The Independent Staff

Battle-tested principal drafted for struggling Boucher

Sources inside the Lafayette Parish School System tell the INDsider that Keith Bartlett, currently the principal of John Dibert School in New Orleans’ Recovery School District, will be recommended by a central office committee to become principal of Alice Boucher Elementary School, the parish’s poorest performing school.

Bartlett is among six candidates interviewed by the committee for the Boucher job. Four of the other candidates are either principals or assistant principals in Lafayette public schools; the fifth is an LPSS central office employee. The recommendation will be made to school board members this afternoon.

The hiring of a new principal at Boucher comes as a result of a school board plan to reconstitute the administration and faculty at the struggling school. All educators at the school were informed recently that every position at Boucher, save for cafeteria and janitorial staff, was up for grabs. The plan also includes bonus/merit pay for teachers and administrators selected to work at Boucher. Several current teachers at the school reapplied for positions, but neither the principal nor the assistant principal re-upped.

The timing for the Boucher plan — so near the end of the school year but before performance scores were released — seems, in retrospect, a bit odd. In fact, students at the school showed improvement, in some cases double-digit improvement, in standardized test scores over last year. The performance at Boucher falls within a pattern for the LPSS as a whole; performance scores throughout Lafayette Parish public schools generally improved over last year, and Lafayette students scored above the state average in every subject area in the third, sixth, seventh and eighth grades; in fourth- and fifth-grade math and science; and in the high school exit exam.