Parkway Earns Near Perfect Score on School Performance

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           This year, Parkway School District earned nearly perfect scores (99.6 percent) from the Department of Education in their annual performance reports.

            “Our scores are our grade as a school. The state grades us based on our performance; they use the MSIP 5 or Missouri School Improvement Plan to measure academic achievement for all kids, those in the gap group, as well as graduation rates, and attendance,” said Carter Snow progress monitoring coach.

            Schools across the state were assessed based on several different factors including academic success, college and career readiness, attendance, and graduation rates. The state used standardized test scores to rate schools’ achievement in four subject areas: math, science, English, and social studies.

            “I was surprised by our science achievement. I didn’t know that we could get a 100 percent,” said junior Bhavana Yerragunta

            Achievement scores were derived from the number of students scoring advanced or proficient on standardized tests over a certain subject. Parkway North earned perfect scores in their achievement in English and science. Not only were all students assessed, but the state paid special attention to the achievement by students in “gap groups”.

            “Gap groups are students who have not performed highly historically.  These are African-American or Hispanic students, those on IEPs [students with disabilities], those with lower economic status, or those in ESOL,” said Snow.

Test scores from students in this sub group were examined independently. This encouraged schools to emphasize learning for all as well as focus special attention towards helping every student thrive.

            While scoring high on the performance report looks good for a school, it also gives schools accreditation.

            “We’re accredited because of our scores; accreditation means that the state has confidence in the school,” said Snow.

            Accreditation allows schools to get money and funding from the government. Additionally, schools who scored extremely well were given an extra level of accreditation. Schools who scored higher than 90 out of 100, as well as met certain regulations, were given accreditation with distinction, Parkway was fortunate enough to get this award.

            Although the district received the second highest score of all Missouri school with over 1,000 students, there is always room for improvement.

            “If we improve our attendance, we will score better,” said Snow.

            The state grades school attendance based on the amount of students who attend school 90 percent or more days throughout the year, with the goal of having 90 percent of all students attending at least 90 percent of the time. According to last year’s records, about 82 percent of all students attended school at least 90 percent of the time. By improving this percentage, the school has the opportunity of raising its score.

 By: Gianna Sparks  Centerspread Editor