Sweet Springs school board hears school achievement reports Feb. 18

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Sweet Springs Board of Education met Monday, Feb. 18, to hear several reports on school achievements.

Janell Castle, A+ program coordinator, told the board that the school had its designation review Jan. 16.

"It went very well," she said. The recommendation based off the review will be presented to the Missouri State Board of Education in April.

Castle received a letter from Ingrid Caldwell, supervisor of A+ programs for the Missouri School Improvement Programs, on Jan. 17.

It read, "I am pleased to inform you that Sweet Springs High School has met all the requirements needed to become an A+ Designated High School.

President John Dorhman mentioned to the board that Castle's program booklet was used by the review committee as an example for other schools. Castle said a couple of teachers have called to ask her advice on how to present the information correctly in a booklet.

"Our seniors this year are eligible," Castle said. She has had 10 seniors sign-up already. Some qualifications for this program is a 95 percent attendance from freshman to senior year. Castle said that roughly translates in about 35 days absent.

"The hardest part for this year's senior to qualify for A+ is getting their tutoring (hours) in," Castle said. The program will have to set a date, probably in April, for students to have the opportunity to sign up and still be able to complete the requirements.

"We are not officially designated at this time," Jones said.

Jones presented the board with the district's official annual report card.

"You can see that Sweet Springs R-7 has met 14 of 14 goals," Jones said. "This qualified us for Performance with Distinction designation for the third consecutive year."

Jones presented the board with a letter Anna Fricke, special services teacher, received from Mary Corey of DESE about the district's special education department.

"Our special education department is to be commended for being one of only 37 districts in Missouri who do not have to write an improvement plan," Jones said. "The state doesn't see us needing to do something special. The end result is we have excelled here. This is a big accomplishment."

Districts were evaluated in the areas of graduation, dropout, MAP Communication Arts achievement for grades 3-5, and special education placements.

"Due to the small numbers, Sweet Springs was not evaluated for the graduation rate, but for the other areas," Corey's letter said. "The district's 2006-2007 performance was well above the thresholds established by the Division of Special Education."

"It seems like we are always getting recognized for something and we owe it to the teachers," Secretary Jack Thomas said.

In other business, Jones said the district has to make up days missed due to weather. The first three days will be made up on Jan. 21, March 20 and March 25.

"They are approved in the original calendar," Jones said, so no action was needed by the board. He said this takes off two days from the four days students have for Easter holiday.

The next board meeting will be Thursday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m.

Contact Rachel Harper at marshallcity@socket.net

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