A few years ago kids at Stewart Elementary School in Minden struggled with literacy.
"There was a lot of whole group instruction not a lot of individualized instruction," explained Principal Dusty Rowland.
A federal literacy grant brought in two coaches and several interventionists and changed the school's fate.
"The teacher might come to me and say I have this child who has this issue, this problem and he's not grasping this concept; what is a good strategy to use with the student," said Literacy Coach, Bridget Bridges.
"You came up with the ideas. If they weren't understanding a concept then you went and searched for ideas. Now, with the coaches it’s another mind. They have other resources they can pull in as well," added Jennifer Santelices, a fourth grade teacher at the school.
Interventionists focus on small groups; teaching reading and math skills. The results are encouraging. Stewart Elementary saw the most academic growth in the entire parish. Last year the school made a score of 63.6, its growth target score was 72.3. It reached 74.5., a more than 10 point increase.
"It just all paid off and everybody was excited," said Principal Rowland.
These same techniques are being used in other Webster Parish schools this year. Parish leaders hope the results are just as great. Three schools in Webster Parish exceeded growth target scores, six schools saw academic growth, and six others fell below last year's marks. Title one elementary schools now have coaches and interventionists in place.