The Van-Far School District’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) and End-of-Course (EOC) testing results came in showing both strengths and some concerns for the district.
Virgena Gibson discussed the results in the district’s October 18 regular school board meeting
For MAP testing, Gibson said students in grades 3-8 last spring were tested in the subjects of mathematics and communication arts with 5th and 8th grade students also tested in science. EOC testing covered high-school coursework including English I, English II, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Biology I, Government, and American History.
Gibson reported strengths for the district included 5th and 6th grade students exceeding the state average in the top two levels, proficient and advanced, for communication arts. She said a concern for the district was 3rd and 7th grade scores in the subject, which were significantly below the two levels by at least 10 percent.
Gibson said high school Algebra I and Geometry scores in EOC testing were significantly greater than the state percentage in proficient and advanced scores by greater than 10 percent.
Grades 3 and 8 in mathematics testing and Algebra II students in EOC testing also ranked above the state’s top two tiers. Though, 7th grade scores were significantly lower.
Also concerning for the district, high school government students scored significantly below the top two tiers along with Biology I students and 8th grade science students.
Van-Far Superintendent Chris Felmlee recommended the board allow out-of-district elementary school programs to use school facilities for practice purposes. He said priority should be given to in-district extracurricular activities and that the elementary gym be closed at 7 p.m. and the high school gym be closed at 8 p.m. — both times being when janitorial staff would be on-hand to lock the doors.
Questions arose from the board about the district’s liability for out-of-district activities, whether district staff would need to be present, questions on weekend use of the facilities, if favoritism would be given to certain out-of-district groups, whether kids from anywhere would be given access, and the scheduling structure.
Superintendent Felmlee responded that groups like Hot Shots are organized with district staff on hand and their own insurance. The group also uses school facilities on Sundays. He said other groups would “hypothetically” be covered for liability issues.
He said staff would need to be present in all situations and groups would need to schedule times for facility use beforehand, i.e. on the gym calendar.
He said facility use would be allowed for district-enrolled students involved in out-of-district activities and not just anyone who wants to use the facilities.
The board voted down its first motion that would allow facility use for outside groups with the elementary gym closing at 7 p.m. and high school gym closing at 8 p.m.
The board then unanimously voted 7-0 that district facility use should be determined by the district’s administrative team.
The board also unanimously approved the student assessment program with no significant changes within the plan.
Superintendent Felmlee reported that district enrollment is showing progress.
September’s average daily attendance came in at about 560 students with October enrollment jumping to 597 students in grades K-12 from 590 in September. Enrollment at the elementary school was 341. Enrollment at the high school was 256.
Superintendent Felmlee reported that the Missouri School Board Association regional meeting, to be held at the Montgomery County R-II High School cafeteria, will focus on Proposition B and tax credits.
Elementary School Principal Amber Crane reported that 96 percent of parents attended parent-teacher conferences. Parents not attending have been given other options to speak with teachers.
She thanked Taryn Dameron, Van-Far agricultural instructor and FFA advisor, for a successful “Food for America.”
She reported that after the October 10 early dismissal, teams looked over RtI data and planned for math intervention. She said many teams succeeded in completing their “Smart” goal and have moved onto new focuses.
Students of the month were Ava Young, kindergarten; Katherine Guo, first grade; Melissa Carmichael, second grade; “Josie,” fourth grade; Austin Chastain, fifth grade; and Claire Motley, sixth grade.
For the high school, Van-Far Principal Cindy Pirch reported that seniors are completing college applications with help from Ms. Waller.
She said end-of-quarter testing will be held on October 19.
Pirch said staff will be working on professional development after the October 24 early out. Work will be on “Common Core” math and writing.
She said FFA students will be traveling to Indianapolis for the national FFA convention.
Red Ribbon week is from October 22-31
From 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 31, the “Halloween Hoopla” will be held at the high school gym. The “Barnwarming” event will be held from 7-11 p.m. on November 1.
The Booster Club will host the “Pre-Season Meal” for basketball players and cheerleaders at 6 p.m. November 8, which is followed by “Project Prom” at 7 p.m.
The National Honor Society will spearhead Veteran’s Day. Veterans will be honored at 9 a.m. Friday, November 9.
The fall awards ceremony for softball, football, and cheerleading will take place at 6:30 p.m. November 13.
The EMO Conference Choir Concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, November 15 at Silex.
Pirch reported that Matt McGlasson was elected as one of the Northeast District Skills USA officers.
He will be traveling to Jefferson City for the Skills USA executive council meeting.
Jody Horner, special education director, presented to the board the district’s special education program.
Horner reported the district serves 108 students in the program with a team made up of five teachers, 11 para professionals, and three therapists.
Blake Logan, high school physical education teacher, presented the board with the health program self-evaluation.
Logan said the program consists mostly of sophomores and covers first aid/safety, nutrition/fitness, and relationships/human sexuality.
Logan reported that the program is not tested by the state but is a required course.
In its executive session, the board hired William Wickles as a bus driver.