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Supporting Graduation Rates and Assessment Opportunities in DeRidder, Louisiana

Supporting Graduation Rates and Assessment Opportunities in DeRidder, Louisiana

Beauregard Parish School Board - DeRidder, Louisiana
Marlin Ramsey, Asst. Superintendent
Dana Daughety, Instructional Computer Specialist
5,850 Students grades K-12
Courseware
Study Island
EdOptions Academy
Edmentum Assessments
62% Economically Disadvantaged
The Challenge: 

Beauregard Parish Schools is a rural school district located in Central Louisiana, and throughout its more-than-100-year history, it has been committed to providing a high standard of education. Beauregard Parish faces the same challenges that many other districts in Louisiana face: helping all students graduate, providing options for nontraditional students, addressing scheduling conflicts and hard-to-staff subjects, and improving performance on the ACT®, WorkKeys®, and LEAP 2025 assessments. To address this wide range of challenges in a manageable way, Beauregard Parish needed a suite of programs that could be implemented together to provide a comprehensive solution.

Beauregard Parish utilizes a suite of Edmentum programs to support improved graduation rates, ACT and WorkKeys performance, and formative assessment and practice.
How They Did it: 

Supporting Non-traditional Students and Addressing Scheduling Conflicts with a Virtual School
Beauregard Parish was losing nontraditional students—students who weren't able to thrive in a standard school setting—to homeschooling or virtual schools. And, many were simply dropping out. Rather than counting these students out, Beauregard Parish started its own virtual school, Beauregard Virtual Program (BVP), which is powered by Edmentum Courseware, to offer online courses that students can enroll in and access from home or anywhere. Students in the program also have access to a teacher to help them set course-completion goals, support them in mastering the content, and make sure that parents understand the expectations and how the program works.

"We really feel like the virtual school has allowed us to get those nontraditional students that were having some type of difficulty at school, no matter what it might be, to go ahead and continue with school but not necessarily be on that school campus,” said Marlin Ramsey, assistant superintendent. “We have had several [students] who have now gone on to graduate that we really feel like probably would not have, had we not had the program.”

Beauregard Virtual Program is not just for nontraditional students; it also helps Beauregard Parish accommodate students with scheduling conflicts. When students participate in athletics, band, or other extracurricular activities that take time out of their school day, it can be difficult to align their schedules with the times of the classes that they need. For most courses, Beauregard Parish relies upon the expertise of its own teachers to support students as they complete their online coursework, but when there is a need for a course for which the district doesn’t have a teacher, it uses Edmentum's Louisiana-certified online teachers, along with Courseware, to meet that need.

ACT and WorkKeys Preparation
As all secondary Louisiana educators know, improving students' ACT and WorkKeys test performance means increasing their students' likelihood of getting into and receiving scholarships for college and their chances of getting a job after graduation. Additionally, 25% of Louisiana high schools' accountability rating is determined by ACT and WorkKeys test performance. All Louisiana students are required to take the ACT test, and Beauregard Parish encourages students on Jump Start career tracks and students who don't score as high as they would like on the ACT test to take the WorkKeys assessment. To prepare students for these important tests, Beauregard Parish uses Edmentum Test Packs. Students take an assessment aligned to the skills tested on the ACT or the WorkKeys tests, then based on those results, the program automatically assigns them an individualized learning path. As students complete lessons in their learning paths, they are addressing knowledge gaps and building their skills so that they are able to perform their very best on the assessment.

State Standards Mastery
The Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP), like all state assessments, accounts for a large part of the state and federal accountability ratings for districts and schools. Teachers needed a tool to help students prepare for the assessment without having to make test preparation the focus of their classrooms. To accomplish this, the district uses Study Island along with the state-provided assessment tool, LEAP 360. In addition to ELA and math, Study Island offers science and social studies content, which isn't provided through LEAP 360. Also, Study Island's large item bank and the fact that it is organized by topic helps teachers to zero in on specific concepts.

"...Even if they're using LEAP 360, if they see that there's a problem with their kids comprehending something like character development, voice, or tone, those topics are easy to find in Study Island, because it's laid out so they can go to that specific topic and just have stories that deal with those particular types of questions," explained Dana Daughety, instructional computer specialist.

We've been over 90 [percent] for the last 10 years . . . and we have typically ranked always in the top 10, but this year we are fourth in the state in graduation rate. And, we attribute a lot of that to what we're able to do with [Edmentum].
Marlin Ramsey
Asst. Superintendent
Success: 

 Through its multifaceted approach to improving student outcomes and a partnership with Edmentum that has grown and evolved over more than a decade, Beauregard Parish has consistently outperformed the state average in its overall accountability score. And, with a 2017 four-year graduation rate of 94.7%, Beauregard Parish is among the top districts in the state.

"We've been over 90 [percent] for the last 10 years . . . and we have typically ranked always in the top 10, but this year we are fourth in the state in graduation rate," said Ramsey. . “And, we attribute a lot of that to what we're able to do with [Edmentum]. We don't lose students like we were at one time, and that's what we were looking for when this all started.”

Beauregard Parish is also a standout district in Louisiana when it comes to its ACT and WorkKeys test scores. The overall ACT composite score for Beauregard Parish is among the top 15 in the state, and 73% of its students who took the WorkKeys assessment scored at least at the Silver level.

"WorkKeys has been very, very successful for us, . . . and when people ask, 'How are you able to be so successful?,' we tell them that we have used [Edmentum] Test Packs," related Ramsey.

WorkKeys has been very, very successful for us, . . . and when people ask, 'How are you able to be successful?,' we tell them that we have used [Edmentum] Test Packs.
Marlin Ramsey
Asst. Superintendent
The Future: 

Beauregard Parish is continuing its use of Courseware, Edmentum Assessments, and Study Island. And, after last year’s successful pilot of Edmentum's individualized learning program, Exact Path, Beauregard Parish will roll it out to all of its special education students across the district.

"We're using [Exact Path] for IEPs,” Daughety relayed. “In fact, there's been nothing but positive feedback. . . . We used to use another diagnostic program, . . . but the [teachers] liked this diagnostic better because it gave them that certain pathway for each kid, so they felt like they were able to show more growth and where the growth happened with this data."

Ramsey added, "The teacher's liable to have six different students at six different levels in her room, so that pathway being there means that student A doesn't have to be on the same pathway as student B. . . . We're all trying to get to the same area, but we aren't all starting in one place."

For more infomation:

Contact 800.447.5286 or visit www.edmentum.com to learn more about Edmentum's online learning solutions.

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