DONALDSONVILLE — City leaders expressed concern with newly issued letter grade scores reflecting poor performances by Ascension Parish’s west bank public schools.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Charles Brown Sr. asked the council to help in finding ways to improve the performance of public schools in the Donaldsonville area.
The Louisiana Department of Education’s letter grade performance scores show that while Ascension’s school system received an overall B letter grade, three of the four west bank public schools — Donaldsonville High School and Lowery Elementary and Intermediate schools — received D letter grades.
Donaldsonville Primary School received an F letter grade, Brown said.
Brown said the low grades affect not only the schools, but the local economy and growth of the city.
“When people, especially young families, are looking to move somewhere, seeing school grades like that will make them move across the river or elsewhere,” he said. “This is serious cause for alarm.
“We need to get with the School Board and see what we can do to assist them in improving these schools,” Brown said.
“If we don’t address this now, we’ll continue to have problems.”
Councilman Lauthaught Delaney Sr. said he would like to hear from Assistant Superintendent of Schools Steve Westbrook, who is currently working to help the system’s underperforming schools improve their test scores.
“We need to find out what his plan is,” Delaney said. “The system is doing good things, and we need to continue to encourage that. But there are still some issues that need to be addressed.”
Mayor Leroy Sullivan Sr. said that he has scheduled a meeting with school system officials to discuss the situation.
Other matters addressed by the council included:
EROSION PROBLEM: Delaney raised the possibility of asking civil engineering students from an area college to help fight an erosion problem in the Port Barrow area.
Delaney, whose council district includes Port Barrow, cited recent situations in which roads have caved in or sank because of eroding earth.
“I’ve been told that an area university has civil engineering students that could come out and survey the area and possibly help find a solution,” he said.
When asked which university he had in mind, Delaney declined to name the institution, as he had yet to officially make contact with the school.
HALLOWEEN HOURS: The council voted to set Halloween trick-or- treat hours within the city limits from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.
The Ascension Parish Council already had set the identical time for Halloween trick-or-treating, officials said.