Glenda Condict, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, had both good and bad news for the Neosho R-5 School Board on Monday night.

Glenda Condict, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, had both good and bad news for the Neosho R-5 School Board on Monday night.

Condict reported that the district met 13 state targets in the 2011-2012 school year, the only one not met being the graduation rate, which Neosho finished at 81.2 percent for the year.

On the upside, the district’s Missouri Assessment Program test scores looked positive compared to state averages, Condict said, noting that Neosho High School students scored above the state average in most subjects, including algebra two, geometry, government and American history. The students scored even with the state average in algebra one, and slightly below average in biology.

However, the Neosho school district’s results look a bit bleaker in comparison to its fellow Central Ozark Conference schools, as Neosho finished third to last in biology and algebra one, second to last in eighth grade science, third grade mathematics, and third and eighth grade communication arts and last in sixth grade communication arts.

Neosho seemed to score in the mid-to-low range in most other categories, with the exception of fifth grade mathematics, where they had the third best results in the COC.

“Have we looked as a district into getting a team together and going to Nixa or Ozark and saying ‘what are you doing that we’re not?’” asked board member Steve Douglas. “I’m just concerned because I believe in our kids and I think if we set the bar up here for our kids they’ll make it.”

“I don’t think the state average is where we should set the bar,” added board secretary Mike Stauffer.

Condict said the benchmark for district academics is consistent with the COC, and not the state averages.

“The question you’re going to ask me is ‘what did they do that we didn’t do?’ and I’m looking into it,” Condict said. “Excellence is the goal.”

School board members also heard from Kyle Denham of PLJBD architects, who are overseeing the district’s construction of a new softball field near Carver Elementary School.

Denham told board members that the project is on schedule, and is expected to be complete by the first week of December.

The school board approved the project in May, for a bid of $1,012,600 from Construction Services Group of Neosho.

In other business:

• Board members voted to approve the adoption of a new science curriculum for grades kindergarten through eighth. The curriculum is the hands-on Pearson Science program, which interacts with students via SmartBoard, iPad, science kits and interactive books.

• The board heard from Milton Day, board president Brett Day’s father, regarding clarity in the school board packets that are made available to the public online. Milton Day requested that the list of district monthly expenditures include short explanations to clear up confusion as to why the district spent the funds. He also recommended that the financial reports identify the names and purposes of each fund to make it more clear for the public. The board agreed with both of Day’s suggestions.

• Members voted to approve a chip and seal project on Maple Road, to the north of Carver Elementary. The Newton County Road District would join with the school district to cost share chip and sealing the road. The project, which is not to exceed $32,000, is intended to improve the road conditions leading into Carver Elementary and the future sports field complex. The bus road turning south off of Maple Road would also be chip and sealed to the existing asphalt parking lot on the north side of Carver Elementary.

• The board added to the agenda for the September board meeting discussion of instating a high school journalism program, and continued discussion regarding school spirit in the R-5 school district.