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FRIENDSHIP CAPITOL HIGH SCHOOL OUTPACES NEIGHBORING HIGH SCHOOLS IN STUDENT PROGRESS, STRENGTH OF DIPLOMA, COHORT GRADUATION RATE

The Louisiana Department of Education released Annual School Performance Scores today. Capitol High School’s academic performance continues to outpace other neighboring schools in several academic measures.


BATON ROUGE (November 8, 2018) – Capitol High School’s academic record has outshined neighboring open-admissions high schools for the third consecutive year. The public charter school outpaces several traditional, neighboring East Baton Rouge Parish high schools in overall School Performance Scores (SPS). In addition to overall school performance, Capitol also has outperformed these schools in the specific SPS subcategories of student progress (growth index), strength of diploma, and cohort graduation rate.

For the past three years, Friendship Capitol High School’s annual School Performance Score (SPS) has been higher than two of the three nearby district high schools that share Capitol High’s previous attendance zone prior to its placement into the Recovery School District (RSD) in 2009. Students who do not attend Capitol would likely otherwise attend Tara High School, Belaire High School, or Broadmoor High School. Since 2016, Capitol’s annual SPS has outperformed Belaire and Tara high schools. In 2017, Capitol outperformed these two, in addition to Glen Oaks. This year, in 2018, Capitol’s SPS score outpaces Tara, Belaire, and Broadmoor.

“While we are happy to continue outperforming our local peers, we are not at all satisfied with our most recent SPS performance and the corresponding Letter Grade of F,” said Bruce Miles, a Capitol alumnus and Friendship Louisiana Board president. “With the state’s changing accountability system, we know we must continually find new ways to raise the bar and demonstrate growth. We have worked diligently and aggressively to identify and implement key strategies toward continual improvement.”

Under the accountability system from last year, Capitol High’s Letter Grade would have increased to a Letter Grade of ‘D.’ However, the updated system, rolled out this year, still rates the school as an ‘F.’

To bolster student achievement, in 2017, the school developed a comprehensive, evidence-based School Redesign plan to help guide the school in 2018-19 and beyond. The plan primarily focused on the areas of Tier 1 curriculum to increase classroom rigor, educator workforce and advancement supports, and post-secondary pathways. Capitol also leveraged School Redesign grant award and other funds to double down on professional development directly aligned with the new curriculum. The school has partnered with curriculum developers such as Great Minds and Learn Zillion to provide intensive supports. The school has also established partnerships with several educator workforce partners such as Leading Educators, Relay Graduate School of Education, and the Black Teacher Collaborative to ensure our staff has he high-quality, diversified training and support to do well in the classroom.

“We are proud of the improvement we have made over the past few years; however, we recognize we have much farther to go to make certain all of our students are prepared for their future academic and career pursuits,” said Brian Beck, who serves as the Friendship Louisiana Executive Director. “The school’s shift in expanding graduation pathways, offering workforce-ready credentials, providing early college opportunities, and embracing technology have paved the way for sustainable, long-term academic success at Capitol.”

In 2015, Capitol shifted to only offering the TOPS University diploma, subsequently limiting graduation pathways for students. In 2017, after analyzing student data and outcomes, as well as having dialogue with parents and other school stakeholders, Capitol launched its first JumpStart Pathway courses and certification options for students. As a result, the Class of 2019 will have graduates from both the TOPS University and TOPS Tech pathways.

Since 2015, Capitol has partnered with several post-secondary institutions including Southern University, Baton Rouge Community College, Southeastern Louisiana University, Wiley College, and Delgado Community College to ensure all students have access to dual enrollment courses. Students have the opportunity to take college courses on college campuses and at Capitol. All students can matriculate through at least one dual Advanced Placement or dual enrollment course during their tenure.

Technology is also a critical component of the teaching and learning process. Over the summer, the school installed a STEM Lab through the Creative Learning Systems and SMART Lab ®. The $260,000 investment offers students real-world experience in engineering, robotics, 3D printing, and more. Additionally, the school has a new broadcast station as well as an Apple Computer Lab. In the last two years, Capitol has purchased more than 500 new devices for student and teachers including Mac, laptops, and PCs.

“We have made a number of shifts in the past few years to get to this point,” Miles said. “While we know we have more work to do, we are excited to see how our investment in our educators, our scholars, and our school have paid off thus far. We are elated to see that in several academic measures our school is outperforming its peers. We have a lot to celebrate, and we look forward to more growth and progress in the coming years.”

Capitol counts among its academic successes:

For the past three years, Capitol’s graduation rate has been higher than Broadmoor and Tara High Schools. In 2015, the cohort graduation rate was also higher than Lee, Glen Oaks, and Belaire. In 2016, the grad rate was also higher than McKinley, Glen Oaks, and Belaire. In 2017, the cohort graduation rate was also higher than McKinley, Glen Oaks, and Belaire.

In 2017-2018, Capitol’s Top Growth percentage in English was higher than Belaire, Broadmoor, McKinley, and Scotlandville.

In 2017-2018, Capitol’s Top Growth percentage in Math was higher than Belaire, Broadmoor, McKinley, Scotlandville, and Tara.

Capitol’s 2014-2015 cohort had a higher strength of diploma index score than Tara, Belaire, Broadmoor and Glen Oaks.

In 2016-2017 Capitol had a higher percentage of graduates earning statewide basic credentials than Broadmoor, Tara, and Belaire.

The number of graduates who earned credentials from Capitol has grown from 8.6 percent in 2015 to 22.7 percent in 2017.

In 2018, 41 seniors and 26 senior cohort members earned JumpStart certifications. This was the highest number of certifications achieved since 2015, increasing by more than 100 percent. In 2019, at least 80 percent of seniors will have had an opportunity to earn one of three JumpStart certifications.

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