Saturday, November 28, 2015

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Magical and Mesmerizing Experience Awaits at Catahoula Parish School Board Office

Do you have the Christmas spirit yet? Have you had it but maybe just need a little recharging of the old Christmas spirit? Maybe you know the Grinch personally and need to host an intervention?  No matter the reason, the Christmas spirit is alive and well and on full display again this year at the Catahoula Parish School Board (CPSB) office which is fully adorned for the holiday season; with just a touch of magic. Dr. Gwile Paul Freeman, Superintendent, is excited about the unique Christmas light display that she is hosting for the community again this season.  The lights are sequenced to Christmas songs that can be heard by tuning your FM radio to 106.7 while viewing the light show.  The music and lights are synchronized and create a mesmerizing experience. The system uses 64 separate light sequences controlled by a computer that is located inside the building.  The computer also broadcasts the music to the FM station 106.7 using a low-power FM transmitter.  Therefore, it does not upset the neighbors.

“We would like to thank the office staff of Catahoula Parish School Board who helped to assemble the display,” Dr. Freeman said of the time-consuming work. “This is our Christmas gift to the community, and we hope that everyone will have a chance to experience it.”  The show begins at 5:15 P.M. and runs until 11:00 P.M. daily at the School Board office located at 200 Bushley Street in Harrisonburg with the premier showing on Thanksgiving evening and commencing on New Year’s Day.  Dr. Freeman invites everyone to visit the CPSB Office during these hours to view this festive display of lights and music.  “Hopefully, this exhibition will encourage a mood of peace and thanksgiving as we enter the holiday season,” Dr. Freeman said.



11/13/15 To Catahoula Parish Parents--In the spring of 2015, children in grades 3-8 in Louisiana participated in a new state test in English language arts and math known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or PARCC test. This test measured the more rigorous expectations that Louisiana has established for what students should learn and be able to do in order to be successful in the next grade level, and ultimately, in college and the workplace. The new test replaced traditional multiple-choice statewide tests and instead included questions that required students to explain their reasoning. Results from this test, along with your child's performance in the classroom, will give you and your child's teacher a more accurate picture of their readiness for the next grade level.  On Monday, November 16, 2015, your child's score report will be sent home with your child, along with an explanation letter from me and a parent resource guide.  A thorough discussion of your child's scores will be conducted at our Parent Teacher Conference Day on the evening of January 14, 2016.  If you have questions, please contact your child's school.  Thank you for your support of your child and our educational system!--Dr. Freeman


11/3/2015 Catahoula Parish School District Recognized in National Research Study

In the summer of 2015, Dr. Gwile Paul Freeman, Catahoula Parish School District Superintendent, was contacted by Georgia Hayward, a researcher with the Rural Opportunities Consortia of Idaho (ROCI) concerning a national research study of high-performing, rural school districts in the United States. The lead researcher, Dr. Marguerite Roza, is known around the country for her work in education fiscal policy. They are using data from the Center for American Progress. This organization ranked the productivity of every district around the country. Productivity was determined by measuring how much money was going into the district and what kind of student outcomes were achieved (state test scores). The productivity rankings took into account the demographics of the student population. Therefore, districts that were able to "beat the odds" were ranked higher. The lead researcher used the Center for American Progress's raw data to find that remote, rural districts are the least likely to be productive in general, but also the most likely to be high-productivity outliers. Catahoula Parish School District is one of the 107 highly productive, remote rural districts that were identified. Catahoula Parish School District is the only district recognized in the state of Louisiana. 
The data and interview information that Dr. Freeman provided to the researchers was included in a report entitled, “Highly Productive Rural Districts: What Is The Secret Sauce?” The report, published in September 2015, is the first of three such publications on this topic. We are proud that Catahoula Parish School District was recognized in this note-worthy research study. The faculty, staff, parents, and students are to be commended for this accomplishment!



Due to the fact that assessment instruments have changed, the Louisiana Department of Education is not calculating “apples-to-apples” comparisons in student performance levels from one year to the next.  An analysis of progress or growth when instruments change requires a correlation be established between the two instruments, as with transitional growth data.  We should be very proud of the fact that, as a district, Catahoula Parish School District tied for fourth in the state with the greatest gains in “Mastery and above” on our assessments,  for an increase of 14 percentile ranking points.  Congratulations to the faculty, staff, and students for this noteworthy accomplishment!  We are proud of you. --Dr. Freeman