Wildcat Thursday Thread

Dr. Keith White 1/21/21

Big picture

We have had a great start to our second semester!

There are many great learning opportunities and activities going on daily throughout our schools every day. Please continue to follow our Facebook pages and websites for updates and information. Below you will see a few examples of the many great things going on in our district. We have had a great start to our second semester and look forward to continuing daily for each Diamond R-IV student and staff member to BE THE CHANGE throughout the spring semester!

Dr. Keith White, Superintendent

All of our schools were selected for the DESE Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant!

In November 2020, our district leaders applied for a competitive grant for the Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant. Recently, DESE released the districts and buildings that were selected. We are so excited that all three buildings (DES, DMS, & DHS) have been selected for this grant. Below are some of the services offered to us and attached is the press release from DESE.

Services offered to us:

  • school-level literacy assets/needs assessments
  • development of school/district comprehensive literacy plans
  • in-classroom coaching on reading foundations instruction
  • job-embedded professional development on all aspects of literacy
  • summer institutes for LEA literacy leaders
  • support in implementing train-the-trainer model professional development
  • early childhood literacy professional development and support

Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) days for Inclement Weather Closings

Diamond R-IV Students, Staff, & Families,

As we are continuing to deal with winter weather, I wanted to remind you with some information that DESE is allowing this year regarding potential inclement weather days and are planned in our district calendar.

2020-21 AMI Information

We are excited to share that Diamond R-IV School District has been granted approval to offer “Alternative Methods of Instruction” or AMI days during the 2020-2021 school year for inclement weather. This plan allows the opportunity for all Diamond R-IV students to be engaged in meaningful learning on inclement weather days or emergency days when conditions prevent district schools from being in session. Parents will be informed when an AMI day has been scheduled utilizing our Lumen Parent Portal and other district communication tools (Facebook, Website, and local news agencies).


AMI simply allows for the continuation of learning when students miss days of regular instruction due to district closure for inclement weather. Students will have the opportunity for skill reinforcement, remediation and enrichment through electronic or conventional paper lessons. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has granted the Diamond R-IV School District five days (36 hours) this school year to be built into our calendar on which students will be expected to continue learning off-site (home, etc.). Some benefits of an AMI day include assisting in eliminating gaps in learning by providing learning activities and reducing the need for days to be added at the end of the school calendar.

How Will AMI Days Work?

  • We will continue to communicate a snow day as we have in the past, however on certain days, it will be announced that we are not having school due to weather but we are having an AMI Day. It will be announced as AMI Day 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Teachers will use online resources (Google Classroom like our AMI-X Mondays) or AMI packets depending upon the grade level containing lessons to be completed on AMI days.
  • Instructions and information will be provided by your child’s teachers, and students are expected to complete their Google Classroom assignments on the AMI day and submit printed learning activities within two (2) days of returning to school. If you have questions about learning activities, please do not hesitate to contact your child's school or teacher through email as teachers will be monitoring their emails during regular school hours.


  • Students and Diamond R-IV district staff will NOT attend school on an AMI inclement weather day. All students will have instructional activities to be completed at home on AMI days.
  • AMI days count as instructional days and do not have to be made up at the end of the school year if students and staff complete assigned work.
  • Students who do not complete and submit AMI online assignments (Google Classroom), or printed packets within two days of returning to school, will be marked absent for the related AMI day.
  • The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has allowed five AMI days (36 hours) for the 20-21 school year.
  • As we implement this new method, we anticipate that we will learn lessons along the way and make necessary adjustments to improve our AMI plan to best meet the needs of our students. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to phone or email your child’s school.
  • AMI days will only be used for inclement weather or other emergency situations. Any necessary COVID related virtual learning that is needed will fall under our AMI-X (Extended) Plan which we utilize on our AMI-X Mondays and for all school closures (phases) related to COVID.

Dr. Keith White, Superintendent

COVID-19 Dashbaord

Our positive COVID-19 numbers and quarantined students has held steady or decreased districtwide with three current positive student cases, zero current staff positive cases, and 12 students quarantined. You can check our current numbers at the following COVID-19 District Dashboard which is updated regularly.

Elementary Para Position, Substitute Teachers, Bus Drivers, & Custodians needed!

Diamond Elementary is currently seeking an individual who loves kids and wants to make a difference in their lives as an Educational Paraprofessional. If you or you know of someone who has at least 60 hours college credit and would be a great team member for the DES team please complete an application online at diamondwildcats.org, click on the JOB OPENINGS tab, and contact the DES office at 417-325-5189.

Do you know someone interested in becoming a substitute teacher and do not have 60 hours of college courses yet? No problem as DESE has modified the requirements due to COVID https://dese.mo.gov/educator-quality/certification/substitute-teachers. If you are interested in daily making a positive difference in our schools for students go to diamondwildcats.org and click on the JOB OPENINGS tab. Follow the instructions and fill out an application for SUBSTITUTE TEACHER. You will be able to attach your sub certificate from DESE to the application. Once the application is complete, well will send the applicant an employment packet and once returned, they will be added to the district sub list.

If you are interested in being a bus driver or custodian for the Diamond R-IV School District, please follow this link: https://diamond.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx.

Wildcat Spotlights!

The Winter seasons for our Diamond R-IV activities are continuing to go very well. Below are pictures from several of our Winter activities and events from the past couple weeks. Please come support our Winter sports/activities as we continue to have high hopes for a great winter season for our activities and school organizations to be Wildcat Strong!.

Diamond Elementary Spotlights!

The annual Joplin Globe Spelling Bee has been the buzz around 4th and 5th grade classrooms. Each classroom had their own competitions to choose a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner that will then go on to compete in the School-Wide Spelling Bee. This will be held on Friday, January 29th. A recording will be made of the competition and will be placed on the District website and Facebook. Unfortunately, the regional competition has been cancelled due to Covid. We wish all the contestants the best of luck!

Mrs Higg's 5th Grade Class - 1st Dawson Housh, 2nd Zeke Dorris, 3rd Anna Roszell

Mrs. Killebrew's 5th Grade Class - 1st Jackson Jarvis, 2nd Ethan Harter, 3rd Halen Starr

Mrs. Sherrill's 4th Grade Class - 1st Ainsely Webb, 2nd Emma Transeau, 3rd Laila Martinez

Mrs. McLees's 4th Grade Class - 1st Kyndall Badley, 2nd Kestyn Beckett, 3rd Cooper Mitchell

December's Character Kids were awarded today for showing caring behavior. Caring is being supportive and responding to the needs of others with kindness and compassion. Congratulations!

Pre K Clouse Ian Forcum

Pre K Clouse Landry Tomlin

K Alford Caroline Schneider

K Jameson Sawyer Jones

1 Llanes Ryan Rand

1 Wilson Braxton Owen

2 Packard AJ Calhoun

2 Stokes Kevin Yorke

3 Austin Gavin Body

3 Welch Kynlee Duckett

4 Sherrill Emma Transeau

5 Higgs Joe Clifton

5 Killebrew Arianna Silva-Ogando

Diamond Middle School Spotlights!

Lady Wildcats are 13-3 to start the season! They are currently ranked number 5 in the Class 3 NBCA Coaches Poll and won the Golden City Basketball Tournament!!

Big picture
Big picture

Our DHS Battle Cats are having a great wrestling season so far!

DHS Speech and Debate Team is having great success!

The Diamond High School speech and debate team hosted their annual novice speech tournament as a virtual tournament Oct. 19-Oct. 23. As usual, they were one of the first teams to host in the season, making them one of the first schools in the area to host virtually. As an activity, speech and debate is learning how to compete on a virtual platform as they go.

Diamond hosted 15 schools from the area. As usual, Diamond doesn't compete at their own tournament. They compete when other schools host tournaments. For most events, the competition happened Monday-Thursday. These speeches were recorded on video and sent out to judges for judging.

On Friday, live virtual extemporaneous speaking was held via Zoom. Area students drew topics on current events and had 30 minutes to prepare a 7-minute speech on the topic. The speakers gave speeches to judges in Zoom meetings.

Bailey Danner and Campbell Frazier were semifinalists at the Willard virtual tournament.

In November, Diamond competed in the Raymore-Peculiar speech tournament. There were 34 schools entered. Allison Brown was 10th in Original Oratory, Campbell Frasier and Tessa Shaw were 8th in Duo Interpretation, and Tessa Shaw placed 6th in Program Oral Interpretation and 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation.

In December, Bailey Danner competed in Boliver's novice speech tournament. There were 24 schools entered. Bailey placed 5th in Program Oral Interpretation and 3rd in Humorous Interpretation.

The team then competed in the last tournament of 2020: Hillcrest's Winterfest. Twelve schools entered this tournament. As a team, Diamond placed third. Payton Douty and Michaela Harris were semifinalists in Poetry and Program Oral Interpretation, respectively. Bailey Danner was a semifinalist in Humorous Interpretation. She also placed 6th in both Program Oral Interpretation and Storytelling. Allison Brown placed 6th in Original Oratory.

Tessa Shaw had a great tournament. She was the tournament champion in three events: Dramatic Interpretation, Poetry, and Prose. She also placed 3rd in Program Oral Interp. Tessa Shaw is also the first recipient of the Mark Gideon Individual Sweeps Award, named for Hillcrest's coach who retired last year. Her name is also added to the perpetual trophy for speech excellence that is awarded to one student each year. This award is named in honor of Dustin Hargis who was killed in a car accident before competing at the state tournament in 1996.

Diamond began the second semester competing at the Webb City/Carthage speech tournament. Bailey Danner was 4th in novice humorous interpretation and 5th in novice program interpretation. Tessa Shaw was 2nd in varsity dramatic interpretation and 1st in varsity program interpretation.

Diamond next competed at Fair Grove. The team finished 5th out of 22 schools. Bailey Danner was a semifinalist in program interpretation. Tessa Shaw was 2nd in program interpretation and first in both dramatic interpretation and prose.

Currently, the team is competing in the Reeds Spring tournament while filming for the Pleasant Hill tournament. This season has been completely virtual. It’s been an interesting change to compete all week instead of just during a weekend. We’ve also had to learn how best to record performances.

The team has two regular season tournaments left at Savannah and Nixa. At the beginning of March, the team will begin the postseason as they compete to qualify for state and nationals. The MSHSAA state tournament and the NSDA national tournament will be held virtually this year. Tessa Shaw was a national qualifier in duo interpretation last year with her partner Michael Frisbie.

New banners were installed over Christmas Break in the DHS gym!

New exterior doors installed on the East side of DHS!