With a week of classes completed, the staff and students at Smithton R-VI Schools are settling back into their normal routine.
This year is not quite a typical year for the district though, as the students in grades seven through 12 have been awarded a Bronze Ranking from U.S. News and World Report as being one of the nation’s outstanding high schools.
“I was thrilled when I was given the news,” Superintendent Dr. Matt Teeter said. “I give the credit to the students, staff and patrons of the district who made this happen.”
Teeter, who is in his first year as superintendent at the school, said the award signifies the district has been working hard to provide the best opportunities for the student body.
“It truly takes everyone to make a school like Smithton what it is,” Teeter said. “That starts from the top down with a board of education who is very involved in the community, to having others in the district who are willing to devote their time and efforts to develop the school into a complete learning environment.”
To obtain the national ranking, U.S. News partnered with North Carolina-based RTI International, a nonprofit social science research firm that looked at multiple factors in determining its rankings.
“A great high school must serve all students well, not just those who are college bound,” according to information supplied by U.S. News. “The school must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show it is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.”
To determine how well a school ranked, RTI looked at the school’s performance on the math and reading parts of the state assessments and the degree that the schools were preparing the students for college-level work.
“We offer several dual-credit classes and ITV classes and we are fortunate to have staff members who are teaching the classes not only for our students, but for other districts as well,” Teeter said. “The district has a strong foundation in the basic courses we offer, but we look at the providing classes to challenge all our students and not just those who are college bound.”
Smithton typically scores above the state and national average in all standardized testing, but it is an area where Teeter sees there can be improvement.
“The award is something to congratulate ourselves on,” Teeter said. “But, we do have the opportunity to improve and grow.”
To help with that plan the District is currently working on developing its Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.
The CSIP plan will be used to guide the school in many aspects from budgetary matters to building and grounds improvements and curriculum.
Teeter has put together a group of 40 administrators, teachers, board members, and patrons to provide input in the plan.
“I have an expectation for both the staff and the students at Smithton,” Teeter said “All can achieve if they chose.
“I want everyone to have a sense of ownership for Smithton and our students,” Teeter added. “I feel blessed to be here and I want to develop Smithton into the best possible team we can be.”
U.S. News and World Report reviewed 29,070 high schools in all 50 states in its report. One hundred eighty-two Missouri schools were ranked.
Three Missouri schools received gold medals, 22 were awarded silver, and 157 schools were given bronze medals. Lincoln College Preparatory Academy in Kansas City was the top-ranked school in the state.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1000