The Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education held its first meeting of 2014 Tuesday evening at the Administration Building.

The Chillicothe R-2 Board of Education held its first meeting of 2014 Tuesday evening at the Administration Building.
Much of the meeting focused on the district’s annual report issued by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Superintendent Roger Barnes led the board through the more-than-20-page report, covering everything from student attendance to standardized test scores.
Barnes said one of the lowest scores in the district’s annual report, college and career readiness, is also the easiest to fix.
“We need to have all our high school students take a test,” Barnes said. “Whether it’s the ASVAB, ACT, SAT or Compass test, they need to take a test by the time they graduate. We’re working toward that. In fact, the state of Missouri just approved a new state assessment plan. All students, by grade 11, will take the ACT test. That will help us reach that goal.”
ACT scores of the Chillicothe High School students who have completed the testing were on par with the national average.
“We did have a higher percentage of students taking the ACT test,” Barnes explained. “Our ACT scores are improved compared to the previous year. Our average score is the same as the national average, which is 21.6. That is the best average in the past five years.
The annual report also revealed enrollment across the R-2 district, listed at 1,835 students, is the lowest it has been in at least the past four years. Barnes said drops in enrollment can have a negative impact on the amount of state funding the district receives, as funding is calculated per student.
Barnes said student attendance did meet state guidelines. As a whole, the district’s attendance rate is just over 91 percent. The state requires 90 percent of all students in the district attending at least 90 percent of the time to meet the Distinction in Performance benchmark.
In reference to the number of CHS graduates moving onto post-secondary education, Barnes said those numbers are strong, but he hopes they continue to improve.
“We had 30.4 percent of our graduates attend a four-year college or university,” Barnes said. “Another 22.5 percent belong to a two-year college. Some are going into a technical institution. We have over 60 percent of our graduates in some kind of academic institution beyond high school.”
The next meeting of the R-2 Board of Education is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18.