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Dr. Aguillard Outlines Goals for Achieving “A” Status for the District

On the afternoon of June 1, Dr. Donald Aguillard met with Lafayette Parish School System principals to outline his plan for achieving “A” status for the district in three years. During the meeting, Dr. Aguillard charged principals with raising their schools’ performance scores three points per year for three years. To this end, he indicated that the district and schools would focus primarily on literacy and data-driven decision making, using research-based strategies, many of which he employed in raising performance in St. Mary Parish Schools during his tenure there. These strategies for principals, which he referred to as a “focused lens to improve student learning,” include providing time for teachers to collaborate in order to improve student outcomes, beginning to have dialogue with teachers about evidence of student learning rather than evidence of teachers teaching, devoting at least 40% of their time to visiting classrooms and directly supporting teachers through dialogue and feedback, and conducting periodic curriculum alignment reviews.  Other strategies include a comprehensive review of curriculum materials at the district level, an initiative to help juniors and seniors who are not on track to graduate catch up through a summer credit recovery initiative, and ensuring that the district’s assessment tools are aligned and truly predictive of student performance on high stakes tests.

Dr. Aguillard asserted that the Lafayette Parish School System and the community have all the resources and potential necessary to reach “A” status. “All we have to do,” he said, “is to focus on kids and analyze and address their needs.” Dr. Aguillard also praised school board members for clearly demonstrating that the needs of the students in the parish are their top priority.