The South Callaway R-2 School District notched a score of 99.2 percent on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's annual performance report, which serves as a snapshot of how school districts have performed over the past year.
In 2017, South Callaway earned a 100 percent on the APR, a perfect score.
"I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of the school," Superintendent Kevin Hillman told the South Callaway Board of Education during a meeting Wednesday. " This is incredible news to our staff; we have really worked hard."
APR scores for all school districts in the state won't be released by DESE until February, but Hillman said he decided to make it a surprise for the board after receiving South Callaway's score earlier in the week.
The APR takes into account five performance standards — academic achievement, subgroup achievement, college and career readiness, attendance rate, and graduation rate. Subgroup achievement includes performance by students within identified subgroups, such as students who are eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch, are of certain racial/ethnic background or have disabilities.
New English and math assessments were implemented during the past year, so this year's scores are not easily comparable to previous year's, but Hillman said it's still a good sign South Callaway is doing well.
"This is tangible — it's not opinion — that you can share with anybody," Hillman said. "The APR is not the end all, get all, but that's our grade card to the public."
The reason for the slight difference from last year is likely from a subgroup, Hillman said, and with the small size of South Callaway, it could be due to a single student.
The school has done significant work since 2013, when it got a still-high score of 91.8 percent, he added, such as starting the one-to-one program that provided all students with their own tablet.
"We asked for some changes as we brought in the one-to-one, and it's not the single thing that made this, but at the same time we did that, we said we want to try to up the bar with our rigor, with what we're doing, with our training," Hillman said.
Also during the meeting, the board approved a bid of $188,167 to Mid-West Transit for two new buses, including one with a wheel chair lift.
In addition, Hillman said South Callaway is planning a renovation to the middle school building, focusing on electrical maintenance, window replacement and drainage work. The building, which had its first graduating class in 1960, is in excellent shape, he added, but it needs some upkeep likely costing several hundreds of thousands of dollars.