell Place Elementary, Benton Middle and Benton High are the district pacesetters in the percent of students earning mastery or above on the math portion of the LEAP. Significant strides were also made in the percent of students earning mastery or advanced on the English language arts portion of the assessment, with the largest growth gains at Benton, Elm Grove and Sun City Elementary Schools, Greenacres and Haughton Middle Schools and Haughton and Parkway High Schools. The schools with the highest percentage of students earning mastery or above on the ELA and science sections are Kingston Elementary, Benton Middle and Benton High.
Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey said, “Taking the leap to invest in and implement Tier 1 curriculum that aligns with state standards has not been easy by any stretch for our teachers or students, but seeing these significant gains in student growth and achievement proves their efforts have been more than worthwhile.”
DeSoto's only school to make the "outstanding school" list is North DeSoto Middle School.
“We are so very proud of our students,” said Principal Keith Simmons. “It is such a blessing to work in a community and district where parents, teachers, and staff believe so deeply in the potential of our young people. Our district has supported student learning by providing a systematic approach through TAP, progress monitoring, and top-rated curriculum. Going forward, we will continue to persevere to ensure our students' success.”
The Outstanding Schools in Northwest Louisiana are the following:
- Homer Elementary, Claiborne Parish
- Kingston Elementary, Bossier Parish
- Caddo Parish Magnet High, Caddo Parish
- North Highlands Elementary, Caddo Parish
- Stockwell Place Elementary, Bossier Parish
- Ringgold Elementary, Bienville Parish
- Apollo Elementary, Bossier Parish
- Southern Hills Elementary, Caddo Parish
- Westwood Elementary, Caddo Parish
- Central Park Elementary, Bossier Parish
- Parkway High, Bossier Parish
- Claiborne Fundamental Elementary, Caddo Parish
- Caddo Virtual Academy, Caddo Parish
- Queensborough Elementary, Caddo Parish
- North DeSoto Middle School 6-8, DeSoto Parish.