LAFAYETTE — The deadline for Carencro High and Lafayette Charter High students to request a transfer because of each high school’s low performance last year is Tuesday, the district’s accountability officer said.
Students who attend either school have the option to transfer to a higher-performing high school based on the schools’ preliminary performance scores released last week by the Louisiana Department of Education.
Based on the preliminary scores, Carencro High entered its second year of school improvement.
Carencro students may transfer to either Acadiana or Comeaux.
As of Tuesday, only two transfer requests from Carencro High students had been received, said Tom Spencer, the district’s accountability officer.
The notification letters of the transfer option for Charter High students is more of a legal formality to comply with No Child Left Behind regulations.
Students who attend Charter High make the choice to leave their traditional high school and enroll in the alternative program.
The school enables students to complete their high school diploma at their own pace via teacher-facilitated computer instruction.
“The reality is most students — not all students — wind up at Charter because they’re struggling academically,” Spencer said. “Many of them are considering dropping out and Charter is: ‘Let me give it one more shot.’ ”
Spencer said Charter students may re-enroll in their base high schools.
The label places Charter High in the third year of academically unacceptable status with a performance score of 52.5.
Schools with four consecutive years of the label are eligible for state takeover.
For the past two years, the state calculated scores for alternative schools, but did not release them to the public.
The school system disputes the label for Charter High and plans to file an appeal of the decision this week.
Based on Spencer’s calculations, Charter High’s score is above 65, the minimum accountability requirement, he said.
The state incorrectly calculated the school’s dropout and graduation data, Spencer said.
“Dropout data is not supposed to count at Charter if the student has not been there a full academic year,” he said. “Currently, the state is counting dropouts simply if the student enrolls there.”
Spencer said the graduation index data also is flawed because students who were not enrolled at the school during their entire sophomore year were included in the graduation cohort.
“The state handles dropout and graduation data for Charter High like it’s a (traditional) high school,” Spencer said. “Policy says it’s not supposed to be done that way.”
Spencer joined the district last year after 10 years with the Louisiana Department of Education’s accountability office.
The school system also plans to fight academically unacceptable labels given its other alternative programs: W.D. Smith Career Center, Moss Annex and AIM Academy.
None of the schools enroll students directly on their campuses. Students in programs offered at each site are enrolled at their base schools, Spencer said.