Mt. Vernon R-5 district to focus on graduation rates, develop task force

Tressie Casey

Mt. Vernon schools are getting ready to invest major focus into graduation rates. According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Mt. Vernon is considered to be “on track” for state standard graduation rates. The district views this as an area to improve, therefore a strategy to improve the rates was discussed during the Oct. 17 school board meeting.
The plan is to create a graduation rate task force and to look into past students with the attempt to determine if there are any existing patterns for students who did not graduate. Their hope is to find a common denominator or a common struggle from some of the students from previous years and to use that information to help future students earn their diploma.
During the meeting, several staff members reported on the district’s annual performance report which was made public that day. Based on the report there are many areas that Mt. Vernon schools have improved and are very strong. Some of areas to celebrate include the fact the district has excelled in college and career readiness; for the first time since 2015 the ACT scores are above the state average; and student attendance is above state average.
Superintendent Scott Cook also reported on the attendance rate for the month of September during the meeting. The attendance rate was 95.95 percent which is the highest for the month of September since 2012. The Average Daily Attendance was down 32.79 students this time last year which is the lowest since 2003.
Library Media Specialist, Anne Garoutte and Kellie Krebs gave reports on the school libraries and the new DESE standards. There was also a request from girls basketball coach Grant Berendt for approval for a trip to Orlando, Fla. in December 2020. The trip would include a tournament similar to the trip the girls basketball team took in 2016. The board gave initial approval so that Berendt could begin fundraising.
The next Mt. Vernon R-V Board of Education meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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