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story.lead_photo.caption California High School Missouri Options students Chris Worthey and Fabian Leon-Torres stand proudly Nov. 20 with Moniteau County R-1 board president Philip Burger after they received their high school diplomas. Photo by Liz Morales / California Democrat.

Two Missouri Options students walked away with their high school diplomas at the Moniteau County R-1 School board meeting Nov. 20.

Fabian Leon-Torres told the board his mind isn't quite made up about college yet but has an idea of what he would do.

"I may go into computer software building, or photography editing," Leon-Torres said. "All I know is I have a lot of pride today and I want my dad to be proud of me for graduating."

The second student, Chris Worthey, hopes to attend State Technical College of Missouri in Linn to pursue his interests in auto mechanics. Ultimately, Worthey wants to own his own shop in the future.

The results of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's annual performance report were also discussed at the board meeting, but this year, there was a bit of a change in how the score was represented, superintendent Dwight Sanders said.

"This year, the state did not provide us an overall score, they just labeled how we did in each of the five categories," Sanders said. "Overall, the scores generally went up in most categories."

Sanders said, last year, California was ranked third in the conference. This year, the district exceeded the expectations of the state average in each of the five categories. These categories, set by DESE, are academic achievement, college and career readiness, attendance and graduation rates. However, there was one spot Sanders said needed a bit of work.

"There is an area for us to focus on, that's our subgroup achievement," he said.

This achievement caters to students in the English as a second language classes, special needs, students who qualify for free/reduced lunches and any minority students.

"I looked at the scores we had three years ago in this area and back then we performed higher in the state," Sanders said. "But this year, we were a little lower. So this group is something we have to put more focus on to make sure these students get the best instructional strategy we can give them."

The assessment score, or lack thereof, remains in good standing.

"The assessment is a little more difficult to determine without that overall score," Sanders said. "But if you're performing well on status, that means when you get a cut store and see the percentages of students who are testing proficient or advanced and see that number is relatively high, that doesn't give you a lot of room to grow. So when the status score is high, the growth score is low."

With this "issue" at hand, board member Joe Kirby offered a real-life example of how this can be seen.

"So, basically, we're not trying to move the needle, but just trying to maintain it's position," Kirby said.

Last year, the district was the top performing district in the conference on the annual performance report. Sanders said they were the only district in the conference to earn a perfect score.

The board also:

- Approved the advancement of a candidate in the running for the Belcher Scholarship to MSBA for their final selection.

- Approved the district bus ridership numbers and bus mileage.

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