“We are very proud of the work our district is doing to prepare our students to be college and career ready,” Dill said.
Overall, the latest results released from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education indicate lake area school districts are meeting or exceeding the state average when it comes to the Annual Performance Review scores for the 2017-18 school year.
Camdenton, School of the Osage, Eldon and Macks Creek received overall APR scores of 95 percent or above out of a total of 100 points possible, followed closely by Morgan County R-II (Versailles) and Climax Springs scores of 87.9 and 88.9 respectively.
School of the Osage scored 97.9 percent, Camdenton came in at 97 and Eldon ranked in the top 3 with 93.3.
There are five categories measured by the APR including academic achievement, subgroup achievement, college and career readiness, attendance and graduation rate.
In the areas of Communication Arts and Math testing for academic achievement, Eldon had the largest number of students scoring in advanced/proficient ranges in Language Arts and Math.
Superintendent Matt Davis said overall the district is pleased with the outcome and has programs in place to address the areas that they want to see improve.
“The Eldon School District was extremely pleased with our academic scores from last year. As a district, in Communication Arts and Math we ranked 94 out of 558 schools. That ranks our school in the top 16% academically in the state,” Davis said. “On the Annual Performance Report, we scored 93.3%. We need to improve our attendance rate and the placement rate of our students after graduation. Our school has systems in place that will allow us to build upon this success.”
According to DESE, because of changes in statewide standards, new assessments in Language Arts and Math were given in 2017-18. Results from the most recent testing are not comparable with previous years. For Science, a field test was given in 2017-18 but results were not used in the calculations for 2017-18 for the APR.
School of the Osage Deputy Superintendent Laura Nelson credited students, staff and families for the district’s APR score of 97.9 percent. It is the highest score the district has received in 5 years, she said.
Camdenton scored an overall 97 percent. Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Academic Services Julie Dill said the district received perfect scores in the areas of college and career readiness, graduation and attendance.
“We are very proud of the work our district is doing to prepare our students to be college and career ready,” Dill said. “We are seeing growth in English Language Arts across the board and we are continuing our focus on Mathematics to improve support and resources for our district students.”
Morgan County R-II Superintendent Joyce Ryerson said the district struggles with attendance which is reflected in the APR scores. However, their graduation rate remains strong.
“We have utilized the proverbial ‘carrot and the stick’ in trying to provide incentives for school attendance. This is one area that we truly need parent support in order to grow,” she said. “While 2018 is set as a new baseline, we have been working hard in our district over the past year to improve our academic performance. We still have work to do, but we are happy to see an increase in this indicator compared to 2017. Many schools did not improve in academic performance, some even dropped a little so we were happy with the growth we saw. We also see a positive in the fact that our graduation rate continues to remain strong.”
Ryerson said the district still has work to do in their college and career readiness. For 2017-18 there was a slight decline from prior years. The district is working on adding additional classes to see the students needs in the area and hopes to start seeing the benefit over the next year.
“Finally, we are breaking down our subgroup achievement to determine where we have a disconnect. Our focus is on providing what our kids need to be successful and we will continue to look for ways to help them,” Ryerson said. “We hope this will be reflected in student scores down the road but bottom line: we will still do whatever it takes to help our kids.”
Although Macks Creek is one of the two smallest districts in the Morgan, Miller, Camden county area, the district received an overall APR of 95.6 percent. District officials said the performance is a testament to the faculty, staff and students.
“Our most positive attribute in the small, rural school setting is the family-type atmosphere and high levels of community support. It is truly a community-wide effort which allows for our upward trends of success,” Elementary Principal Dr. Jori Phillips said. “Currently, our teachers are continuing to fine-tune classroom best-practices to ensure student success. Through a partnership with DESE, we will continue to provide high-quality professional development for our faculty and staff, which in turn, will directly impact classroom learning. We will continue to set high expectations, thus instilling in our students that the sky is truly the limit, and through hard work, dedication, and creativity, no task is insurmountable.”
High school Principal Brad Kolwyck said that even though the district is pleased with the outcome of the APR, there is room for improvement. The district will continue to work on maintaining a high graduation rate, attendance and academic achievement while providing additional courses that focus on work place readiness and adding or restructuring courses to better prepare students for their future education and post-secondary training.
Statewide, this year’s APR data reflected a slightly heavier focus on non-academic factors such as high school readiness (K-8 districts), college and career readiness (k-12 districts), attendance and graduation rates. Schools continued to prepare students for success after graduation.
More students both participated in advanced placement courses and scored a 3 or better on AP exams, dual enrollment increased and as did participation in Project Lead the Way courses and the number of students earning industry-recognized credentials.
More than 97 percent of Missouri districts and charter schools scored at least 70 percent of the possible points on their APR. For public school districts, this places them in the fully accredited range.
Charter schools do not receive an accreditation classification under current guidelines.