FirstLine Schools saw an overall improvement in their 2012 state School Performance Scores (SPS), which were released by the Louisiana Department of Education earlier this week. Each FirstLine school maintained or improved its score from the previous year. John Dibert Community School and Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School achieved the most dramatic gains of all FirstLine schools.
CEO Jay Altman announced the results to board members at their monthly meeting October 24.
John Dibert Community School, which serves grades pre-K-8, achieved the highest gains from the previous year. The school’s performance score is 73.8, up from 64.7 in 2011.
Arthur Ashe Charter School, which serves grades K-8, held steady with a performance score of 82.
Samuel J. Green Charter School, which serves K-8, achieved a performance score of 81, up from 78.1 in 2011.
Langston Hughes Academy, which serves pre-K-8 grades, achieved an SPS of 86.1, up from 85.1 in 2011. This is the first official school year for Langston Hughes as a FirstLine school.
Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School, which serves grades 9-12, achieved a performance score of 55.8. Previous performance scores are not available for Clark since this is the school’s first year at  FirstLine.
“It was a good year for us. We are proud of all the schools,” CEO Jay Altman said. “Clark and Dibert had exceptional growth, but we still have a lot of work to do to achieve our goal of all schools attaining an SPS of 100 by 2016.”
Altman said the goal is for each school to increase its performance score a minimum of five points per year. “All schools except Clark are within striking distance of a 90 SPS,” said Altman. “And we are already making good progress with students at Clark.”
FirstLine schools received a grant from the Louisiana’s Teacher Incentive Fund, also known as a TIF grant. The $423,000 grant was awarded to FirstLine to reward teacher performance and student gains. One hundred percent of the staff will receive some type of merit bonus depending on individual and student gains.
The board decided to postpone discussions of returning any FirstLine schools back to the control of the Orleans Parish School Board. Two schools are eligible for return, according to board president Lawrence Kullman.
“I see no reason to change the model currently in place,” Kullman said. “A few things still need to change at the OPSB, and I think we should wait and see when we think it would be appropriate to discuss the matter further.”