Pirate Pete

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently released the Annual Performance Reports (APRs) for last school year (2022-23). This information provides feeedback relative to progress made to meet the Standards and Indicators in the sixth version of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 6). As shared in a recent DESE News Release “MSIP is the state’s system for reviewing and accrediting/classifying LEAs. It outlines expectations for school practices and student outcomes, with the goal of each student graduating ready for success in college, career, and life. The 2023 APR is the second APR generated under the newest iteration of MSIP 6 and will be used for accreditation purposes next year” (Vol. 57, No. 33 December 18, 2023). Our school district believes in continuous improvement and developed a plan to promote and encourage improvement within our school community during the spring last year. The Macks Creek Continuous School Improvement Plan or CSIP is available here. This document and the progress toward the goals and objectives contained within it is a monthly topic at every regular meeting of the Board of Education.

Our APR for the 2021-2022 school year in the area of continuous improvement was 98.1% and in the area of performance was 62.1% (for a combined score of 72.5%). Our APR for the 2022-2023 school year was 98% in continuous improvement and 52.5% in performance (for a combined score of 65.3%). Macks Creek R-V School has incorporated many programs during the 23-24 school year to promote academic growth and success. Acknowledging an accelerated learning approach works best to lessen student learning gaps left from the pandemic, prompted many changes during the 22-23 and current school year. The district’s current APR standing is not reflective of the amount of time, care, student-centeredness, or community support of the Macks Creek R-V School District. With a focus upon several continuous improvement efforts that began in the spring of 2023, we are confident we will see growth in student achievement this spring when students in grades 3 - 8 are tested through the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and our high school students through End-of-Course (EOC) exams. 

The student performance results of MAP and EOC comprise 70% of the APR each year and we are looking forward to seeing how much growth our students will have this spring. For example, a whole staff approach to continued success and refocusing goals and objectives to ensure mastery of learning objectives prompted the creation of Mutiny Mornings (before school tutoring) and Ahoy Matey Afternoons (after school tutoring). This created three additional hours each school day for student learning opportunities. The implementation of Career Ladder has led to 85% of Elementary Teachers participating in the district’s learning initiative. Additionally, the number of students participating in tutoring has quadrupled from the previous year. On the high school side, after school tutoring is available for students every afternoon.

The district implemented academic assessments from the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) at the beginning of the current school year. These assessments are evidence-based, aligned to Missouri learning standards and are being utilized to monitor growth for all students and to target learning areas where any student may need additional support throughout the school year. This growth monitoring provides continuous data that enhances our teachers ability to provide differentiated instruction to meet the unique learning needs of the individual student.

Beginning the 22-23 school year, the district began adding monetary incentives to our Academic Week prior to administering state assessments. These incentives are to aid with motivating all students and to reward any students that score in the top tiered categories and/or improved in any category from the previous year’s state assessment. Our Academic Week is a fun-filled week to motivate students on the state assessments while providing hands-on practice and learning good test taking strategies. The district believes in working hard then playing hard so good academic performance continues to be one of the primary criteria for being eligible to attend our quarterly incentive trips.

The District’s CSIP plan was created with a focus on both student success and teacher development. Attendance is a major focal point. Absent students miss out on valuable instruction time, and we see a direct correlation between student achievement and attendance. Last school year marks the first year of the implementation of a new reading program, and while the change has been positive, allowing more teacher autonomy and flexibility, we did expect an implementation dip. As a part of our focus upon teacher development several of our teachers in the primary grades have participated in weeks long training during the summer regarding the scientifically-research based “Language Essentials for Teacher of Reading and Spelling” (LETRS). As our teachers become more proficient with our new reading program and implement LETRS strategies in their classrooms each day, we are excited to witness student growth in communication arts. 

The district is also mindful how changes in our lunch program funding status from the federal government created anomalies in our data. For example, when our students were evaluated under MSIP 6 during the 2021-2022 school year, 100% of our student body were included in the Student Group of Free & Reduced Lunch. During the 2022-2023 school year, when the district was no longer eligible for the Community Eligibility Provision, only those students who qualify for a Free & Reduced lunch rate were included in the Student Group of Free & Reduced Lunch. As a result of removing nearly 50% of our students from this sub-group from one year to the next, the district lost a substantial number of points not because of an actual decline in Academic Achievement Growth in the subset, but simply because of a drastic decrease in the number of students whose scores were counted within this student group. Realizing this anomaly exists in the scoring, we are looking forward to a more fair comparison between the students in this subset in 22-23 and 23-24 when next year’s APR is released. 

Our school district is committed to taking steps every day to improve the effectiveness of our programs and improve the quality of every student’s educational experience. The following graphic from page 6 of our CSIP illustrates our priorities in the areas of teaching & learning, climate & culture as well as leadership & mentorship: 

This year, in our 3rd year of MSIP 6, we are looking forward to continuing to link arms with everyone in our school community for the benefit of our students. We are grateful to everyone who plays a role in the growth and development of our students as we strive to fulfill our mission to “develop lifelong learners to be responsible citizens: preparing for success in an ever-changing world.” We encourage families to continue to make the education of their children a priority by ensuring they are present here at school as often as possible and for supporting school-day learning at home. We are confident as we implement our CSIP and work together daily for the benefit of our students, we will see gains in our APR score in the years to come! 

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