What is happening in your school?

Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, welcomed staff and community to the strategic planning event on Thursday and spoke about the importance of keeping rural schools relevant in the years to come. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville heads into 2020 with inspection of progress, programs

The Cassville school district touched on a number of major topics with the community, students and programs happening in the district during the strategic planning and update dinner on Thursday.

The community, along with teachers, administrators and other staff, was invited into the high school commons area to discuss those important topics.

People who attended the strategic planning event at the Cassville high school on Thursday were asked to communicate with each other and discuss any questions or concerns brought up by the updates. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, welcomed everyone to the event by announcing the new Parents as Teachers co-directors, Angela Roller and Krystal Burns.

“The strategic planning is what brought Vision 150 into reality,” he said. “[Our main goal is], whatever the path for our students, how can we assist them in being career ready.”

Asbill focused on explaining to the crowd why it is important for the district to have a strategic plan.

After the strategic planning event on Thursday, the community and staff came together to discuss further topics and questions that arose during the update. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

“Will Cassville’s school and community be relevant in 2025 or 2030?” he asked. “If the answer is, ‘We hope so,’ a strategic plan is there to make sure that Cassville is relevant in 2025 and 2030.

“We have to be able to make and keep rural education relevant. It is important to not only the area, but to the country.”

Moving forward, the primary school staff updated the community of what is new and important in that building.

During the strategic planning event on Thursday, staff and administrators gave an update on each building. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

First, there has been a focus on friendly greetings not only at the busses, but at the classroom doors. Putting a focus on that first interaction helps students learn and maintain their social skills.

Also, school-to-home communication has been improving with the use of resources like Class Dojo and Remind.

The community told the district the importance of teaching the value of a dollar to their children in the primary level.

Traci Mitchell, Cassville co-director of learning, thanked the community for coming together and discussing updates in the school district. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

The district listened, and helps guide students into that understanding by counting money and learning the economic balance of needs verses wants.

At the intermediate level, the district focused on five main goals that included improving student intervention, progress checks every four weeks and letting the fifth-grade students tour the middle school in preparation of the next school year.

The district feels that allowing the fifth-grade students to tour the environment they will be in has helped cut down on anxieties and fears by allowing the students to ask those teachers questions.

Additionally, using data gathered from the students, the teachers are better able to look at each student’s growth through the year and even break that down by the month or week for better intervention.

One of the major updates for the middle school included the student-led parent teach conferences. The district feels this is allowing the students to take responsibility and ownership of their progress.

Teachers have also created an alternative seating environment to help cater to each student’s unique needs, with the use of soft seating and couches in the classrooms.

The middle school building has also started a focus each month on a character lesson in each homeroom class that is geared to each grade level.

Staff also feel that the parental tab on the districts website has helped keep parents in the loop of their students activities and progress.

At Cassville High School, there have been three main areas of focus.

The first is safety and security, for which needs have been met with the most recent installation of metal detectors.

Second, curriculum and instruction is being addressed with the addition of new course offerings. This allows the students to take courses that are geared toward their personal career choices.

Third is college and career readiness. This focused on programs like Jobs for American Graduates and teacher internships.

The staff have put together a surveyhasfor the students, which includes a section for them to fill out each year, freshman to senior, what their graduation and post secondary goals are. This allows staff to manage the changes and direction of each student through the years.

Additionally a survey has been sent out to local businesses to help show the students what it is that companies are looking for in a new hire. It also asks them what they see in the students that works, and what can be improved on. ACT guidance has also had a focus in preparing the students after graduation.

Finally, the Parents as Teachers co-directors are becoming more involved with students who are expecting. This is allowing the school to help guide those students through a difficult obstacle they are facing.

After the presentations, the staff and community were asked to fill out a comment card with suggestions, ideas and concerns for the district to go over, as well as, interact with each other and ask question on any topics discussed throughout the evening.

Mitchell closed the evening by saying, “We value your input, and we listen.”

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