Lonedell R-XIV

Even though it had nowhere to go but down, the Lonedell R-XIV School District held its own and then some with the Missouri School Improvement Program’s latest district accreditation summary report.

The kindergarten through eighth-grade district accumulated 76.5 out of a possible 80 points on the MSIP 5 summary report released earlier this month. That computes to a 95.6 percent tally for 2013, which qualifies the district for accreditation with distinction honors.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education used the fifth revision of its annual performance report for the first time last year and is using this year as an actual baseline performance indicator.

Under MSIP 5, every school and school district in the state is awarded points based on its performance in academic achievement; subgroup achievement, which includes minority students, students with limited proficiency in English, students with disabilities, students eligible for free- and reduced price lunches and students receiving special education services; college and career or high school readiness; attendance rate; and graduation rate.

Each standard has a certain number of points a district can earn which then leads to a percentage. Districts that continue through high school have more criteria than K-8 districts.

A year ago, Lonedell was one of only 10 school districts in the state to earn a perfect score, netting 80 out of 80 on the MSIP 5 scoresheet.

“Our scores are something to be very proud of,” Lonedell Superintendent Jen Ulrich told The Missourian this week. “We’ve worked very hard and always are trying to do what’s right by the students. This is a numbers game, and we know there always is going to be fluctuation. But, our goal always will be to be between that 90 and 100 percentile and be accredited with distinction.”

Lonedell received a perfect 48 points in academic achievement, which accumulated 16 points each for English/language arts, math and science. It scored an 11-for-12 in subgroup achievement, gaining four points in English/language arts and math and three in science.

In attendance, Lonedell netted a perfect 10. In high school readiness, it earned a 7.5 out of 10.

“I’m very pleased,” Ulrich said. “We showed some good growth in some areas, and out declines were minimal.”

She said testing scores for fifth-graders climbed 19.4 percent in communication arts compared to the same test a year earlier when the pupils were fourth-graders.

Fourth-graders showed similar results in math, increasing 21 percent over when they were tested as third-graders.

“Those are some big gains,” Ulrich said.

“Overall, we felt like our students did very well,” the superintendent said.

Ulrich shared the basic numbers with the board of education during its August meeting.

A district must score at 70 percent above to gain accreditation.

According to information from DESE, the fifth version of the Missouri School Improvement Program was approved by the state board of education in 2011, giving schools two years to prepare for the new accountability standards.

The annual performance reports show how well each public school and school district is meeting the state’s education standards. They are used to review and accredit Missouri’s school districts.