AMITE — The Tangipahoa Parish School Board on Tuesday recognized 19 of the district’s schools for growth in their performance scores for 2011-12, including two that made the state’s list of Top Gains schools.

The schools’ growth ranged from 0.2 to 23.4 points during the prior year’s performance scores, with Amite High School making the most improvement and earning Top Gains status, Chief Academic Officer Theresa Hamilton said.

Loranger High School also earned Top Gains status, with 9.8 points of improvement over the previous year’s score, Hamilton said.

The two Top Gains schools each received an award from the state of $8,453, which will be used to enhance student performance, she said.

Other schools showing improvement for 2011-12, Hamilton said, include Nesom Middle School, O.W. Dillon Elementary, D.C. Reeves Elementary, Loranger Middle, Ponchatoula High, Chesbrough Elementary and Woodland Park Elementary.

Also, Sumner Middle, Amite Elementary, Hammond Eastside Elementary Magnet, Loranger Elementary, Ponchatoula Junior High, Independence Middle Magnet, Independence Elementary, Tucker Elementary, Independence High and Hammond High Magnet.

Other business before the School Board included:

PUBLIC RELATIONS: The board voted to authorize Superintendent Mark Kolwe to negotiate and enter into a contract with Action Mixed Media for public relations services.

The item was added to the board’s agenda following an hour-long executive session called to discuss two pending court cases, including the district’s decades-old desegregation case.

Action Mixed Media, a Hammond-based company, will help the school system prepare news releases, particularly in the run-up to the May 4 election when the district will ask Hammond-area voters to renew and increase its magnet program tax, Kolwe said.

Board member Brett Duncan recused himself from the votes adding and approving the item, noting that he has represented one of the company’s partners, Wayne Glascock, as an attorney in some pro bono legal work.