Bearcat Bulletin

December 1, 2017

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Annual Performance Report from the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

The Gasconade County R-I School District emphasizes academic excellence for all students. Students thrive in a culture that emphasizes hard work, respect, and dignity. Therefore, it is essential that student data is continuously analyzed as the staff works diligently to ensure that each student reaches their full academic potential and becomes a responsible citizen. The Comprehensive School Improvement Plan helps provide a guide and focus as staff members work together to make a difference in the life of each student.

The District is proud to report that DESE has classified Gasconade Co. R-I School District as an Accredited District, the highest rating available with the system.

The fifth version of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP 5), the state’s accountability system for reviewing and accrediting public school districts, outlines the expectations for student achievement with the ultimate goal of each student graduating ready for success in college, careers, and life. The Gasconade Co. R-I School District received 134.5 of 140 points on the Performance Report, an Accreditation Classification of Accredited with Distinction, the highest achievement in the rating system.

The comprehensive MSIP accountability system was established in 1990 and has evolved with each version. MSIP 5 Resource and Process Standards are designed to promote continuous improvement and innovation within each district. The Process Standards are often qualitative in nature. The MSIP 5 Performance Standards are designed to recognize the achievement and continuous growth of ALL students as they prepare for a global economy.

MSIP 5 is also used to distinguish the performance of schools and districts in valid, accurate, and meaningful ways so that districts in need of improvement can receive appropriate support and interventions, and high-performing districts can be recognized as models of excellence. Annual Performance Reports (APRs) are based on the performance standards and are reviewed for accreditation purposes at the district level.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Plan holds as a primary goal that all students will graduate high school college and career ready. To measure progress toward this goal and to distinguish between school and district performance, DESE computes an APR score for each LEA and school. This overall score is comprised of scores for each of the MSIP 5 Performance Standards (1) Academic Achievement (2) Subgroup Achievement (3) College and Career Readiness, (4) Attendance Rate and (5) Graduation Rate. Status, progress, and growth (where applicable) are used to calculate a comprehensive score used to determine the accreditation level of a school district.

Data for academic achievement (English language arts and mathematics), subgroup achievement (English language arts and mathematics) and graduation rate are also used for federal accountability determinations, including reward, focus, and priority school identification for LEAs and schools.

The Gasconade Co. R-I School District scored 96.1% of the total points available in the Annual Performance Review with the following scores in the past three years: 2016 – 97.1%, 2015-97.1%, and 2014-96.1%. The District saw a decrease in subgroup achievement in 2017 due in large part to moving several students from MAP-A to the grade level (MAP) assessment. Administrators and teachers will continue to monitor students and adjust instruction to help meet the needs of each student. Further, points in social studies were reported as not available as the social studies Government test was not administered. The District is transitioning Government from a freshman level class to a junior level class. Unfortunately, there is no provision for this in the APR student achievement results.

The District received 96.4% of the academic achievement points possible with the following levels of achievement English Language Arts 93.8%, Math 100%, Science 100%, and Social Studies 75%. Subgroup achievement levels scored at 75% of the possible points with English Language Arts at 50%, Math at 0%, Science at 75%, and Social Studies at 75%. The Gasconade County R-I School District decreased in most areas of our APR Subgroup Achievement. During the 2016-2017 school year, several students were transitioned from the MAP-A assessment to the MAP assessment. While the MAP-A assessment is an appropriate measure of achievement for identified students, it is not appropriate for all special education students. The MAP-A is designed for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who meet grade level eligibility. The recommended number of students completing the MAP-A assessment is 1% or less of the tested population (per content area). College and Career Readiness, Attendance, and Graduation rates each earned 100% of the possible points. College and Career Readiness points are based on student success on assessments such as the ACT, SAT, Compass, WorkKeys, and ASVAB, as well as advanced placement and post-secondary placement. Attendance targets use the individual student’s attendance rate and set the expectation that 90% of the students are in attendance 90% of the time.

The Gasconade Co. R-I District has obtained an Accreditation Classification of Accredited with Distinction, the highest achievement in the rating system. We appreciate the commitment the teachers in the District have to student success. The pledge of the Board of Education, administration and the entire staff is reflected in the success the students realize throughout their educational experiences. Additionally, the support of the community enhances the accomplishments of the students.

Supplemental funding for JH Football

The District is grateful for the anonymous donation to purchase the uniforms for the 7th-grade and 8th-grade football team beginning in the fall of 2018.

Additionally, tickets are available from the HHS football team for a drawing for a half-hog. There will be two winners, each a half-hog. The hog was a donation to raise funds for the new 7th-grade and 8th-grade football program. Heberles Packing donated the processing of the hog.

The drawing will take place at the annual home Girls and Boys Varsity Basketball game at HHS on Friday, December 8th.

Tickets are $5 each or 3 tickets for $10. Contact any football player or the HHS office to purchase your tickets.

Thank you, once again, to our community for your continued support of our students.

Gasconade Co. R-I School Board Member Filing

Members of the Gasconade Co. R-I School Board are elected at large to three-year staggered terms. Two seats are up for election in 2018. The general election will be held on April 3, 2018. Missouri School Board candidates must be at least 24 years old, a U.S. citizen, and Missouri resident for one year preceding the school board election, and physically reside in the Gasconade Co. R-I School District.

Candidates must declare an intent in person and in writing beginning on December 12, 2017 and ending at 5:00 pm on January 16, 2018. Candidates may file at the District Superintendent's Office at 170 Blue Pride Drive in Hermann, Missouri between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

To vote in Missouri, one must be 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and a Missouri resident. Voters may register to vote in the April 2018 election by March 7, 2018.

Questions regarding the election may be presented to Dr. Tracey Hankins, Superintendent or Mrs. Becky Whithaus, Board President.


Elected/Expire Member Name

04-15 04-18 Mark Brooks

04-15 04-18 Kevin Stiers

04-07 04-19 Mike Pratte

04-16 04-19 Dot Schoening

04-17 04-20 Jeff Englert

04-08 04-20 Craig Schannuth

04-14 04-20 Becky Whithaus

Mr. Michael Bornstein Visits Hermann

On Tuesday, November 14th a very special guest visited Hermann, Missouri. Michael Bornstein is an author of the Book Survivors Club. Survivors Club tells the unforgettable story of how a father’s courageous wit, a mother’s fierce love, and one perfectly timed illness saved his life, and how others in his family from Zarki, Poland, dodged death at the hands of the Nazis time and again with incredible deftness. In 1945, a now-famous piece of World War II archival footage, four-year-old Michael Bornstein was filmed by Soviet soldiers as he was carried out of Auschwitz in his grandmother’s arms. Working from his own recollections as well as extensive interviews with relatives and survivors who knew the family, Bornstein relates his inspirational Holocaust survival story with the help of his daughter, Debbie Bornstein-Hollinstat.

Michael Bornstein survived for seven months inside Auschwitz, where the average lifespan of a child was just two weeks. Six years after his liberation, he immigrated to the United States. Michael graduated from Fordham University, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and worked in pharmaceutical research and development for more than forty years. Now retired, Michael speaks frequently to schools and other groups about his experiences in the Holocaust.

The students and staff at Hermann Middle and Hermann High Schools and St. George School had the pleasure of Mr. Bornstein’s presentation during an assembly on Tuesday, November 14th. It was a packed house for the public for the evening presentation at St. George. We are grateful for not only hearing his story but learning some of life’s most precious lessons.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the sponsors who made this event possible, Community Foundation of the Hermann Area, Scenic Regional Library, Hermann Arts Council, German-American Club, Hermann Area Jaycees, Hermann Brush & Pallet Club, Hermann Advertiser-Courier, The Stone Giraffe, and the Hermann Chamber of Commerce.

Moore Gear Donation makes a Difference!

6th graders are working with programming Ozobots Hermann Middle School. They first learned how to code them using markers & paper. They have now moved into block coding online & then loading that programming onto the Ozobot to watch them run.
These Ozobots were purchased with our recent generous donation from Moore Gear. Thank you, Moore Gear!

Gasconade County Teachers Association Makes Library Donations

The members of the Gasconade County Teachers Association donated $100 each to the libraries at Hermann High School, Hermann Middle School, and Hermann Elementary School to celebrate the American Education Week, November 13-17.

The purpose of this week is to present Americans with an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.

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Refunding of School District Bonds Likely Saves Tax-Payers over $200,000

The Gasconade Co. R-I School Board approved the Bond Resolution authorizing the issuance of the Series 2017A Bonds, the proceeds of which will be used to refund the District's outstanding Series 2010B Bonds, as long as the final pricing of the Series 2017A Bonds in December meets the conditions and terms set forth in the Bond Resolution to financially benefit the District. The District will save $234,293 by refunding the 2010B Bonds.

District Employees Participate in Intruder/Active Shooter Training

The Professional Development day on November 13th was spent in training with partners from the Missouri Center for Educational Safety, the Hermann Police Department, and the Gasconade Co. Sheriff's Department.

Staff members are better prepared to provide safety for our student's thanks to the training that was received. Students will participate in intruder drills throughout the year to practice emergency procedures. Drills will be conducted in an age-appropriate format and will give our students the information needed to prepare themselves for an emergency situation at school or in communities outside our campus.

Blue & White Night is Scheduled for Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Blue & White Committee is actively preparing for the annual Blue & White Night Event. Tickets to the event are now on sale and can be obtained from any committee member including the building representatives Ann Weisennbach, Tara Bockting, or Leah Lerbs.

Funds raised at the event are distributed directly to the classrooms for our students. Teachers write grant proposals and the committee determines the priority of the grant proposals. The funds raised at the event are held in a separate account for distribution to the teachers for the approved grants.

Blue & White Night directly benefits the students. Thank you for your continued support.

Update on One-to-One Chromebook Initiative

The District made the commitment in 2016 to provide a Chromebook for every student in grades 2-12 and to provide Chromebooks for kindergarten and 1st-grade classrooms. Through the support of the recent tax-levy increase and the Blue & White Night contributions, the District is on track for meeting the technology plan for integration.

To date the following table shows current numbers of Chromebooks in the District:

First grade 24 (6 in each classroom)

Second grade 25 (8-9 in each classroom)

Third grade 31 (10-11 in each classroom)

Fourth grade 60 (20 in each classroom)

Total Chromebooks at the Elementary 209 (includes special classes and carts)

5th & 6th grades 153 (Full one-to-one integration)

7th & 8th grades 61 (16-23 in each classroom)

Total Chromebooks at the Middle School 242 (includes special classes and carts)

9th grade 98 (Full one-to-one integration)

Math Department 20

English Department 58

Library 23

Marketing 17

Shop 10

Spanish 20

Science 20

Social Studies 20

Total Chromebooks at the High School 286

What's Next?

A donation from a Hermann High School Alumni of $15,000 will provide the funding to add approximately 80 Chromebooks this school year. Additionally, the Witches & Wine Event donated $1,200 to purchase an additional 6-7 Chromebooks. We are grateful for the continued support of our students in Hermann.

The District will follow the technology plan and add 1:1 Chromebooks to both 2018-19 fifth graders and ninth graders. By adding these two grade levels, and the donations listed above, both Middle School and High School will have the needed number of Chromebooks for every student to have a personal device.

50 Chromebooks from the HS will be moved to the Elementary. These 50 devices will be moved because the touch screen is more appropriate at the Elementary level than at the HS level.

In summary, in 2018-19 the Elementary will have 259 Chromebooks, the Middle School and High School will be provided enough devices for every student.

Gathering information

The District will be gathering information to assess the internet availability of students at their residence. This will provide teachers the needed information to design lessons using technology that meet the needs of our students.

Additionally, once the information is obtained, the District will continue gathering information to purchase hot spots that can be checked out in the library for student use. One final investigation by the District is that of Smart Spots to be installed in school buses. Smart Spots provide students with internet accessibility to do homework while filtering the content to avoid misuse of the internet. A cost analysis and needs analysis will be conducted prior to moving forward.