Louisiana Tech’s A.E. Phillips Laboratory School has been recognized as a five star-school, the highest designation in the state, by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

AEP ranks ninth out of 1,272 state schools. The eight ranked above AEP are all academic magnet schools.

‘It’s quite a notable accomplishment for the school to be in the five-star ranking,’ said Dr. David Gullatt, dean of the College of Education. ‘This is a model of what we would like to see all schools have.’

Gullatt said AEP’s five-star designation came from a focus on curriculum, a stable administration, a good foundation on education, and community support.

‘I’d also like to say congratulations to the parents for their support,’ Gullatt said. ‘The students and parents were part of this as well.’

AEP faculty members look over test data each year and discuss possible curriculum changes based on areas of strength and weakness. Recent curriculum changes include the implementation of Singapore Math and Lucy Calkins Approach to Writing. Singapore Math is based on the Singapore mathematics teaching system, which consistently ranks first in the world of math and science. The Lucy Calkins Approach to Writing was designed by the education department of Columbia University.

‘We try to maintain our strengths and fix our weaknesses,’ said Dr. Carynn Wiggins, principal of AEP. ‘We are never content where we are, but we don’t teach to tests. We teach to students. I think because we teach them well, our scores improve.’

Eight of AEP’s teachers are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and many teachers have received awards at the local, state and national levels. They continue to model the concept of lifelong learning by attending classes, workshops and conferences.

‘We have wonderful teachers and students and supportive parents,’ Wiggins said.

AEP, which has 327 students, has two sections each of kindergarten and sixth grade and one section of each of the others through eighth grade.

Written by Judith Roberts