The Sedalia School District 200 officially opened the latest additions to Smith-Cotton High School with a ribbon cutting in front of the Harriet Wolfe Media Center prior to the start of Monday night’s board of education meeting.
Members of the Board of Education, the administration patrons and representatives from the Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce were given a tour of the additions to the high school.
Both additions were constructed with a projected cost of $4.7 million according to Board President Dr. Jeffrey Sharp.
“The stadium was constructed with community donations and these additions were done with internal financing within the district,” Sharp said during the meeting. “There was no tax increase to the patrons for these projects.”
Superintendent of Schools Brad Pollitt said after the meeting that both the board and the district are grateful to the community for their support of both building projects and their continued support of Sedalia 200 Schools.
The district has another reason for their continued pride in their students and staff after hearing the results of the spring Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests.
Director of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment, Carla Wheeler told the board members that the students performed at or above the state scores in three of the four areas tested.
“Using the MAP Index Scores which combine all four achievement categories: advanced, proficient, basic and below basic, our students scored at or above when compared to students across the state,” Wheeler said. “We are seeing improvements in most areas on our MAP testing throughout the district.”
Wheeler commented that the grade level exams in math and English language arts (ELA) for 2016 were completely new tests with new test items and new cut scores at the four achievement levels.
“The results for the grade level exams in those two areas cannot be compared with the results in those subjects from previous years because of the changes to the tests.” Wheeler said.
Pollitt once again praised the students and the teachers for the continued effort they put forth on a daily basis.
“I have said this before, but we recognize that test scores alone are not the sole measure of the success of our students,” Pollitt said after the meeting. “Our students continue to work to improve their daily attendance, academic progress, and their performance in the various extracurricular activities they participate in.
“Both the administration and the board of education are grateful to both the students and the staff for the hard work and efforts they show each day,” Pollitt added. “We realize there are areas we can improve upon but we are very proud of the success of our students.”
The board also considered ways to recognize the success of Sedalia 200 students after their graduation.
Pollitt presented information to the board regarding changes to the Smith-Cotton Halls of Fame.
Pollitt explained to the board the number of nominations for the academic and activity halls of fame continues to decline since the creation of the Halls.
“In the past few years we have not received any nominations to those (academic and activity) halls,” Pollitt said. “We want to recognize the outstanding contributions of all of our graduates, not just those who see success in athletics when they were in school.
“We are in no way watering down the criteria for selection but what we are proposing is to have one nomination form for all of the halls and simplify the process for nomination,” Pollitt added. “It was always our intention when we started the program to have the community nominate the individuals they feel are deserving for selection.
Pollitt added that the purpose of the Halls is to recognize the best of the best adding that the district knows some of those individuals have not been nominated.
The board is expected to vote on the proposed recommendations at their November meeting.
In other actions the board approved the policy updates and regulations as required by state statute.
Many of the updates are mandated to go into effect this school year.
Others will go into effect during the 2017-18 school year.
The board also accepted a donation of a $3,000 from the American Society of Safety Engineers-Heart of America Chapter for the purchase of a new table saw with an auto safety stop feature for Smith-Cotton Junior High.
The districts attendance rate is 89.67 percent as of Sept. 14.
District enrollment is 5,146 students which has grown by 92 students from last year.
The district continues to see an increase of 75 to 100 students on average yearly.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.