ARKLATEX (KSLA) - As the 2018-19 school year gets underway in Bossier and Caddo parishes, leaders will look to improve on systems that already are showing progress.
Attending a Welcome Back pep rally at Captain Shreve High School on the first day of class, Caddo schools Superintendent Lamar Goree spoke about his district's academic achievements, with Captain Shreve itself bumping up a letter grade from a B to an A in 2017.
"We developed our transformation zone, which really focused on our most struggling schools. And what we see as we increase resources from an equity perspective in those schools, we have found that all schools have done better."
Some schools like Huntington High and Booker T. Washington High kept their letter grade of D in 2017, although there was some improvement in their overall test scores.
Goree said the school district will not lower its standards, but instead offers incentives for teachers to bring the best minds to the classroom.
"You can give every child a shoe. But when you fund yourself and give yourself resources based on equity, you ensure that every child gets a shoe that actually fits," the superintendent said.
"We're no longer a district that will teach to the middle. We will teach to the top. And we will put interventions in place to support students where they are."
Across Red River in Bossier Parish, the school district is dealing with constant growth, adding some 500 students this year.
The newly added Haughton Elementary also opened its doors this year.
Superintendent Scott Smith said he expects a high grade for the new school right out of the gate.
"Mrs. (Andrea) Spinney was the principal over at Princeton Elementary, where they were very high-achieving.
"And she produced two teachers of the year over there. She's gonna do the same thing over here."
LEAP test scores have begun to trickle in and show an improvement to what is already an A-graded district, Smith said.
But the parish has to keep up with the Louisiana Education Department's ever-improving standards, he added.
"We're gonna make sure we're not playing checkers while the state is playing chess."