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Bossier Superintendent Leaves District on Positive Ground with State Scores

When Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey retires in December after a 40-year career in education,  he will stand proud of the 2022-23 district report card released November 13 by the Louisiana Department of Education, which is a comprehensive snapshot based on student achievement data. 

Bossier Schools maintained its ‘B’ District Performance Score (DPS) and ranked among the top 20 performing school systems in the state; three schools went up a letter grade; nine earned an ‘A;’ 20 campuses were designated as Top Gains Honorees based on student progress; and seven were named Opportunity Honorees. Bossier also has no failing schools.  

Several components are included in District Performance Scores, which are a summary of how well a school system is preparing its students for the next level of study. For elementary school, this score is based on students’ mastery of key content for their grade level, growth from the previous year and their successful transition from eighth grade into ninth grade. For high school, the score also measures graduation rates and how well schools are preparing students for college and a career. 

“Words cannot adequately express how proud I am of our students for knocking it out of the park and the awe that I have for our teachers who stop at nothing to ensure their students are positioned for success,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “As I have said before, and always will, our educators are the real heroes. No other profession affects the children of Bossier Parish and all of society the way teaching does.” 

One shining star is Benton Elementary, which jumped to an ‘A’ letter grade after a 4-point-5 increase in its School Performance Score (SPS). Principal Kim Hawkins held a celebratory pep rally to announce Benton Elementary is now an 'A' school, outfitting every student and teacher with sunglasses to go along with the theme "Our future is so bright, we gotta wear shades." 

Eight other schools earning an ‘A’ are Airline High; Benton High; Benton Middle; Haughton High; Kingston Elementary; Legacy Elementary; Parkway High; and Stockwell Place Elementary.

Another standout is Plain Dealing High, which posted a 7-point-2 jump and moved to a ‘B’ letter grade.  T.O. Rusheon Middle School also gained ground, moving up the grading scale. Schools showing the most growth in their SPS include: Haughton Elementary; Sun City Elementary; Plain Dealing High; and Benton Elementary. 

Top Gains schools are those that demonstrate exceptional student progress, earning an ‘A’ in student progress and ensuring that students meet or exceed their learning goals each year. Those 20 schools earning Top Gains distinction are: Airline High; Apollo Elementary; Bellaire Elementary; Benton Elementary; Benton High; Benton Intermediate; Benton Middle; Cope Middle; Curtis Elementary; Haughton Elementary; Haughton High; 

Kingston Elementary; Legacy Elementary; W.T. Lewis Elementary; Meadowview Elementary; Parkway High; Plain Dealing High; Plantation Park Elementary; Sun City Elementary; and Stockwell Place Elementary. 

Seven schools were named Opportunity Honorees, which are those that demonstrate excellence and are in the top 10-percent for performance among students with disabilities, English learners or economically disadvantaged students. Among the Opportunity Honorees are: Airline High; Benton High; Haughton High; Kingston Elementary; Legacy Elementary; Platt Elementary; and Stockwell Place Elementary.

Bossier Schools exceeded its pre-pandemic performance by two-points and excelled overall in high school progress and assessment indices, indicating strength of student performance and growth on statewide testing. One area of significant improvement included the ACT Index, which increased just over 3-points. 

Other district bright spots include: 

  • Bossier Schools outperformed state averages across the board 

  • Bossier was one of only 22 systems in Louisiana to earn an ‘A’ rating in progress index

  • The district earned an ‘A’ rating in its Military Affiliated subgroup 

  • Bossier Schools' PreK program received a High Proficient performance score for early childhood ratings and Excellent for emotional support

“Our district vision for the last four years has been to WIN the day; every student, every way,” Downey concluded. “WIN is the acronym for ‘Whatever Is Needed,’ and I have no doubt that will continue to be the focus as the district puts in the hard work needed to keep moving the children of Bossier Parish forward.”