History of West Leesville Elementary
West Leesville Elementary is located in a transient, low socio-economic urban-based community in West Central Louisiana. The school is housed on a sprawling twelve-acre site of gentle rolling hills with tall pine trees in the Lee Hills subdivision. West Leesville Elementary is positioned two blocks off the West Texas Highway south of the Vernon Parish Library.
West Leesville Elementary was erected in 1958 to service first through fifth grade students. Mr. Curtis Bradshaw was the Superintendent of the Vernon Parish School System with Mr. Lyons Palmer serving as the first principal. The sixth grade was added in 1962. Since that time, West Leesville Elementary has served students from Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade. Principals that succeeded Mr. Palmer were: Mr. Bobby Craft, Mr. Louis Massey, and Mrs. Liz Cordova Descant. Mrs. Joan R. Simmons began to serve as principal in 2000. In 2001, West Leesville Elementary underwent restructuring and became an elementary school that services only third and fourth grade students. In the summer of 2005, West Leesville Elementary underwent a second restructuring and now hosts second, third and fourth grades. In the Fall of 2014, Mr. Edwin Koenck became the new principal of West Leesville Elementary. He served until the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, then Mrs. Kristie Beasley served from 2017-2018. In 2018, Mrs. Karen Robertson was named West Leesville’s new principal where she still serves currently. In the s ummer of 2021, West Leesville Elementary underwent another restructructing and added first grade changing our grade levels from 1st -4th grades.
West Leesville Elementary is the home of WesLee Gator, our school mascot, as well as 472 elementary students in the Ward One area.
Two factors have affected enrollment at West Leesville Elementary: (1) restructuring in 2005, which increased the school from 3rd - 4th grades to 2nd - 4th grades and (2) the mission of Fort Polk changed in 1992 causing a decrease in enrollment. Currently, we have approximately 472 students. We anticipate that the enrollment will remain within 20 students of our current population for the next several years. Our proximity to Fort Polk causes the enrollment to fluctuate often.
West Leesville Elementary emphasizes teaching the "whole" child. Learning to read, reading to learn, and the ability to express thoughts both orally and in writing are important aspects of a child's educational experience. Being able to apply critical thinking skills to find solutions to multistep word problems, as well as having a working mathematical background is essential for a successful future. Added to the core curriculum of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies are Physical Education, Music and Library. Technology is integrated into all subject areas enhancing the learning experiences for our students.
Student achievement is monitored and facilitated throughout the year by classroom teachers and administrators. Additional support is provided by Title I, Bayou Basics Lab, LEAP 21 tutoring and K-3 tutoring. To accommodate the individual needs of our students, West Leesville offers a variety of special services. Special education classes are available for Gifted, Speech, Adapted Physical Education, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy.
West Leesville Elementary has a Schoolwide Plan in place that outlines our goals, objectives and activities throughout the year. Our Schoolwide Plan was developed through the collaboration of teachers, parents, and community members in an effort to improve our school performance score. With all of us working together, "West Leesville Elementary Gators REACH for their BEST at WEST."
Students and faculty are involved in many activities during the school year. Some major highlights of our school year include: Veteran's Day and Christmas Programs, Field Day, Red Ribbon Week, VFW Patriotic Contest, Fire Safety Week, Character Counts Program, Red Cross projects, Young Authors Contest, Mileage Club, Social Studies Fair, and Accelerated Reader Model Classroom and Master Teacher Programs. Our school has also received many grants from outside sources such as: the Rapides' Foundation Grant, Louisiana Quality Education Support Fund Competitive Grant (8g), Education Excellence Fund Grant, Officers' Spouses Club Grant and individual teacher grants such as the VIGIL and LEARN Grants. We participate in both the Accelerated Math and Accelerated Reader Programs. Our school plans activities that involve parents such as Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), Thanksgiving and Christmas luncheons, Parent Orientation Night, LEAP and ITBS Parent Information Nights and various community speakers.
West Leesville Elementary sponsors a variety of community projects. As part of the Leesville Beautification Project our school has adopted our street and the walking park across the street from our school. Our goal is to keep it "litter free." Each year our students collect hundreds of canned goods for the needy and work with the community encouraging a "drug free" lifestyle. These service projects help to teach our young citizens the value of community, as well as, home and school involvement in making our world a better place to live.
West Leesville strives to reach the needs of the "total" child through its academic curriculum, related services and school projects. Our main goal is to educate the youth of today to ensure tomorrow's future.