By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
GRANDVIEW, MO (KCTV) -
While some area districts may have less than stellar accreditation levels, others are considered among the top in the state, including the Grandview School District.
The Missouri school district is "accredited with distinction designation."
Educators in Grandview said the improvements are because they've focused everyday on making every classroom better.
"It's a great day for our kids, our teachers who worked really hard. We've made some really great improvements, and we're really proud of that," said Grandview Superintendent Dr. Ralph Teran.
The headlines have been about the Kansas City School District, which remains one of just a couple of districts without accreditation, and the Hickman-Mills School District, which has provisional accreditation.
But Grandview officials are thrilled with their efforts.
The district earned nearly 95 percent of the possible points under the new Missouri School Improvement Program. Anything above 90 percent and a district is considered top-tier in Missouri.
"We've been making incremental progress for about seven years, but this is a really big leap up. We want to solidify that and maintain that status," Teran said.
Teran said the accredited with distinction status shows how far the district has come in the last few years.
"This district has never been under threat of losing accreditation. There have been some times about six to seven years ago when our performance wasn't as robust as it needed to be. A lot of work was done to take a look at that, and look at fact. ‘What do we need to do to change our process?'" he said.
Steven Scraggs, the second-year principal at Grandview High School, said they spent last year focusing on improvement.
"There was an intentionality to what we were doing, not just for test scores but to support other programs in our building that make a school well balanced," he said.
Scraggs said things like regular attendance, extracurricular activities and Advanced Placement classes all helped the school score better, but they also help prepare students for life after they graduate.
"Stats are fine. It's really what's happening in the classroom. Each student understanding their course of study, what their aspirations are and then getting them to do the things they need to do. In the end, it doesn't mean anything for a student unless they themselves are successful," he said.
This is the first year of the new Missouri School Improvement program. Teran said the new system gives the district more insight into exactly where improvement is possible.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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