Gainesville superintendent's desk: Oct. 12, 2016

When we’re kids, sometimes we feel like time is creeping along, but as we get older it seems to move faster each year. It’s hard for me to believe that by the end of this week our school year will be one-fourth over. I hope the first quarter of the school year has been good for everyone, because I believe we’re off to a great start.  
Please stop by and see us on Thursday, Oct. 20, for parent-teacher conferences.  Conference times will be available from 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Parents of elementary students will need to make an appointment, but parents of junior high and high school students may stop by anytime during those hours.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released statewide MAP and EOC scores last week. Students are tested in math and science in 3rd through 8th grade as well as science in 5th grade and 8th grade. High school students are tested in English II, biology I, government and algebra I classes. Our students scored above the state average in 14 of the 18 testing areas when comparing the percentage of students who scored proficient and advanced. If you compare the MAP total index score, we finished above the state average in 16 of the 18 testing areas. Both comparisons show that we are performing very well. However, we continue to look for ways to improve in some areas. We do not want to get complacent and lose the desire to seek better ways to educate our children.  When comparing our scores against our conference schools and other surrounding schools, we also did very well, finishing toward the top in most areas.  To see a complete list of MAP and EOC scores, visit the DESE website.  
This fall our school and community are working together to start a Care to Learn chapter. This organization has 31 chapters throughout southern Missouri, and its mission is to provide immediate funding to meet emergent needs in the areas of health, hunger and hygiene so every student can be successful in school. The school and community will be working together to fundraise and identify students in need, and all the money raised will be spent on students in the Gainesville School District.  If you would like to be involved with Care to Learn, please contact me at 417-679-4260 or call Kris Ledbetter at 417-679-4416. Thank you to Century Bank of the Ozarks for paying the initial cost to form our Care to Learn chapter.  
In other exciting news, the Gainesville 7th grade was recently selected to receive an eMINTS grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Gainesville was one of three Missouri schools selected to participate in this grant intended to enhance Missouri’s Instructional Net-worked Teaching Strategies. Cabool and West Plains were the other two districts selected. eMINTS helps teachers create classrooms where they facilitate real-life learning experiences for their students by integrating technology in ways to transform learning. The grant will provide all our 7th grade students and teachers with Chromebooks to use at at school and also provide our junior high teachers with more than 365 hours of training and professional development. In total, the grant is worth $93,000 over a five-year period.
Congratulations to Gainesville High School for being recognized by U.S. News and World Report with a bronze medal as one of the nation’s top high schools.  This is the eighth consecutive year we have received this award.
If you have any questions or concerns or want to know more details about anything I’ve shared here, please contact me at or 417-679-4260.

Joe Donley

Archive Section: 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423