It was a close call but the Natchitoches Parish School Board approved Superintendent Dale Skinner’s 2-year contract extension at its meeting Thursday night, Feb. 8.
Board member Tommy Melder thanked Skinner for all the hard work he’s done for the school district over the years.
The good and the bad have been brought before the board. Many good things have happened in Natchitoches Parish in the past three years, according to the administration at the central office.
During the 2014-15 school year:
Out of 75 districts only eight grew more than Natchitoches, which grew 4.2 points
Out of 69 school districts only eight grew in graduation rate more than Natchitoches, which grew 8 points
6th in the state for increasing opportunities for students with disabilities, growing 17.8 points
7th in the state for increasing opportunities for African American students, growing 12.1 points
8th in the state for increasing opportunities for economically disadvantaged students
During the 2015-16 school year:
Parish among top 10 districts in the state for ACT gains
Graduation rate improved 14 points in last two years
Improved from a ‘C’ to a ‘B’ district when 2015-16 state scores were released
72% of the 2016 graduates earned either NSU dual enrollment credit or an industry-based credential, an increase from 67% in 2015
ACT growth during the 13-14 and 15-16 school years from 17.4 to 18.2. Only 41% of students were scoring 18 or above on the ACT in 13-14, but this grew to 50% over the next two years
During the 2016-17 school year:
NPSB grew 0.6 points in its first year of computer testing and maintained the letter grade ‘B.’ Over half of the districts who computer tested last year dropped, most of them significantly, in their District Performance Score. Natchitoches Parish was unable to computer test last year due to flooding. NPSB current DPS is 88.8, two points higher than the state average of 86.8
Since 2015, NPSB has grown in all nine indicators measured by the state: Annual DPS, Assessment Index Grades 308, Dropout Credit Accumulation Index, Assessment Index for End-of-Course Exams, Assessment Index for ACT, Strength of Diploma, Cohort Graduation Rate Index, Cohort Graduation Rate, and Progress Points. NPSB is currently abovee the state average in six out of nine indicators.(SEE MORE INFO IN DOCUMENTS BELOW)
While the school district has improved under Skinner’s leadership, there are some who were against the idea of extending his contract.
Steven Murray, a rep for the northern region of the Louisiana Association of Educators, read a letter that was written by a former NPSB employee who likened her working relationship with Skinner to the bullying students sometimes face amongst their peers. (SEE LETTER BELOW)
At Tuesday’s committee meeting Earnestine Winslow, President of the Natchitoches Association of Educators spoke to the board regarding the contract extension. (SEE DOCUMENT BELOW)
Skinner said he would be more than happy to discuss any of these issues with the people who have concerns. And as always, he considers what’s best for the children of Natchitoches Parish above all else.