Sweet Springs BOE joins Missouri assessment partnership consortium
The Sweet Springs Board of Education met Thursday, Feb. 15, where board members voted to join the Missouri assessment partnership consortium.
“As most of you are probably aware, in my opinion, there have been problems with the MAP test since it began several years ago,” Superintendent Donna Wright said. “We are on – I believe – the fourth test in five years. The MAP assessment is set up so you have one big test at the end of the year, and that’s suppose to tell you everything you need to know, but then you can't compare anything, because we’ve had four tests in five years.”
Wright said in response to that, a group of schools throughout Missouri is forming a consortium to develop a state assessment to replace the MAP tests. She said the goal is to give schools an assessment they can actually use to assess students – to see growth – and what the school is doing, or what they need to do.
“In the 2018-2019 year, what they’re looking at is that to be the year they go in and develop assessments, with the hope of starting the assessments in 2019-2020,” Wright added. “It’s just a program they are trying to get off the ground. There have been different schools that have been discussing this and planning this for a while, and they are to the point where they are seeing what schools in Missouri would like to come aboard in this consortium.”
Wright said it would only cost the school district $108 at the ground level. If the school district decides to continue participating in the consortium, the cost for 2018-2019 school year would be approximately $864.
“I think there is promise here,” Wright said. “We don't like the MAP, we want something different, and this is it.”
Board members voted to join the Missouri assessment partnership consortium.
Wright also reported the school district has missed school on three days due to inclement weather.
“Therefore, we will be in school this coming Monday, Feb. 19, and we will also be in school on May 21 and 22,” she said.
Elementary Principal Melanie Schlup reported elementary attendance for last month was at 94.66 percent. She also said the fifth- and sixth-grade boys’ and girls’ basketball teams recently played Malta Bend.
“I am very proud of the great sportsmanship displayed by our players, coaches and families,” Schlup added. “Keep up the great work, and good luck to our teams as they participate in the Concordia Lions Club Tournament tonight through Saturday.”
Schlup stated a principal’s luncheon was held Tuesday, Feb. 13, recognizing all students for their leadership and positive decision making.
She also reported school would not be in session on Friday, Feb. 16, as the school has its staff professional development day, focusing on suicide prevention, trauma training, teacher collaboration and district wellness.
High School Principal Josh Hume also gave a report on Thursday, saying high school attendance for last month was at 92.72 percent.
Hume reported the high school has been busy with midterm progress reports being sent out on Thursday, Feb. 15.
“So check your mail and inboxes,” Hume added.
He said the students have been celebrating many activities at the high school, including “Jam the Gym,” Courtwarming and Senior Night.
Hume congratulated senior athletes Zach Malter for his 1,000th point, and Zach Giffin for breaking the all time career three-point record.
He said students participated in FBLA week from Monday, Feb 12, to Friday, Feb. 16, and will participate in National FFA Week from Monday, Feb. 19, to Friday, Feb. 23. FFA Week will include the annual ski trip, a community service project, an appreciation dinner and hosting a motivational speaker.
Seventh- and eight-grade classes are currently working on essay contests, and ninth-grade students are working on a video essay. Last year, Sweet Springs High School had the number one video essay in the county.
“Softball and baseball start next week,” Hume said. “ Teams are very excited and thankful that they have a new outdoor batting cage and bullpen. Track is also getting ready to start – with their first practice beginning Monday, Feb. 26 – they’re excited to kick things off this year with the new facility.”
Also during Thursday’s meeting, a tuition request for Jason Burke was approved. Burke has been paying out of the district tuition for one child at the rate of $6,733. For the 2017-2018 year, tuition was raised to $9,500. Burke’s father requested to attend the meeting and ask board members to grandfather his tuition to the $6,733 amount. Board members approved his request.
Student Council Representative Olivia Hager reported the school raised just over $300 from “The Great Plunger Race” during “Jam the Gym” on Thursday, Feb. 8.
“All the money raised will go towards the Special Olympics Polar Plunge on March 3, in Columbia,” Hager said. “At the moment we have about 10 members ready to take the plunge.”
According to the financial report, the cash balance as of Jan. 1, was $5,433,675.70, with an excess revenue of $1,364,766.81. The final balance as of Jan. 31 was $6,798,442.51.
All members were present at Thursday’s meeting. The Sweet Springs Board of Education will meet again on Thursday, March 15, at 7 p.m.