Student test scores, teacher development, and new buildings with the latest technology are all on Iberia Parish Superintendent Dale Henderson’s list of what’s good with Iberia Parish Schools.
Question: Would you please highlight some of Iberia Parish School’s biggest achievements this year?
Answer: “We’re one of the top performing school districts in the state,” Henderson said.
“We’ve had an increase of .7 in our score. We were a 94.1, we’re now a 94.8. Louisiana has one of the highest, toughest accountability standard in the nation and we continue to meet that standard, he said.
“Over the last 10 years we built eight new schools including one under construction (Belle Place Elementary)” Henderson said. “We built a new auditorium at Jeanerette. We put down new turf and built athletic complexes at New Iberia Senior High and Westgate. We have 17 new open air outdoor pavilions, a new food service and a general warehouse.”
“We’ve spent 12 million dollars in technology infrastructure,” Henderson said.
Q: What accomplishments are there in teacher development?
A: “The curriculum and standards have changed in the past 10 years more than they have in the previous 40 years.” Henderson said.
“So we’ve had to provide tremendous opportunities for professional development in response.”
Henderson called teaching the most important work in the community because it affects the generation that will be the leaders, caregivers and decision makers of the future. Teachers are currently given professional development training that coincides with having to adapt teaching and lesson plans to state standards and accountability requirements.
Q: What’s your vision for Iberia Parish Schools?
A: “It’s a total educational program we’re working to build. Functional buildings for students with the latest technology, teacher development, safety, athletics all those things come together in one plan to reach a level of excellence, “ Henderson said.
All the work done on area schools as a result of the 2013 Bond issue, Henderson said works in hopes of creating a great environment where students want to enter and learn.
“Whatever pathway our students choose we want them to be well prepared,” Henderson said. “Whether it’s college, work or technical training.”
Henderson said he feels that a well supported student will have a far reaching impact.
“We want to create an Iberia parish where students want to live, work and play,” Henderson said.