Vernon ACT scores top state average

Published 1:40 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Vernon Parish schools have scored above the state average this year when it comes to ACT performance, according to official numbers presented to school board members on Tuesday.

VPSB Curriculum Supervisor Lisa Lohman presented performance scores to the panel during their regular session that showed Vernon Parish schools held an ACT performance score of 18.8, putting the district just above the state average score of 18.2.

While the district has traditionally held a score higher than the state average ACT performance, Lohman said this year’s scores were especially celebrated due to the tumultuous year the district experienced with COVID-19 quarantines, two hurricanes and an unprecedented winter storm event.

“It’s a testament to the resiliency and dedication of our teachers and our students on how we’re still performing under very adverse circumstances,” Lohman said.

The district’s ranking among those across the state has remained “stable,” according to Lohman, and the district’s ACT performance put it among the top percentage of school districts in Louisiana.

Within the Rapides Foundation service region, which includes Vernon and eight other districts north of the parish, Lohman said Vernon Parish is ranked first, outperforming all other districts in that region. She added that Vernon’s high ACT performance score also outranked other surrounding districts, including Beauregard Parish.

While Louisiana has chosen not to release letter grade scores for public schools this year due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lohman told school board members that based upon her office’s calculations, six Vernon Parish schools would have received a letter grade of “A” and the remaining three schools would have earned a “B” grade.

When looking at the ACT performance of Vernon Parish schools and how the district services Fort Polk, Lohman said the scores have put the military installation as the third-highest-performing military installation in the U.S. in regards to ACT performance.

Fort Polk fell just behind military bases in Alabama and Tennessee, scoring .6 and .9 behind those installations respectively.

“We are right there, we’re knocking on their door. We have a lot to be proud of,” Lohman said.