The school district received a 96.8 on the 2017 APR, which placed SOTO above the state average in English, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies — the core curriculum that are evaluated as part of the state-tested Missouri School Improvement Program.

School of the Osage officials are upbeat about this year's Annual Performance Report.

The school district received a 96.8 on the 2017 APR, which placed SOTO above the state average in English, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies — the core curriculum that are evaluated as part of the state-tested Missouri School Improvement Program.

"The good news is that our APR achievement scores are up from last year," Amy Fowler, curriculum coordinator for School of the Osage, told the board of education recently. "There were some ups and downs, but we are up above state average."

When it comes to program evaluation, it's important to address student achievement and to make sure the school district has strong student achievement to meet state assessment standards, Fowler explained. The state holds districts accountable through the testing programs.

Each school district is accountable for its performance based on five standards: •Academic Achievement

•Subgroup Achievement

•College and Career Readiness

•Attendance

•Graduate Rates.

Each of the five standards is based on a point system, and SOTO scored 100 percent in Academic Achievement, College and Career Readiness and Graduation Rate. Subgroup Achievement was 85.7 percent and Attendance was 75 percent. Total possible points is 140, and SOTO received 135.5, falling down in Subgroup Achievement and attendance.

Subgroup reports are produced for the "all student" groups and for up to nine additional subgroups: Asian/Pacific Islander, black, Hispanic, American Indian, white, multi-racial, students with disabilities, English language learners, and low income students.

"We were graded down in attendance, and that's something we have the lease control off," board member James Edwards noted.

Fowler also noted that 25 students -- more than in recent years -- scored a 3 or better on the Advance Placement (AP) exams. That's an increase of eight exams from 2016. However, the district is below both the state and national average as far as the percentage of AP students with the higher scores.

"We need to increase the number of students taking the AP courses and exams by exploring pre-AP courses," she told the board.

The grade level assessment for grades 3-8 in English Language Arts and Mathematics is new this year, according to the Curriculum and Instruction Program Evaluation report presented to the board. Data for 2017 cannot be compared to previous years; however, SOTO students outperformed their peers across the state in both content areas, the report indicates.

"We need to continue to evaluate courses and make sure we currently meet the needs of a changing academic environment, and that we have career fields that we need to," Fowler explained.

Teachers worked over the summer on curriculum revisions for both English Language Arts and Mathematics. Teams are regularly looking at student, classroom and grade level data to monitor and make instructional decisions.