ZACHARY — An estimated 3,500 students, parents and school personnel whooped and hollered Monday night to celebrate the Zachary Community School District’s seventh straight first-place ranking in the state for its district performance score.
Zachary was the only district in the state to receive an A in the rating system unveiled this year.
“Can you believe you can get this many people together on a Monday night?” Superintendent Warren Drake said as the home side of the high school football stadium filled with cheering school supporters.
“Seven years in a row. We can’t help but just get better,” said first-year School Board member Kenneth Mackie, who said he thought this year’s celebration turnout exceeded that of 2010.
“We’re celebrating a lot of hard work,” board member Scott Swilley said. “It’s a celebration for the city, community, teachers and students.”
The city capped off the night with a fireworks display over the stadium.
Drake presented principals and a representative group of students from the district’s seven schools a commemorative award for their trophy cases and a large green-and-white banner highlighting the district’s achievement.
The superintendent also announced that the district finished second in the state, behind the Orleans Parish schools that are not in the state Recovery District, for its high school graduation rate.
Zachary had a graduation rate of 92.7 percent, according to figures the state Education Department announced earlier Monday, Drake said.
Zachary’s rate last year was 83.5.
“That’s really good news,” he said.
All of Zachary’s traditional schools but one had school performance scores higher than the baseline score of 120, which the state has set as the goal for all schools in the state by 2014.
Northwestern Middle School was three-tenths of a point under 120.
Earning an A under the new rating scheme were Zachary High School, with a school performance score of 128.9; Zachary Elementary, 121.2; Copper Mill Elementary, 120.9; and Northwestern Elementary, 120.4.
Northwestern Middle, with a school performance score of 119.7, earned a B.
The district also has an Early Learning Center for pre-kindergarten students and Port Hudson Career Academy, an alternative school for high school students working toward an equivalency diploma or certification in a vocational skill.
Port Hudson Career Academy received an F for its performance score.