During the Thursday, Oct. 1, R-II School Board meeting, Superintendent Heath Oates gave an update on the school’s COVID status with the new “Test to Stay” protocol. The protocol allows students who would otherwise spend two weeks in quarantine, a chance to come back to school. The protocol is for students who are being quarantined because they have come in contact with someone who has COVID, not for students who have COVID.

Under “Test To Stay,” students will be allowed to return to school as long as they wear a mask for the whole 14 days. They have to be tested three times in the first seven days. If the student is involved in sports, they don’t have to wear a mask on game day, but they do have to test before the game. If a student doesn’t want to wear a mask, they can stay home for the 14 days.

All school board members were present: President Josh Floyd, mark Burley, Chad Whitesell, Nathan Murry, R.J. Kinnett, Craig Carpenter and Mark Schmitt.

Mr. Oates recognized news of outstanding growth scores from 2019 MAP testing data, recently released in an analysis from the PRIME Center of St. Louis University. In both middle school English language arts and in middle school English language arts subgroups, our students were #13 and #12 in the state in their rate of growth. A growth score is a measure of how much a student grows from year to year and in these two tests, El Dorado’s students grew at a higher rate than predicted by DESE’s growth model. Note: growth scores are only measured in 4th-8th grade. Teachers should feel great about the progress students made in these areas. In math, the district’s growth scores are still above state average, but fall outside that top 20 in the state.

Tabatha Culbertson, Gifted Teacher, discussed the gifted program identification plan. The plan titled “El Dorado Springs R2 Alternative Identification Plan” aims to increase the number of students in the gifted program to a total of five percent school – wide.

Five percent of the total school student population would be 59. However, the gifted program only encompasses grades two – eighth grade. That would average about 700 students. Five percent of that would be 35.

The data used to support the need includes, “according to the U.C. Census, El Dorado Springs, Missouri has a population of 3,612. The school district has a total population from Kindergarten through Twelfth grade of 1,183 students. Of these students, all qualify for the free and reduced lunch program.”

Students need to qualify in three out of four areas to be included in the program.

In executive session, the board approved Kevin McCullough as volunteer wrestling coach and Kim Cox in the assistant theatre position.

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