New Online Tool Helps Parents Understand School Performance, Info, & Offerings

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The Louisiana Department of Education announced the creation of the Louisiana School Finder, an interactive online tool designed to help families more easily locate and evaluate schools and child care centers across the state. The tool, which hosts detailed information about each site’s offerings and academic performance, was unveiled November 7 with the release of the annual school performance scores and the first-ever early childhood performance profiles.

Among its many features, the Louisiana School Finder provides families with:

  • school performance scores and early childhood performance ratings that show how well schools and centers are preparing students for the next grade-level;
  • listings of course offerings, clubs, enrichment and extracurricular activities;
  • a comparison tool and filters to allow users to customize their search and identify the schools and early childhood centers that are the right fit for their child; and
  • basic information about schools and centers, such as their address, website, hours of operation, and principal or director’s name.

The school profiles include the overall performance scores and traditionally reported metrics like assessment results, graduation rates and college enrollment. In addition, for the first time, data regarding teacher workforce, student discipline, and student attendance will also be included. In subsequent years, the Louisiana School Finder will expand to provide information on student progress and include an interests and opportunities index indicating how schools fare in offering enriching activities to their students.

Early childhood performance profiles are also a new feature this year. The overall performance ratings are derived from an observation-based evaluation system and reported in four categories–Excellent, Proficient, Approaching Proficient and Unsatisfactory. In addition to the overall rating, the performance profiles provide a snapshot of each center’s educator workforce, student-to-teacher ratios, and curriculum quality.