For the fourth year in a row, the Lonedell R-XIV School District earned a perfect score on the Missouri School Improvement Program 5 annual performance report (APR).

MSIP 5 measures students in five standards — academic achievement, subgroup achievement, high school readiness, attendance and graduation.

Each score contributes to a total, or a percentage, of points earned. Subgroups include students in the free and reduced lunch program and students with disabilities, among others.

Lonedell serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The district scored 32 out of 32 possible points in academic achievement, eight out of eight possible points in subgroup achievement, and 10 out of 10 possible points for attendance, according to the report.

Superintendent Jenny Ulrich said she’s pleased with the results.

“We are very proud of our staff and our students for their hard work and achievement,” she said. “Our teachers work very hard to design a rigorous and pertinent curriculum aligned to the state standards. Our students’ achievement on the state assessments speak to the work that our teachers are doing in the classroom.”

There were a couple of factors school officials were concerned about, Ulrich said.

With the new math and English Language MAP tests students took last spring, there was no way to compare progress from years past, according to Ulrich.

“Since there wasn’t three years’ worth of comparable data, (the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) applied an interim formula in order to figure progress for APR,” she said.

“This was also new for our state and no one really knew what to expect in terms of how that might play out on our APR reports,” she said. “It ultimately did not affect our score, but we know that we have work to do in terms of preparing students for more rigorous testing in ELA and math.”

Additionally, the science portion was a pilot test, which meant it was not included in the report for any school district.

“That took 20 points out of the equation for all districts across the state,” Ulrich said. “Depending on how your district typically scores in this area you may have been hurt by this exclusion or helped by this exclusion in regards to APR scores.”

Lonedell usually does well in science, so she wasn’t sure if the exclusion of points were going to hurt the district’s score, however it did not.

To determine growth and progress of points, the current MSIP system relies on comparative data from year to year, Ulrich said.

“When there are so many changes happening to the assessment, that becomes quite a lofty task,” she said. “Therefore, we rely heavily on our own assessment practices within our district to gauge student progress and mastery.

“We are thrilled with our APR score, but we also know that it is a snapshot in time of how our students are doing and it is used to serve an accountability measure at the federal level,” she added.

There was a delay in receiving MAP test results because of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) setting new cut scores for the MAP test, which were expected to be more rigorous than in the past.

Cut scores determine how a student performs on a MAP test. The performance levels are below basic, basic, proficient or advanced. Districts receive points per student in each performance level.

For every student who is advanced, the district receives four points, three points for every student who is proficient, two points for every student who is basic and one point for every student who is below basic.

Within the district, she added that students’ progress are assessed monthly using a program called Evaluate.

“This software is aligned to Missouri standards and gives us immediate feedback on where our students are performing in regards to mastery of the learning standards. It allows us to adjust our instruction accordingly to meet students’ needs,” Ulrich said.

“We are very proud of our APR score, yet we are always striving to better serve our students.”