St. Mary Parish students return to classes for 2nd half of school year

CENTERVILLE, La. — Students returned to school today, one day earlier than the school calendar originally planned, as they made up the first of three missed days from Hurricane Isaac.

Due to the hurricane, St. Mary Parish schools were closed three days, Aug. 28 to 30. The days must be made up under state law in order to provide an appropriate number of instructional minutes to students during the school year.

Also added to the calendar were March 22, originally scheduled as a professional development/teacher-parent conference day, it was not a student contact day; and May 29 (report card day) which was not scheduled as a full day.

Attendance today is 93.51 percent, according to Superintendent Donald Aguillard.

However, four schools reported attendance below 90 percent: LaGrange Elementary at 88.41 percent, Maitland Elementary at 89.94 percent, Patterson High at 87.17 percent and West St. Mary High at 88.53 percent.

Aguillard said the school system will be closely monitoring school and district attendance rates throughout the flu season.

“All schools will be extremely busy over the next four months making certain that students are well prepared for high stakes testing. The state has raised the accountability bar by awarding no accountability points for students who score below proficiency. Additionally, all seniors will be required to take the ACT test as a component of high school accountability. High schools will receive no credit for any ACT score below 18,” Aguillard said of the upcoming work for the second half of the school year.

All 11th graders and any 12th grader who has not previously taken the ACT will test this year. The testing window for ACT is March 19 to April 23. Also, eighth graders will take the Explore test and 10th graders will take the Plan test, both components of the ACT, between March 19 and April 23.

Other testing dates include:

—LEAP testing for grades four and eight will be: Phase I, March 19-21; and Phase II, April 8-11 and April 12-17.

—iLEAP (grades three, five, six and seven): April 8-11 and April 12-17.

—End of Course (algebra I, applied algebra I, English II, geometry, biology, English III and U.S. history): April 24 to May 17.

—Iowa Test of Basic Skills (grade two only): April 8-17.

Report cards for the second nine weeks will be issued Jan. 10 with third nine-weeks progress reports issued Feb. 14.

Upcoming breaks for students are Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 21, Mardi Gras Feb. 11 to 13, Easter March 29 through April 1, spring break April 22 to 26 and Memorial Day May 27.

School will run full days through May 29.

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