After 39 years of service, 11 as Iberia Parish Superintendent of Schools, Dale Henderson announced his plans for retirement this year, effective June 30, at Wednesday night’s regular meeting of the Iberia Parish School Board.
Iberia Parish School Board members began the process of filling his seat at the meeting as they agreed to begin advertising for the new head of schools position on their website Thursday and in the Daily Iberian.
“We have some names locally that have popped up that we’re excited about. We will have to see what happens. We have great facilities and we are financially sound. We have a lot to offer,” IPSB President Dana Dugas said.
Henderson is ending an impressive career he’s devoted entirely to Iberia Parish. He began as an English teacher at New Iberia Senior High, then was promoted to instructional supervisor where he served for 10 years. He was named assistant superintendent, a title he held for another 10 years and has worked as superintendent of Iberia Parish schools for the past 11 years.
“The board has been supportive and encouraging. It has been my great pleasure to serve,” Henderson said.
The superintendent also stated in his official news release that he is leaving the affairs of the parish schools to a capable board and staff.
“I have a great confidence in the continued success of the Iberia Parish School System, Onward!” he said in the prepared statement.
In a separate meeting held before the IPSB meeting convened, a textbook and education committee discussed revisions to the Iberia Parish Pupil Progression Plan for 2017-2018. The state Department of Education handed down a new Pupil Progression Plan for public schools to follow, which will mean new LEAP requirements for students and a later start to summer school.
The Louisiana BESE board laid out specifics of what should be considered for both fourth- and eighth-graders before they are promoted to the fifth and nine grades in a document titled 1566, which is found on the state’s website www.louisianabelieves.com and governs the promotion of students in state schools.
Heath Hulin, Iberia Parish Schools supervisor of instruction said the biggest impact the new legislation will have is to parents and students.
“The requirement of acceptable level of performance has changed and will require that the student must attend a summer remediation program,” Hulin said.
Not since high stakes testing nearly four years ago has it been required that students who do not pass the LEAP attend summer school. Bulletin 1566 reverts back to an old standard in that fourth-graders now have to meet the standard of “basic” skills in two sections of the LEAP. Those two sections can be made up of either math, English, social studies or science. The remaining two sections have to be “approaching basic.”
For eighth-graders to be promoted, 1566 requires each student score at least one “basic” on their sections and can score “approaching basic in others” however that “basic” score has to be made in either English or math.
Students who do not meet the new accepted level of performance will have to attend a one week summer remediation course, which is not scheduled to take place until July 9-13. Iberia Parish officials say the later date is a result of the state’s promise to get scores from the LEAP back no earlier than mid to late June.
The delayed report prompted District 17 IPSB member Dan Beblanc to propose a resolution be made on behalf of Iberia and other parishes stating the need for prompt test reporting by the state.
“A resolution should be drawn and maybe include others to stress the importance of receiving this score information on time,” LeBlanc said.