WELCOME BACK TO BOSSIER SCHOOLS!
A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
What a fast paced summer it has been! It is my hope these past couple of months have been fun and relaxing for Bossier Parish students and their families. We look forward to welcoming back everyone for another great year of learning and meeting all the new faces joining our Bossier Schools family.
Each year brings changes and new challenges to conquer. That certainly rings true this school year. New state accountability standards will have us exploring uncharted territories -- Value Added Assessment, COMPASS, Common Core State Standards and a host of other school improvement initiatives.
Bossier Parish educators have been working steadily throughout the summer attending workshops, learning about the new reform initiatives, how to implement them and adapting lesson plans. Because our teachers and faculty possess a desire and drive to constantly strive for excellence, we are confident their hard work and dedication will pay off for your child in the classroom by creating and implementing enhanced educational opportunities for our students.
Already, Bossier Schools are demonstrating success by increasing dual enrollment contacts for the past year from 878 to 1,200 and Advanced Placement course contacts from 341 to 438. Academic endorsements have increased as well, from 186 to 236 and technical endorsements, from 100 to 178. Numbers aside, what does that mean for students? Increased opportunities for your child to grow and reach his or her fullest potential; to progress academically and to achieve workforce skills.
On the subject of academics, LEAP scores in 2011-12 showed an increase, surpassing the state average at both the fourth and eighth grade levels, placing Bossier Parish among the top 16 highest ranking school districts. Our graduation rate continues to exceed the state average. There has also been a consistent expansion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and Cyber courses and competitions, in which our schools have excelled.
One example is Destination Imagination, a program that fosters critical thinking skills among children. Over the summer 70 students from six of Bossier Parish’s elementary, middle and high schools traveled to the DI Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee. There they competed against nearly 1,300 students from 43 states and 14 countries.
While we celebrate Bossier Schools’ many accomplishments, we do not rest on our laurels. It is our commitment to not only attain but surpass these benchmarks in 2012-13. We encourage you to visit our home page on a regular basis and also ‘like’ our Bossier Schools Facebook page to stay informed year-round about our students’ and employees’ many accomplishments and what is happening at schools.
This will be a groundbreaking school year, literally. Thanks to the continued support of our public, Bossier Parish School Board will embark on a 10-year, $210 million construction program to build new schools and expand existing ones that are bursting at the seams. Plans also call for a new Bossier Technical School for Advanced Learning, which will serve all high school students wanting to jumpstart their college education, explore career options or earn national certifications to be more marketable in the workforce.
Yes, it is going to be a busy year for Bossier Schools but we are excited to get started. Of course I cannot stress enough the importance of parental and community involvement, and encourage each of you to commit your time and energies to help make our school system the best it can be.
Your support makes the difference! Grow with us. Explore with us. Invest in us.
~D.C. Machen, Jr.