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R-IV ‘report card’ shows growth, room for improvement

Posted on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

Students at Winfield Intermediate take their End-of-Course exams in April. Megan Gearhart photo.

By Megan Gearhart
STAFF WRITER

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released the annual performance report scores for each of the school districts in the state Nov. 15.
The Winfield School District saw a drop in its APR score from last year, going from 84.6 percent or 118.5 points out of a possible 140 to 81.4 percent or 114 points.
The report serves as a measure of progress for school districts, and covers five categories:, including academic achievement, subgroup achievement, college and career readiness, attendance and graduation rates.
Despite Winfield’s slightly lower score this year, Superintendant Daniel Williams said there are still “many areas to be quite proud of.”
He said the district outperformed the state average in several areas, including English language arts, social studies, math, college entrance exams and career readiness.
In attendance and graduation rate, Winfield remained on par with last year’s scores, at 75 percent and 100 percent, respectively.
In academic achievement, the area where Winfield struggled the most was science, earning just 56.3 percent overall, and 50 percent for those students belonging to the subgroup, which includes black and Hispanic, students with disabilities, English language learners, or low- income students in the district.
Williams said the areas where Winfield underperformed are a concern, but asserted that steps are being taken to overcome the achievement gap.
“We implemented a district-wide focus on incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) instruction into our learning environment to include a focus on project-oriented learning,” he said.
The category in which R-IV saw its most significant drop was college and career readiness this year, which sustained a 6.6 percent decrease from the prior year.
But Williams said the data from the report “can be misleading.”
“This year our percentage of students at or above the state standard for advanced placement was