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Logo for Bossier Parish School BoardBossier Parish School Board is currently accepting applications through 4 p.m. Monday, August 19, 2019 to fill the District 5 seat after official notice was received by the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office it has been declared vacant.  

Individuals interested in being appointed to fill the vacant School Board seat must reside in District 5 and meet all qualifications for seeking office. In accordance with La. R.S. 17:52, to qualify as a member of a school board a person must: 

 

*Read and write the English language;

*Be at least eighteen (18) years old; 

*Have resided in the state for the preceding two (2) years; and 

*Have resided in the district for at least one (1) year. 

 

Applicants can submit their resumes to the Bossier Parish School Board, P.O. Box 2000, Benton, LA 71006-2000. 

The School Board will call a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at Bossier Instructional Center, 2719 Airline Drive in Bossier City, to interview potential candidates and appoint a replacement.  

Because the unexpired portion exceeds one year, the Bossier Parish School Board will also pass a resolution calling for a special election. Any person the Board appoints to fill the vacant District 5 seat will be eligible to run for the permanent position in spring 2020.

Posted 8/12/19

 

Logo for Bossier Parish School BoardThe Bossier Parish School Board will be seeking public comment at 6 p.m. at its August 15, 2019 meeting at Bossier Instructional Center, located at 2719 Airline Drive in Bossier City, LA on a student attendance zone plan for school year 2020-21 that has been submitted to and accepted by the U.S. Department of Justice to align all feeder schools in Bossier Parish. 

The Bossier Parish School Board is the defendant in a long-standing school desegregation case being handled by the Federal Court in Shreveport. The United States Department of Justice is a plaintiff in that case. School attendance zones throughout the parish are determined by the Federal Court after receiving input from the parties in the case. 

To provide context, the Federal Court ordered all school attendance zones in Bossier Parish be re-examined and the parties submit a joint proposal by March 1, 2019 to revise the existing school attendance zones. In the absence of an agreement on those zones, both the School Board and the Department of Justice would be required to submit its own proposal to the Court for consideration on or before April 1, 2019. By agreement of the parties, the Court delayed those dates to September 16, 2019 and October 16, 2019, respectively. The new student assignment plan approved by the Court will not be implemented until the 2020-21 school year. 

Attorneys and demographers retained by the Bossier Parish School Board began their review of existing school attendance zones in the fall of 2018 and began working on a student assignment plan that would do the following: (1) maximize racial diversity in the schools to the extent practicable; (2) minimize the use of temporary buildings wherever possible; (3) reduce student transportation times and distances where possible; ;(4) eliminate split school zones to create a pure feeder pattern for all students; and (5) anticipate future demographic changes in determining student capacities within the schools. They have completed their work on a plan that accomplishes all of those goals and representatives of the Department of Justice have tentatively accepted the plan as presented. 

However, any plan for Bossier Schools will not be submitted to the Court until it has been approved by the School Board following the opportunity for public input. That opportunity will be presented during the Bossier Parish School Board meeting on August 15, 2019, at which time attorney Bob Hammonds and demographer Mike Hefner will make a presentation about the student attendance zone plan they have drafted. 

Their focus will primarily be on those school zones for which significant changes are being proposed, and they will attempt to answer any questions that might arise during their presentation or during discussion of the proposal following thereafter. Because the court-ordered date of submission for such plan is fast approaching, the School Board may take action on the proposal that night. 

To give citizens an opportunity to review the proposal prior to the meeting, notice was placed on the Bossier Parish School Board website Monday, August 12, 2019 and will remain there for the duration of the week. The proposal consists of three maps (see attached files) showing the proposed elementary, middle and high school zones. 

Upon review of those maps, it is pertinent to point out all students living in a particular elementary school attendance zone will matriculate together to the same middle school and that all students attending that middle school will advance together to the same high school. This “feeder pattern plan” eliminates the need to separate students at the middle or high school levels as has occurred in certain parts of the parish under the existing plan and, for the first time, will unify students from the time they enter kindergarten to the time they graduate. 

Again, if approved by the Bossier Parish School Board, the changes would not be implemented until the 2020-21 school year.

Posted 8/12/19

Invitation to attend the archery celebration 5 30 p.m. July 30 at Benton Middle SchoolBossier Parish archery teams did it again; not once, not twice, but three times. They are bringing home three world titles after competing over the weekend in the 2019 Open Championship NASP Tournament in Nashville, TN. 

For the first time, Stockwell Place Elementary grabbed hold of the first place finish in the Bullseye Championship, earning the Stallions the title of Elementary World Champions. 

Benton Middle School also hit the bullseye, both literally and figuratively. The Tigers shot their way to first place and the middle school world titles in both the Bullseye and the IBO 3-D Championships. 

Close on their heels were other Bossier Parish archery teams. Benton Elementary took second place and Haughton Middle placed fourth in the Bullseye competition. In the IBO 3-D contest, Stockwell Place Elementary pinned second place and Benton Elementary, the fourth place spot; and Haughton Middle landed a third place finish among all middle schools. 

One contender who was singled out individually as the best of the best was Ethan Isaksen, a Benton Middle School student who placed as the fifth overall middle school male in the world.  

“What a huge victory and cause for celebration!” exclaimed Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “Congratulations to these schools, students and their coaches. All the time, effort, focus and passion paid off and we could not be more proud and excited.” 

A victory party for Bossier Parish archery teams will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 30 in the Benton Middle School gym, 6140 Hwy 3, Benton, LA. Everyone is invited to attend the celebration. 

Posted 7/29/19

 

Photo of Lisa Burns holding Principal of the Year plaqueIt was a big weekend in Baton Rouge, where Bossier Parish principal Lisa Burns took center stage at the 13th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Awards, where she was named the 2020 Louisiana Elementary Principal of the Year.   

Burns has served as an educator in Bossier Parish for 22 years and is currently the Principal of W.T. Lewis Elementary, where she began her journey in administration as the school’s first Assistant Principal. Maintaining a standard of excellence, the school has earned an “A” rating each year of her principalship, and in 2018 W.T. Lewis was recognized as a Top Gains School and an Equity Honoree. 

Recognized in her community as a passionate and innovative leader, Burns is committed to making school a place where children not only reach high levels of success, but where they are loved, supported and surrounded by inspired and empowered educators who work together to help every child succeed. Ignited by this vision and her calling as an educator, Mrs. Burns unleashed the power of “WE” at W.T. Lewis and transformed the school’s culture.  She consistently seeks opportunities to reflect and grow as a leader, while placing teacher professional development at the top of her priorities as a principal, understanding that the teacher is the most influential factor in a child’s education and success.

As Louisiana Elementary Principal of the Year, Burns plans to share how she evolved as a leader and inspired positive change at her school after serving as one of the school’s leaders for almost a decade.  She aspires to energize principals, inspiring them to lead with passion and purpose and supporting them in unleashing the power of “WE” that also lies within their schools. 

“I am so humbled and honored to represent Bossier Schools, W.T. Lewis Elementary and the great state of Louisiana as the 2020 State Elementary Principal of the Year!” said Burns. “It’s not about accolades or titles. It’s about kids and the opportunity to inspire work that leads to great things for them. This is my calling and I love my profession, so to be recognized for my work at the state level is truly a blessing and a dream come true!” 

“Lisa Burns is an incredible example of empathy, humility and passionate leadership,” added Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “Bossier has known that, now the entire state knows it!”

Posted 7/22/19

 

Logo for Bossier Parish School BoardThe numbers are in and the results were worth the wait. Bossier Schools set a personal record and continues to be a state leader in the number of students scoring mastery and above on the 2018-19 Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) exam, according to data released by the Louisiana Department of Education. 

The district hit an all-time high of 51-percent of students in grades 3-12 scoring mastery and advanced on the English Language Arts (ELA) portion of the assessment. The percentage of students in grades 3-8 and high school students earning mastery and advanced in math also increased by three-percent, propelling Bossier to lead the northern region in district math scores. When all subjects -- ELA, math and social studies -- are combined, 43-percent of students scored mastery and above, ranking Bossier the 14th highest performing district in Louisiana. That exceeds the state average by seven points. 

Gains were made by subgroups tracked by the state as well, which include the number of African American students scoring mastery+, economically disadvantaged and children with disabilities. Those making the most notable gains were military affiliated students, who showed a three-percent increase in mastery+ across all subjects, and children in foster care, who marked an eight-percent rise in ELA, math and social studies. 

These successes come on the heels of data released just two months ago by the LDOE, showing the Bossier Parish Senior Class of 2017-18 reached an all-time high graduation rate. 

“While the big picture shows our district making academic gains, what matters most to us is what it means for our students,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “We are not an island. It takes every educator and administrator working in partnership with parents and the community to prepare our young people for success. It reflects our vision at Bossier Schools to win the day, every child, every way.”

Posted 7/16/19

 

 

Group photo of grant winnersBossier Optimist Club has, once again, put its money where its mouth is by living up to the organization’s motto ‘Friend of Youth.’ Nine grant projects totaling nearly $25,000 were funded at a luncheon June 5, enabling Bossier Parish teachers to bring classroom enhancements and learning opportunities to life for their students in the 2019-20 school year. Grant funding extended to educators at Bossier Schools by the Bossier Optimist Club totals $484,000 to date.

Last month, 49 Bossier Parish educators submitted grant proposals detailing various initiatives to support classroom learning and increase student engagement. A judging panel reviewed each application and conducted face-to-face teacher interviews before deciding which projects to fund. Monetary awards were handed out by the Optimists at a luncheon June 5 in the teachers’ honor.

Recipients of this year’s Bossier Optimist Club grants are: Brandi Dye, Cope Middle; Kara Stephenson, Elm Grove Middle; Christy Hopkins, Parkway High; Eric Clinton and Teresa Ramadan, Parkway High; Amanda Mineo, Parkway High; Vallette Weaver, Haughton High; Vanessa Powers, Plantation Park Elementary; Callie Schneider, Central Park Elementary; and Jan Rogers, Bellaire Elementary.

“The commitment the Bossier Optimist Club has shown Bossier Schools over the years is unparalleled,” said Mitch Downey, Superintendent of Bossier Schools. “Their unwavering support has enabled our teachers to impact literally tens of thousands of students, making learning what it is supposed to be; fun and exciting and, in turn, helping our young people achieve success.”

The Optimists began awarding grants in 1988 to Bossier Parish teachers. Each week, club members work Bingo games to raise money specifically for this teacher grant program.

Here is a synopsis of each recipient's winning grant proposal: 

 

Brandi Dye - Cope Middle/$3,000

Project - Bowling for Life supports the funding of physical education tools and materials to support a unit that will help enhance students in physical activity, social and emotional, mental-focus and motor skills.

 

Kara Stephenson- Elm Grove Middle/$2,730

The Google Expedition kit to support Google Goggles so students can experience learning through a virtual and/or augmented reality-based education that extends beyond the walls of the classrooms.

 

Christy Hopkins - Parkway High School/$2,995

It’s All in the DNA! This project will support research equipment and lab equipment to enable students to learn about the latest discoveries in biotechnology and become an active CSI investigator in solving real world problems in science and technology.

 

Eric Clinton/Teresa Ramadan - Parkway High School/$3,000

This project will fund specialized seeds, materials and resources, and tools for students to participate with the hands-on approach to assessing resources needed to grow sustainable agriculture and explore the realms of producing economical and healthy produce foliage. Students will be able to control the environment and manipulate variables for assessment of cause and effect performance in relation to nutrient levels, moisture levels, and microbe activity.

 

Amanda Mineo - Parkway High School/$2,970

This project fund lab equipment and specialized kits to teach students important lab and research skills for future professions in medical, engineering, and laboratory fields. Students will apply scientific discovery skills and collect data to assess current science theories.

 

Vallette Weaver - Haughton High School/$2,926

This project would involve the purchase of Chromebooks to support credit recovery and EOC (End of Course) and the support of  remediation through technology to gain credits to be college/career ready.

 

Vanessa Powers - Plantation Park Elementary/$1,580

Say Cheese is a project that will provide a creative outlet for students to learn aperture, lighting, and photo composition, as well as photo editing with editing software and the use of a professional photographer’s camera with lens.

 

Callie Schneider - Central Park Elementary/$2,456

The STEM Detectives MYSTERIES Project Kit will teach STEM skills as well as Motivate Younger Students to Explore, Research, Investigate, Evaluate, and Solve real-world problems in grades PreK-5th.

 

Jan Rogers - Bellaire Elementary/$2,997

The Mystery Science Project Kit provides a Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned curriculum to four grade levels for three years. Lessons will cover a wide range of topics, including light and sound, biodiversity, engineering, and the water cycle to support learning across the curricula.

Posted 6/5/19

 

Spencer Kiper shakes hands with President Trump in the Oval OfficeBossier Schools' own Spencer Kiper, the 2019 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, just returned from a week of events in Washington D.C. where he had the chance to meet President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Kiper and the nation's other State Teachers of the Year were also honored during Washington Week by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at a ceremony in the Eisenhower Building and had the chance to meet Vice President Mike Pence and Congressional members.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) coordinated Washington Week, which encompassed a flurry of activities that gave Kiper and his colleagues the opportunity to lend their voice and perspective as it pertains to K-12 education.

“Teacher voice is incredibly important in both representation and in forming policy,” Kiper said. “I’m proud to have represented my students, my community and the state of Louisiana in the many discussions that week, and look forward to watching how our voices continue to help shape the narrative of equity and success in our states.”

Kiper is a STEM Enrichment Educator at Elm Grove Middle School, Global Trainer for STEM Revolution and former Educator Crew Trainer for the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. He is also a proud graduate of Haughton High School in Bossier Parish.

Posted 5/17/19

 

Clip art of a diploma and mortar board with tasselBefore the Bossier Parish Senior Class of 2018-19 graduates this weekend, the Louisiana Department of Education is focusing on the preceding class that reached an all-time high school graduation rate in Bossier Parish.

State graduation rate data for 2017-18 was released today and Bossier Schools received news 85.7 percent of its previous class graduated, reflecting a gain of 2.4 percentage points from the previous year and setting a record number of students receiving their high school diploma.

Three success stories, in particular, were at Benton High School, where the cohort graduation rate reached 93.3 percent; Bossier High saw its graduation rate skyrocket by more than 14 percentage points; and Plain Dealing increased its number of graduates by nearly four percentage points.

Not only did more students graduate than ever before, but more than half the Senior Class of 2017-18 throughout Bossier Parish earned credentials beyond their high school diploma. This is the result of them taking advantage of opportunities such as Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment, as well as Industry Based Certifications (IBCs), a direct correlation that indicates a student’s preparedness for college or readiness for the workforce. As a result, a rise of more than 2 percentage points was also seen in the district’s strength of diploma.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “Our high school accountability coaches are one of the main reasons we are seeing this level of success. They focus on opportunities for our students and outcomes, while working in partnership with their entire teaching staff that is also working collaboratively. It is all vital to our children’s academic success and directly impacts school scores and graduation rates.” 

Posted 5/16/19

 

Group photo of Benton Middle School Archery TeamBenton Middle School hit the bullseye and claimed bragging rights as National Champions after traveling to Louisville, KY last weekend to participate in the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) 2019 U.S. Eastern National Tournament.

Several teams and individuals from Bossier Schools competed and also brought home national titles, rankings and awards in the various competitions. It was quite the feat and impressive showing for Bossier Schools, especially considering there were more than 15,000 archers competing from around the United States.

 

Here is a look at Bossier Parish team and individual rankings:

 

NASP Bullseye:

 

Benton Elementary -- 8th out of 200 teams

Benton Middle -- 1st out of 255 teams (National Champions)

Elm Grove Elementary -- 191st out of 200 teams

Haughton Middle -- 4th out of 255 teams

Haughton High -- 171st out of 263 teams

Greenacres Middle -- 216th out of 255 teams

Kingston Elementary -- 6th out of 200 teams

Princeton Elementary -- 26th out of 200 teams

Stockwell Place Elementary -- 2nd out of 200 teams

 

Individual awards:

 

*Cassidy Walters, Benton Middle, 3rd place out of 2,559 middle school girls

*Savannah O’Donohue, Stockwell Place Elementary, 4th out of 1,940 elementary school girls

 

NASP 3D:

 

Benton Elementary -- 7th out of 77 teams

Benton Middle -- 2nd out of 123 teams

Elm Grove Elementary -- 74th out of 77 teams

Haughton Middle -- 5th out of 123 teams

Haughton High -- 84th out of 133 teams

Kingston Elementary -- 4th out of 77 teams

Princeton Elementary -- 21st out of 77 teams

Stockwell Place Elementary -- 3rd out of 77 teams

*Brady Duncan from Benton High also participated in NASP Bullseye and NASP 3D

 

Individual awards:

 

*Lawson Moock, Haughton Middle, 5th out of 1,062 middle school boys

 

Centershot Ministries also hosts a national tournament that coincides with the NASP National Tournament.  Some teams and individual archers choose to participate in the Centershot tournament as a warm-up for NASP Nationals.  Below is a summary of Bossier Parish archers’ achievements in Centershot Nationals.

 

Centershot Bullseye:

 

Benton Elementary -- 2nd out of 19 teams

Benton Middle -- 2nd out of 29 teams

Haughton Middle -- 1st out of 29 teams (Centershot National Bullseye Champions)

Haughton High -- 29th out of 38 teams

Kingston Elementary -- 6th out of 19 teams

 

Individual awards:

 

*Anna Young, Benton Elementary, 1st out of 205 elementary school girls

*Cassidy Walters, Benton Middle, 3rd out of 300 middle school girls

 

Centershot 3D:

 

Benton Middle -- 1st out of 21 teams (Centershot National 3D Champions)

Haughton Middle -- 2nd out of 21 teams

Haughton High -- 16th out of 23 teams

 

Individual awards:

 

*Anna Young, Benton Elementary, 1st out of 96 elementary school girls

*Cassidy Walters, Benton Middle, 5th out of 197 middle school girls

*Lawson Moock, Haughton Middle, 4th out of 228 middle school boys

 

One person who was singled out during the awards ceremony was Autry Lowry, who volunteers as a coach with both Benton Elementary and Benton Middle Schools. Lowry was honored with the NASP Superhero Award, which recognizes an unpaid volunteer that makes an outstanding, positive impact on the NASP class or team.

“Coach Lowry exemplifies all of the qualities of a NASP Superhero and more,” said Shelly Malone, the 4-H archery coach at Benton Middle School. “He has been a mainstay in both the Benton Elementary and Benton Middle School programs and in our community as well. We are so blessed to have him involved with our teams!”

Bossier Schools congratulates Benton Middle School and all of the archery teams for a phenomenal showing at Nationals and wishes them luck at the World NASP Championships, which will be held July 25-27 at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN.

Posted 5/15/19