Weekly Update 11-13-15

Wright City R-II School District

Good Day Leaders!

I hope all of you have had a great week!

Today is Friday the 13th. While some have superstitions around the day, it is a rather lucky day for me. I met my wife on a Friday the 13th. Hopefully she sees it as a lucky day too ;-)


  1. Which country do the Galapagos Islands belong too?
  2. Which president is on the far right hand side of Mt. Rushmore as you see their faces?
  3. How many million (rounded) people does the US Census estimate live in Missouri?
  4. What % of those are under the age of 18?
  5. What % of those have lived in their current house for more than 1 year?
  6. What % of those were born in a foreign country? US % born in a foreign country?
  7. What is the average Missourian's commute time to work? US?

Thank you!

The Veteran's Day activities were very well deserved. Last year, we had a patron ask for this to be a day off of school. While I understand that request, look at how much our kids a) had a chance to interact with veterans in our community, b) thought about what the day meant in a learning environment and c) our community veterans had a chance to be publicly celebrated. Perhaps none of those would have occurred if we had no school.


Speaking of calendars...the calendar committee will meet on December 1st. Please see your reps to give feedback. Most of the items, they had a strong consensus on. One item had perhaps 4 ideas.

The committee would like to align spring break with Washington for our kids who spend half their day there via Four Rivers Career Center. Washington has yet to select their spring break timing.

Q and A

Reminder that we will be in the MS and West for Q and A next week Thursday and in HS and East for Q and A next week Friday.

BOE Meeting on November 19th

After the start of the meeting (call to order; roll call; pledge; approval of agenda; MSBA Board Meeting review):

  • West Elementary Board Presentation
  • PAWS reports
  • HS Band to perform at MMEA Conference. BOE invited to attend.
  • Specs to be approved for HS water retention work. This would then go out to bid and be approved this winter.
  • Go to Market Resolution. This will be our last refinancing to the lower interest rates. It should save around $200,000 in interest over the life of the bond)
  • HB 1490. Ms. Hecktor will give an update on where we are and what is happening in the next 5 months.
  • APR. Ms. Hecktor will go over our Annual Performance Report scores.
  • First reading of policies BBB, BBBA, BBC, BHA, BHD (rescind), DGA, DLCA, JFH (rescind) and KL. Some of this is collapsing policies into one. One is for if someone where to use a signature stamp with my signature on it, they must use a log to track when and by whom to help deter fraud. There are also some reimbursement changes for BOE members.
  • Operating Tax Levy. Two months ago, we talked about timing of a possible ballot issue. They gave a few things they want to look at. I have provided those as well as visited with two outside groups that help out districts with elections (for a cost). Their advice is divergent on a few things. This is a discussion item. The salary committee will meet to go over this data as well in the very near future.
  • Greater Warren County Economic Development Council (GWCEDC). The expect to make a major announcement next week Wednesday. We will share that as well at the BOE meeting, assuming it goes as planned. The Wright City R-II School District is a contributing member of the GWCEDC.
  • Superintendent Evaluation. We will set up a calendar for my evaluation. We will also talk about the change over to the state model starting in January.
  • MSBA Regional Meeting. Only 1 member was able to attend. That member will share out what was said, including the topic of OSS.
  • Board Representation at Meetings. In July, the BOE had a workshop to set goals for the year. One of their strategies within their Community Connection goal was to start attending the 4 city and village meetings on occasion. We will schedule those at this meeting.
  • BOE Self Evaluation. On Tuesday of this week, the BOE met with 2 members of the Missouri School Boards Association and myself in a 2 hour workshop centered around the results of their 99 question online survey. A wrap up discussion will occur on Thursday.
  • Reimbursement for Austin Jones, Heidi Box and Mary Groeper. This was for the annual conference. They cannot vote on their own reimbursement.
  • Approval of last month's meeting minutes.
  • Employment. Hiring of 3 substitute teachers and a special education paraprofessional. Action on one retirement.
  • Third reading of BOE policy GDBDA and second reading of IGCBA.
  • Paying the bills
  • Transfer funds from Fund 1 to Fund 2 to cover certified salaries.
  • 2016 Election Resolution (regarding that we will have a April election for BOE positions)
  • Agreement for Title VI services.
  • Additional PK bus route (we have grown enough that we now need 2 routes).
  • Youth in Need MOU.

Interim Assessments (Classroom nDiagnostic Tool) ELA and Math grades 3-8

DESE has opened up a free new tool for interim assessments. They are not 'pick and choose' formative assessments, but they are adaptive tests that can be given a recommended 3 to 5 times a year with 5-6 weeks in between. The following link tells more about the tool: http://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/asmt-gl-cdt-user-guide-1516.pdf

Even though it is for grades 3-8, if a kid is doing well, they do go up grade levels during the test. In Math, a kid can go all the way up to Algebra II!

DESE Timeline for standards, district curriculum work and new assessments

If the State BOE passes something new in an area, here is the timeline leading up to that and what happens after as dictated by legislators in HB 1490:

  • November 2 - December 2, 2015: Public Comment Period
  • November 2 - January 13, 2016: Comment and feedback period for Academic Researchers (Higher Ed.)
  • December 14, 2015: Make all comments from the Joint Committee on Ed. public
  • February 18, 2016: Make all comments from Academic Researchers public
  • February 2016: State Board update on standards work at State Board Meeting
  • March 2016: State Board takes action on Standards at March State Board Meeting
  • March - May 15, 2016: Format and finalize Missouri Learning Standards if Board approves changes
  • May 15, 2016: Distribute final Standards to Missouri School Districts

School Year 2016-17: Schools develop curriculum for four content areas; Schools provide professional development for four content areas; Schools implement Standards in four content areas; Schools provide professional development in

grades and areas state assessed in the four content areas. DESE, Missouri teachers, and others begin the process of developing MAP assessments to be given in the Spring of

2018 in ELA, Math, Science and Social


Spring 2018: New MAP assessments given to assess the new Missouri Learning Standards

As you can see, things will be happening rapidly. You may remember that we had several years to develop curriculum and purchase materials, provide professional development, and prepare for new assessments when the state standards last changed in ELA and Math. With the timeline required by legislation, you will have the 2016-17 school year to work on curriculum development and training and need to be prepared to be fully implementing the new curriculum in the following year, 2017-18 when the new standards will be assessed. Please understand that originally the legislation provided an even smaller timeline with the assessments of the new Standards occurring in 2016-17. However, it is my understanding that the department was given an extension of one year for those assessments to be provided.

State Revenue

I hope to have more in next week's entry, but here is what we see so far.

First, their is a concern that due to Medicaid costs being $200 million higher than they budgeted for, and that the increase is automatic, this may hurt our funding if we do not grow enough. More to watch on that front.

Of interest, the FY15 receipts grew by 8.8%, which was higher than the 4.6% growth estimated. This created a one time surplus. And, we could actually have a negative growth, ever so slightly negative, and still reach our budget numbers as a state not withstanding the Medicaid call. FY17, due to growth and thus automatic tax cuts, could be a challenge growth wise. FY16, so far, looks o.k. What will they use the surplus for?

I will give the monthly stats for this year comparison to last year next week.


There is an approval route for any technology software that requires collection of any student data. If you are unaware of this, please see your building principal or the tech department for guidance.

From the desk of Jennifer hecktor

Child-First Language

One of the best gifts we can give our students is the benefit of a focus on their strengths, rather than their weaknesses. Every child has a gift, a talent, or a unique perspective that can contribute powerfully to the future of our world. When you are discussing students with your colleagues or with their parents, please remember to use child-first language instead of “disability-first” language.

For example, rather than saying "IEP student," we would want to say, "students with IEPs." Instead of saying, "Special Needs child" or “autistic child,” we would either refer to the child in another way through a descriptor we would use for any child without a disability or we would say, "students with _____________ [reading disabilities, accommodations for written expression, autism]." When we are speaking about our children, it is important that we always put the child first. A child is not defined by his or her disability. Thank you for considering how empowering such thoughtful syntax can be for a child, his or her parent, and for our educational community.

PDC Committee

By the end of this week’s meeting, the PDC Committee has approved $10,620.77 to support teacher professional growth and development through workshop requests. The committee--in conjunction with Donna Lindsey--also discussed ways to revise the form and process to ensure that the approval route is more clear and the information provided to the building secretaries is sufficient to submit a purchase order. The PDC Committee will begin planning the February PD Day at their next meeting.

November 17th--Proposed Standards Day

No. There is no parade or costume contest. Actually, it’s not an official day at all. However, on November 17th, the members of our fabulous Curriculum Review Committee (CRC) will report to their respective libraries after school to work on the review of the proposed standards. They will make themselves available to help you find the link to the survey, explain the crosswalk to you, and work side-by-side with you as you provide the state feedback on our proposed Missouri Learning Standards (MLS). Remember that this work is completely optional, but it is important to give constructive feedback to those who will be legislating the standards around which our curriculum will be formed. Thank you for participating in this effort!

Articles of the week

Trivia answers

  1. Which country do the Galapagos Islands belong too? Ecuador
  2. Which president is on the far right hand side of Mt. Rushmore as you see their faces? Abraham Lincoln
  3. How many million (rounded) people does the US Census estimate live in Missouri? 6 Million
  4. What % of those are under the age of 18? 23%
  5. What % of those have lived in their current house for more than 1 year? 83.8%
  6. What % of those were born in a foreign country? 3.9% US % born in a foreign country? 12.9%
  7. What is the average Missourian's commute time to work? 23.1 minutes US? 25.5 minutes

Book of the week

5 of us read The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni recently. I will not give away the 4 things it preaches, but I think that any Leadership Team would benefit from doing this as a book study. Sound, simple, yet also very difficult to always hold yourself to. Good book.

As always, it's a great day to be a wildcat!