Distinction in Performance
The Independence School District has received the state’s highest honor for the SIXTH year in a row. For the SECOND time, the success of our expanded district of 26 Independence Schools was taken into consideration as the state made its decision. This year, the Independence School District improved its performance over last year, meeting all 14 rigorous standards set by the state.
Superintendent Jim Hinson says, “I am extraordinarily proud of the staff and students who made this achievement possible. This award is a reflection of their hard work, and of the support of parents and the communities of Independence and Sugar Creek. This award is theirs, and it is my wish that they are as proud of themselves as I am proud of them today.”
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) does not make it easy for school districts to receive Distinction in Performance. In order to be considered one of the top school districts in the state, the district must meet 13 of 14 rigorous standards.
About half of those standards relate to student performance on the MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) test and EOC (End of Course) exams, which evaluate achievement and progress in mathematics, communications, and science at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. All students in grades 2-12, including special education students, take part in this testing.
School districts are also judged on students’ ACT scores, and the percentage of students enrolled in advanced courses. These can be courses provided by the school district, or area colleges.
DESE also looks at the number of graduates entering college, and the amount of students enrolled in courses that will help prepare them for a career, whether it be business and marketing, health science, public safety or teaching.
Included in the state’s calculation are the district’s graduation and attendance rates.
“Each parent or caretaker who encourages a child to attend school contributes to our ability to reach Distinction in Performance. Attendance is of utmost importance when it comes to our students’ ability to learn,” says Hinson.
Independence School District Receives "What Parents Want" Award
May 18, 2012
The Independence School District is one of only 29 school districts throughout the state of Missouri receiving the prestigious “What Parents Want” Award from SchoolMatch, an independent school selection consulting firm.
Schools are chosen for the award based on qualities parents desire for their child’s school. The information is gathered through a nationwide survey of parents.
SchoolMatch provides information to corporations, real estate firms, and economic development offices across the country to help families find schools for their children.
Independence School District Superintendent Jim Hinson says, “The Independence School District strives to be progressive. Our goal is to provide the highest quality education for students. We are pleased that our efforts have been noted by this national organization, and that our success will be shared with those considering moving, building, or starting businesses in our area.”
According to SchoolMatch surveys, the qualities parent most often want in a school system include small class size, academic excellence, accreditation, competitiveness in teacher salaries and more.
This announcement comes only days after Truman High School was chosen as one of the top high schools in the state of Missouri by U.S. News and World Report.
Truman High School on List of Best High Schools in Missouri
Truman High School is one of the best high schools in the state, according to US News and World Report. Only six schools in the metropolitan area received either gold or silver awards from the publication. Schools are chosen based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.
Kristel Barr, Principal of Truman High School, says, “This is a great honor and is the result of having a phenomenal group of faculty members who work diligently each and every day to provide the best educational possible to a wonderful group of students."
To receive its ranking of #15 in the state of Missouri, US News and World report first determined that Truman’s students were performing better than statistically expected for the average student in the state. Secondly, it found that Truman’s least-advantaged students were performing better than average for similar students in the state. Finally, the publication judged college-readiness performance—using Advanced Placement data as the benchmark for success.