The Lee's Summit R-7 School District was one of just 13 metropolitan-area school districts to earn Missouri's coveted Distinction in Performance Award this year, according to a Dec. 12 announcement from state education officials. The award honors districts for academic achievement and progress during the 2007-08 school year. This is the eighth year in a row that the R-7 School District has received the Distinction in Performance Award, which has been offered by the state for just eight years.
"This award is a reflection of the value our community places on its quality school system," said Dr. David McGehee, R-7 School District superintendent. "We are grateful to everyone who contributes to our schools' and our students' success, including our outstanding staff, involved families and supportive community." The Lee's Summit R-7 School District is one of just a handful of Missouri public school districts to have earned the Distinction in Performance Award with a perfect score for all eight years.
The award comes on the heels of several other noteworthy honors for the school district and community. Last summer, Money magazine named Lee's Summit R-7 schools as seventh best in the nation in its annual "Best Places to Live" issue focusing on the nation's top 100 small cities. Lee's Summit was featured during November in BusinessWeek magazine as Missouri's "best affordable town for raising children." Most important factors in this analysis were school performance, affordability and safety.
A total of 330 Missouri districts will receive the Distinction in Performance award, based on criteria set by the State Board of Education. The annual recognition is based on school districts' performance on Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test scores, ACT college-entrance test scores, attendance and dropout rates and other measures of academic performance during the 2007-08 school year.
To qualify for the recognition this year, K-12 districts had to meet 13 of 14 standards, including all of the standards that are based on Missouri Assessment Program test scores. The Lee's Summit R-7 School District met and exceeded this goal, meeting 14 of the 14 standards and scoring a perfect 100 points for the eighth consecutive year.
Under the state's accreditation process, school districts are formally evaluated once every five years, according to State Board of Education standards. The Distinction in Performance award is based on the same performance criteria that are included in the accreditation review process, but the award provides an annual confirmation and recognition of a district's consistent performance.
The Distinction in Performance Award is intended to provide an incentive for districts to focus on continuously improving academic achievement in all of the areas covered by the accreditation standards. State education officials will formally recognize each of the award-winning school districts later this school year.