R-6 SB receives update on state guidelines

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Exeter R-6 School Board members received information on new Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidelines during its regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 7.

Superintendent Dr. Ernest Raney shared information he received from Dennis Cooper, DESE Southwest Missouri Area supervisor, on the new Common Core Standards and other guidelines, which will impact school districts' annual performance reports (APR).

"This is a new way of looking at APR and the way schools are measured," said Dr. Raney. "It changes some things, like the way we measure attendance, but it all comes down to good instruction and good practices."

According to Dr. Raney, the new guidelines will require districts to ensure 90 percent of students achieve at least 90 percent attendance.

"This is more of a student focused standard," said Dr. Raney. "It will allow us to talk to individual students and let them know where they are in meeting the expectation.

"We will make sure we continue to be student focused and offer good instruction practices beginning in kindergarten and all the way through," continued Dr. Raney. "We will take care of one kid at a time early on and work to educate each child to their highest potential."

Dr. Raney said the district will continue to work to improve its literacy and mathematics performance, which is measured by standardized tests.

During the meeting, the Exeter School Board voted to give Dr. Raney authority to act for the board in pursuing refinancing for the lease purchase agreement used to finance the construction of the district's multipurpose facility.

"The projected cost savings for taxpayers is around $90,000," said Dr. Raney. "We want to take advantage of the low-interest rates to save funds."

Dr. Raney has been working with Gilmore and Bell to collect information on refinancing options. He hopes to present the information to the board members at their next meeting.

In other business, the Exeter R-6 School Board:

* Heard administrative reports.

* Voted to give $25 gift cards to all teachers.

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