The Sedalia School District 200 continues to make improvements in its APR (Annual Performance Report), scoring at its highest level in the past three years.
The district received 91.1 percent of the points for the 2015-16 school year, which was up seven-tenths from the previous year’s scores.
According to a Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education press release, of the 553 traditional public school districts and charter public school districts with an APR, scores ranged from 28 percent to 100 percent, with an average of 90 percent.
“We continue to be pleased with the continued success of our students,” Superintendent Brad Pollitt said. “We feel good about what we are doing and we have opportunities each and every day throughout our schools for our students to have opportunities to see overall life achievement.
“We do a lot of good things here in our schools but we know there are areas we can improve upon,” Pollitt added.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Carla Wheeler and Pollitt discussed areas of strength and areas where the district needs to focus in the future.
“The district’s ACT scores increased a full point from last year from 18.4 to 19.4 percent,” Wheeler said. “We also saw improved scores in our advanced placement/dual-credit with the number of our students scoring at or above the state standards at 49.6 percent.”
According to a district press release, Sedalia 200’s score indicates improvement in key areas of preparing students for success after high school. APR is part of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP5), the state’s accountability system to ensure that districts are promoting continuous improvement on graduation rates, attendance and college and career readiness. Sedalia 200’s scores improved in three key areas — academic achievement, advanced placement, and college and career readiness — while two categories — graduation rate and attendance — remained at the same level as 2015. The only decline was in subgroup achievement, which dipped just a half point.
While APR criteria and measurements changed from 2014 to 2016 along with Missouri Learning Standards benchmarks, Sedalia 200’s higher score remains meaningful.
Wheeler said the district hopes to improve its ACT Scores and have taken a number of steps toward that goal.
“District-wide we continue to have our students focus on being engaged in their learning,” Wheeler said. “We want them to be active learners and not passive in their education.
“We continue to focus on all areas of our district and our building instructional coaches are working year-long with our teachers and staff to help our students succeed,” Wheeler added.
The district is facing a challenge that many schools statewide are also coming up against.
“The system is somewhat fickle,” Pollitt explained. “DESE changes the target points at the levels each year and so the floor stays the same but the next level scores always change.
“They raise the expectations every year and so staying at the level is actually more difficult than it is to get there,” he said. “Our scores are very high and last year was a great year for us but it will be tough to stay there unless we have movement up; we can’t lose the progress.”
One area the district has made a focus area is attendance. The district maintained its bonus points for its improved attendance on the 90/90 scale.
“Having our students in the classroom on a daily basis taking advantage of the learning opportunities we feel is a big factor in our overall success,” Wheeler stated. “We’re at the point in our attendance that it is going to be very difficult to get growth points in that area.”
Sedalia is also seeing an increased percentage of students involved in extracurricular activities.
“Our student body district-wide is becoming more aware of the opportunities that are available to them,” Pollitt said. “The move of the freshmen to the high school has been a positive and has increased their participation in both athletics and club activities.
“We know that our test scores are very important, but I have said it many times before they are not all we do,” Pollitt added. “We are very fortunate to have the support of the community and with that we are helping our students to become productive citizens once they graduate.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.