NEW MADRID - The New Madrid County R-1 School District earned top marks from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The district, which underwent a Missouri School Improvement Program review during the 2005-06 school year, has received its final summary report from Dr. John Weber, director of the Missouri School Improvement Program. "This is one of the best reviews I have participated in the state," said Weber.
The district was given the highest marks with full accreditation.
Bill Nance, district superintendent, credited the staff and parents with enabling the district to earn the high rating. "I am proud of the New Madrid County R-1 School District," he said. "We have a wonderful staff and great parents that share the same vision and that is to provide the best possible education for our children."
Data used to complete the MSIP reports comes from a variety of sources including team members' observations and interviews. Also questionnaires were compiled by teachers, support staff, parents, students, board members, counselors, librarians, administrators and district administrators.
For performance standards, the district's Missouri Assessment Program scores and ACT scores were provided by the publishers of the tests. The review covers dropout, attendance, college courses, vocational courses, vocational placement data and grade point averages.
Among strengths noted by the MSIP team were:
* The district provides the minimum number of high school credits in all subject areas and the desirable number of high school credits in at least seven subject areas. In addition classes in five of the seven vocational areas are offered over a two-year period.
* Staffing ratios meet desirable standards for librarian to student at two elementary schools, the middle school and the high school; for counselor to student at two elementary schools; and for principal to student at two elementary schools and the middle school.
* The district has developed numerous strategies to prepare students for the MAP tests and to encourage students to do their best.
* Questionnaire responses indicated the availability of current instructional resources is high compared to the state sample and the learning climate is positive at the schools. Also according to questionnaire responses the district maintains a safe environment for staff and students at its facilities.
* The board establishes policies and permits administrator to implement these policies on a day-to-day basis.
* The district's Parents as Teachers Program serves 115 percent of its eligible families compared to the state average of 46 percent.
* The percent of advanced and vocational courses taken by juniors and seniors is at a high level.
* The percent of graduates enrolled in postsecondary education is at a high level.
* The percent of those who complete vocational training and were placed in related employment or continued their employment after graduation was at a high level.
Some concerns were noted, according to Nance, who added these concerns are similar to those most districts receive.
The concerns were to increase MAP achievement results in math, science and communication arts for all students as well as work toward improving the average on the ACT. Also the district will work toward decreasing the dropout rate.