Hazelwood Parents, Staff Law Enforcement Get District Update at Town Hall Meeting

By Jeremy Thomas

Hundreds of local residents, teachers, students and law enforcement officers made their way into Hazelwood Central’s Fieldhouse for the 1st town hall meeting, presented by Hazelwood School District azelwood  board members.

Superintendent  Grayling Tobias provided an abundant amount of information on topics such as where the HSD ranks among others in the surrounding area, parent/teacher involvement, and the main goals the district has set for the near future. Tobias always conducted a few patron activities that every table in the gym participated in to bring a sense of comradely among the community.

Before Tobias presented his slideshows and activities for the night, the crowd was treated to a special performance from Director Mark Thomas and his Hazelwood Central marching band. The band played three songs or routines lasting around five minutes as they finished with a standing ovation around the whole gym. Tobias gave recognition to all the law enforcement officers in attendance as well as the teachers, students, staff members, and media, everyone received a round of applauds.

Following this Tobias presented the current and updated percentage of Hazelwood and other school districts Missouri School Improvement Program scores, which is based on a scaled from 0-100% improvement. The top five area school districts are as follow:

Jennings came in at 5th with 65.7% followed by Ferguson-Florissant with 69.3%. Ritenour had the third best percentage in the area at 71.8%, while Pattonville claimed the second best improvement with 82.9%. The Hazelwood School District was the most improved in the area at 85.7%, the HSD improved from 80% in 2012.

“We are extremely proud of the district’s continue rate of improvement, though we are happy we still know we need to stay determine to become even more successful in the years to follow,” Tobias said

“A lot of the praise goes to the hard working students and teachers eager to improve in all areas of education,” Tobias said.

The superintendent  went on to explain the three main goals the district is striving for in the upcoming months and years.

The first goal was to increase student achievement, to do so the district will strive to close the academic achievement gap between all students as well as students who have an Individualized Education Program.

The second goal is to Enhance Professional Development, the district plans on achieving this goal by improving academic achievement on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) for the Elementary and Middle School levels and End-of-Course tests at the high school level. Along with this an emphasis is stressed on professional development that is focused on the Common Core State Standards, Assessment Literacy and Compelling Conversations.

The third and final goal looks at increasing parent and community involvement. To reach this goal the district believes Community partnerships, Mission and Vision, Parent social events, and Rigor will be key.

Keeping with the MAP/MSIP category Tobias also provided information regarding the HSD accreditation level. The HSD is currently at 121 points which is only four points short of the highest level in the accreditation subgroup score of 98-125, and they are only five points away from earing the honors of being accredited with distinction which is the highest level.

The meeting concluded by asking patrons what they learned from the meeting, additional concerns they may have regarding education in the district , and what they look forward to in the next town hall meeting,  scheduled for March of 2014.


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