May 8, 2008

SCR-I Among 22 Schools to Earn States A+ Designation

Twenty-two more public high schools have qualified for designation as A+ Schools, state education officials announced April 28th. As a result, eligible seniors in these schools may receive state-paid tuition assistance to attend a Missouri community college or technical school.

Scotland County R-Is A+ status was approved April 24th by the State Board of Education during its regular meeting in Jefferson City.

A total of 253 Missouri public high schools have now earned A+ status. The program was created by state law in 1993. It is intended to raise academic standards in participating high schools, improve the graduation rate and prepare more students for postsecondary learning and high-wage jobs.

Since 1997, more than 33,000 Missouri graduates have taken advantage of the A+ tuition assistance to attend a community college. This year (2007-08), the state is providing almost $22 million to underwrite the assistance for eligible A+ students.

To qualify, high school graduates must attend an A+ school for at least three years, have a grade-point average of at least 2.5 on a 4-point scale, maintain a 95 percent attendance record, and perform 50 hours of unpaid tutoring in the school district.

Members of the Class of 2008 who attend the newly designated A+ Schools will be eligible to use their state assistance as early as this summer, if they are ready to enroll in a community college.

The A+ Schools program encourages participating schools to eliminate general-track courses and raise academic expectations for all students; concentrate on reducing the dropout rate; and work closely with higher education and private-sector leaders to better prepare students for life after high school.

The 22 schools named to A+ status were: Bell City High School, Belle High School (Maries County R-II), Blue Springs High School, Blue Springs South High School, Centralia High School, Clarkton High School, Cole Camp High School, Conway High School (Laclede County R-I), Ft. Zumwalt East High School, Grain Valley High School, Lincoln High School, Marion C. Early High School (Morrisville), Miller High School (Miller R-II), Ritenour High School, Scotland County High School (Memphis), Staley High School, (North Kansas City), Stoutland High School, Sweet Springs High School, Wellington-Napoleon High School, Wellsville-Middletown High School, West County High School (West St. Francois R-IV), and West Platte High School.

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