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Mr. Scott Cook

Superintendent's Corner
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The Mount Vernon R-V Board of Education held its Regular Meeting on Thursday, October 17.  Below are items of interest:

 

Our attendance rate for the first month of school was 95.95% which is the highest attendance rate for September since 2012. However, our Average Daily Attendance grades K-12 was down 32.79 (1330.87) students from this time last year.  This is our lowest ADA for September in 16 years (2003-04) when ADA was 1329.64. 

 

For the first time, we are able to show Pre-K students in our ADA report.  I did not add the 14 students to the overall total in order to compare historical totals.  However, we will receive state formula money based on the inclusion of this new group over the course of the year.

 

Our official September Membership is down 24.15 students from last year.  This is the official count turned into the state as part of our Core Data through MOSIS and is pulled the last Wednesday in September (September 25).  September Membership is used by the county to calculate the distribution of Fines and the apportionment of State Assessed Railroad and Utilities Revenue.  Payment is based on the previous year’s number.  The numbers in this table will be the basis for payment we will receive in 2021.  The decimal points represent part time students. Currently, our Pre-K students are not all included in September Membership.  This is an error on DESE’s end and they are working to correct the problem.

 

The District’s Annual Performance Report was made public October 17 and the Board heard from several about the status of our District’s performance.  The Annual Performance Report, issued by DESE, is part of the MSIP Program which serves as the state’s accountability system for school districts.  The MSIP Program was established in 1990 and is now in its fifth generation.  It has evolved to focus solely on student performance.

 

The configuration of the Annual Performance Report is new in 2019.  Recently, the APR has been comprised of points earned and each District was assigned an overall percentage of points earned which served as a cumulative score.  DESE changed the format this year in an effort to reduce the competition naturally occurring between Districts when looking at the total percentage of points earned.  In the view of DESE, student achievement should not be a competition and the APR should used as a tool for improvement rather than measuring success against neighboring Districts.  Additionally, concentration on a percentage of points earned sometimes encouraged complacency and masked achievement issues lurking below the surface. As such, the APR is now solely focused on how the District is performing as compared to the state average in each category.  

 

The five categories used to comprise the Annual Performance Report remain the same:

 

Academic Achievement

 

  • The District administers an array of assessments required by the Missouri Assessment Program to measure academic achievement with the goal of meeting state standards or demonstrating improvement (both individually and collectively) over time.

Subgroup Achievement

 

  • Measures academic performance of student populations that historically underperform in relation to other groups.  
  • Again, the goal is to meet state standards or demonstrate required improvements. 
  • Subgroups in our District include students with disabilities and students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch.

College and Career Readiness

 

  • This standard measures whether or not the District provides adequate post-secondary preparation for all students.
  • Progress is measured in part based on student participation and success on a range of assessments such as the ACT and ASVAB tests.
  • In addition, the District is also measured on the number of students participating in Dual-Credit, Dual-Enrollment, and/or Advanced Placement classes and achieving success in those programs.  Students who receive an Industry Recognized Credential also count in the District’s favor.
  • Finally, this category evaluates the Postsecondary Placement of graduates into meaningful employment, the military, or postsecondary educational opportunities.

Attendance Rate

 

  • This standard is intended to make certain the District is ensuring all students regularly attend school. 
  • The target for this standard is that 90% of Mount Vernon students are in attendance at least 90% of the time. 
  • Districts are able to earn partial credit for students at 85% attendance and slightly more credit for students with attendance between 87.5% and 90%.

Graduation Rate

 

  • The Graduation Rate standard is intended to confirm all students successfully complete high school by issuing a percentage of students who complete an educational program meeting the graduation requirements as established by the Board of Education.  Districts are expected to reach certain graduation rate benchmarks and demonstrate required improvement.

Traditionally, the Academic Achievement portion of the APR includes student assessment data from English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. 

  • For the 2019 Annual Performance Report, Social Studies data is not included at all due to the administration of a new test. 
  • Science scores were not available for the initial release of APR.  DESE plans to release Science scores statewide around Thanksgiving. 
  • So Academic Achievement at this point only includes ELA and Math.

 

Below is a detailed chart comparing the performance of Mount Vernon Students as compared to the state average:

  Growth

State Average

(Status)

Mount Vernon R-V

(Status)

Mount Vernon R-V

(Progress)

Academic Achievement

ELA

49.2

 

Math

49.6

ELA

341.2

 

Math

313.6

ELA

354.4

 

Math

312.2

ELA

-1.9

 

Math

-2.9

Subgroup Achievement

ELA

49.1

 

Math

49.4

ELA 305.2

 

Math

272.3

ELA

321.5

 

Math

273.6

ELA

-1.8

 

Math

-4.6

 

 

The District continues to exhibit a strong program of preparing students for College and Career as evidenced by comparisons to the state average. Below is a chart detailing comparisons to the state average in these areas:

 

State Average

(Status)

Mount Vernon R-V

(Status)

Mount Vernon R-V

(Progress)

College and Career Readiness Assessments 71.2% 76.7% -1.6
Advanced Placement 59.3% 59.6% +0.8
Postsecondary Placement 91.2% 94.8% -2.7

 

 

As you can see, Mount Vernon is above the state average in all three categories used to measure College and Career Readiness.

 

Mount Vernon students and parents continued to help the District’s state accountability by again exhibiting great attendance throughout the 2018-19 school year.  Below is a table comparing our attendance rate to the state average:

 

 

State Average

(Status)

Mount Vernon R-V

(Status) 3 Year Avg.

Mount Vernon R-V (Progress)
Attendance 90.7% 92.3% 0.1%

 

 

Finally, the table below shows District data regarding Graduation Rate:

 

 

State Average

(Status)

Mount Vernon R-V

(Status) 3-Yr. Avg.

Mount Vernon R-V

(Progress)

Four Year Graduation Rate 91.5% 88.1% +1.4%
Five Year Graduation Rate 93.1% 89.1% +1.1%
Six Year Graduation Rate 93.4% 88.1% +0.6%
Seven Year Graduation Rate 93.3% 88.3% +0.6%

 

See the attached document below for charts provided by DESE regarding our APR.

 

As we evaluate the 2019 APR, it is important to find our areas of strength and celebrate our accomplishments.  

 

  • The District continues to excel in the area of College and Career Readiness. 
  • Perhaps no data is more reflective of this than our ACT Report. 
    • For the first time since 2015, our composite ACT Score and all contributing scores are above the state average.
    • 21.7 Composite (20.8 ELA/20.5 Math/23.7 Reading/21.2 Science)
  • Student attendance is above the state average and continues to reflect a partnership with our students and parents showing we all understand the importance of attending school regularly.
  • Scores for English Language Arts in grades 5-8 and English II have been consistently strong - right at or above the state average on the new assessments.
  • Scores for 8th Grade Math and Algebra I are above the state average.
  • As we transition into what we hope to improve, we can celebrate that the gap between performance and state average is not significant - and all are already addressed in our CSIP Plan.

 

The Annual Performance Report also provides an opportunity to evaluate areas where we can focus on improvement.

 

  • Math scores in grades 3-7 are below the state average.  Based on teacher feedback, we have already begun the process of looking at new curriculums for teaching Math.
  • Although ELA scores are above the state average, we have seen a gradual decline in recent years.  Rather than become complacent, with the help of our teachers, we have identified areas for improvement in ELA curriculum.  
    • There is an action plan for improving Vertical Alignment in all four core subjects ensuring we are spending the right amount of time on each topic.
    • Additionally, we have plans for a more comprehensive approach to analyzing test information from assessments helping to address weaknesses.
  • Finally, we would like some clarity on our Graduation Rate. 
    • Our Graduation Rate is defined as “On Track” in our APR. 
    • However, we have been stagnant for a few years and would like a better understanding of what keeps the District from meeting the state average. 
    • To that end, we plan to create a Graduation Rate “Task Force.” 
      • This committee will make efforts to examine our cohort groups individually and determine if any patterns exist among our students who fail to graduate in 4, 5, 6, or even 7 years. 
      • We would hope this effort to show any characteristics among our students that have been overlooked and perhaps better addressed.

We are grateful for our successes in the 2019 Annual Performance Report and thankful for the guidance it provides as we continue to look for even better ways to improve the quality of education we provide our students.

 

Anne Garoutte and Kellie Krebs presented to the Board regarding the new standards adopted by DESE for school libraries. 

  • At the center of the new standards is a new process of recognition for outstanding Media Centers across the state. 
  • This recognition process provides a blueprint for continuous improvement in the areas of instruction, leadership, environment, management, and staffing.
  • Mrs. Krebs also reported to the Board on some of the changes implemented at MVIS in the Media Center as she wraps up her first year in that role.

 

Next, the Board heard from Jeremy Smith and Amanda Bradshaw on the status of our Special Education Program.  See the attached presentation for more details.

 

Finally, the Board heard a request from Grant Berendt for approval of a trip for the Girls Basketball Program to Orlando, FL to occur in December 2020.  The trip would include participation in a tournament and is similar to the trip taken by the Girls Basketball team in 2016.  The Board gave its initial approval for the trip so that Coach Berendt could begin planning for fundraising efforts.

 

In Closed Session:

 

The Board accepted the resignation of Jordan Merritt from his position as Speech/Theater teacher at the High School in a closed session meeting on October 9th.

 

Last evening, the Board approved hiring Brook Olinger as a long-term substitute in the Speech/Theater position at the High School. Mrs. Olinger holds a degree in Musical Theater and has eight years of theater experience including experience directing teens and children.

 

The next scheduled meeting of the Mount Vernon R-V Board of Education will be held on Thursday, November 21 in the South Campus Board Room at 7:30 PM.

Posted 10/18/19
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Mr. Cook
Mr. Cook