January 10, 2008

DESE Will Hold Public Hearing Next Week on Future of Wyaconda School District

State education officials will hold a public hearing next week (January 16) in the Wyaconda School District to discuss the district’s accreditation status and options for its future.

The hearing will be at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 16, in the gymnasium at Wyaconda Elementary School, 515 North Walnut St.

Located in Clark County, in northeast Missouri, the Wyaconda district serves 32 students in grades K-8. The district also pays tuition for nine students who attend high school in the Clark County R-I School District, at Kahoka, and four students who attend high school in the Scotland County R-I School District, at Memphis.

The Wyaconda district became unaccredited in May 2006, following action by the State Board of Education, because of consistently low academic performance.

Under state law, if the district does not regain accredited status by June 30 of this year, the school district will “lapse,” and the State Board of Education would have authority to assign Wyaconda’s students to other school districts.

The hearing is required under state law (Section 162.081). At the hearing, the DESE staff will present a brief overview of the district’s accreditation history and the provisions of state law regarding unaccredited school districts. Most of the hearing will be devoted to receiving comments from district residents and school officials.

Persons who wish to provide public testimony will be asked to provide their names and addresses and limit their remarks to five minutes each.

Tom Quinn, interim assistant commissioner of the Division of Career Education for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will conduct the hearing.

Currently, three of Missouri’s 524 public school districts are unaccredited: Riverview Gardens (St. Louis County), St. Louis Public Schools and Wyaconda.

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