Annual Performance Review, Audit Report Produce Good News Again For R-II School District

Members of the Ste. Genevieve R-II School District Board of Education received good reports from its annual audit and its Annual Performance Review (APR) during the December 17 meeting.

Dr. Paul Taylor, assistant superintendent of schools, reviewed in some detail disaggregated graduation rates and other results from the district’s annual APR. He explained how the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has changed how it reports scores for its APR of schools.

The disaggregated graduation statistics break students out by gender and by race.

“They’re all important and allows us to see if we have any deficiencies or need to make any modifications regarding specific groups that exist in our population,” Taylor said.

The statistics also included graduation rates for reduced and free lunch recipients, disability, and English language learners.

The district’s overall graduation rate bounced back up in 2019. It had fallen from 90.4 to 85.0 percent  a year ago, but climbed back to 94.4 percent, with 142 of 157 students graduating.

R-II figures were opposite state averages on gender. Male students had a 91.2 percent graduation rate  locally, compared to 88.7 percent for females. Statewide, female students graduated at a 91.8 percent rate and males at 87.5 percent.

Statewide graduation rates by race/ethnicity were: Asian/Pacific Islander, 93.2 percent; white, 91.8 percent; multi-race, 88.6 percent; Hispanic, 86.2 percent; American Indian/Native Alaskan, 85.6 percent; and black, 80.6 percent.

Among the R-II students, all but nine were white, with that group graduating at 92.9 percent. Only two of five Hispanic students graduated locally.

In ACT testing, the district had consistently rated at or above state averages until it opted to continue offering the test to all students rather than just college-bound students. Since then, the district has been a bit below the state average.

In 2019, the average R-II score rose from 19.0 to 19.3, with the state average being 20.8. …

In Missouri Assessment Program Performance Index (MPI) scores, the district continues to be well above state levels in virtually every subject and grade level.

AUDIT GIVES

‘CLEAN’ REPORT

Donna Doty of ClifftonLarsonAllen LLP, the firm that has done the district’s financial audit the past several years, had good news on this year’s audit.

Doty said  the firm rendered “a clean, unmodified” audit opinion, adding that the district took in about $27 million and spent about $26.5 million.

The “ending net position fund balance,” as the firm calls it, is about $13.6 million, an increase of about $500,000.

Dr. Julie Flieg, superintendent of schools, later stressed that the $13.6 million figure is not cash in hand. It includes money saved by board’s decision to do advanced refunding on the $4.2 million 2015 bond issue and the $2.6 million 2009 bond issue

“It went really well,” Doty said. “We really appreciate the staff’s responsiveness. It’s a lot of information that gets pulled together for that and we really appreciate their time and effort.”

See complete story in the December 25 edition of the Herald.

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