Prescott Middle School hopes changes are enough - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Prescott Middle School hopes changes are enough

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Prescott Middle School is on principal number three for this school year and now the state is preparing to take the school back.

The school has improved, but some are asking if the changes are enough to save it.

Prescott was taken over by the state almost four years ago. Advance Baton Rouge (ABR), a Charter School Association, put in an application to charter the school.

However, after a review to make sure the school is meeting certain criteria, the state and ABR have decided the school needs to be placed in the Recovery School District.

Newly named principal, Maria Delouise, says the lessons learned in the classroom are adding up to success. "We've made a lot of improvements," said Delouise. "We have a business academy up and running. We have added a business education course."

It all sounds good, but when you look at the way the state grades Prescott's performance, things don't seem to be in the positive.

For the 2010-2011 school years, the state graded the school as an F, one of the worst grades in this area, with a performance score of 42.1 out of a possible 200, which is up from the 39 the prior year. The state reported only 25 percent of the students were at or above grade level.

Delouise says students did manage to raise their scores, and there are plans for an after school tutoring program, and a Saturday school. "Our goal is to have 50 students in after school program," said Delouise. "Prior to Christmas we had about 20 staying."

Come this summer, there will be a bigger change. Advance Baton Rouge will return Prescott to the state. New Superintendent John White is the former Recovery School District Superintendent in New Orleans. He says while ABR has stabilized struggling schools, more needs to be done.

Principal Delouise says the school can absolutely be saved.

RSD staff is visiting the school now, but what changes will be made remains to be seen. Once the RSD takes over, teachers will have to reapply for their jobs.

Pointe Coupee Central, which ABR also runs, will be returned to the state. There are plans to return the rest of the schools chartered by ABR to the state next year.

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