Richland HS in Essex, MO receives state recognition for academic - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Richland HS in Essex, MO receives state recognition for academics

(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS) (Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS) (Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
(Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS) (Source: Jasmine Dell/KFVS)
ESSEX, MO (KFVS) -

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has named Richland R-1 School a Missouri Gold Star School, who are now nominated nationally for the Blue Ribbon Award.

Only eight schools in the entire state of Missouri was given the Missouri Gold Star School award.

Richland High School - which includes grades 7-12 - is the only high school in the state to receive the award, with the other schools being elementary.

Some of the criteria to win the Missouri Gold Star School includes an assessment of the past three consecutive years of Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) testing in english, language arts and math, along with graduation rate and other factors.

Superintendent Frank Killian said the national Blue Ribbon Award is the highest award given by the United States Department of Education for achievement.

"Schools celebrate any and all athletic achievement, which is great, but somehow we tend to lose when we have academic achievement," Killian said. "'It's just 'oh, okay,' so this is a great academic achievement, that took three or four years to accomplish."

"We want to take our kids to the next step, and so we've embraced project based learning. We're letting our kids create instead of letting our kids sit and lecture."

Killian said school leaders visited other schools in California and Kentucky that had project-based learning, and brought ideas back to apply here at home.

"Some of the jobs our kids will have when they graduate aren't even out there yet," Killian said.

"So if we don't have our kids prepared with technology, with let them run with what they can do - then we're just holding our kids back and we're not really educating our kids....We're really not, we're just holding them back... If we don't prepare our kids for their world and we prepare them for ours, then America is going to be farther behind. We have to prepare them for their world, and [though] their world may not even exist yet, we can't teach them sit down, shut up, and listen, because its just not working."

Killian said moving curriculum towards a project-based learning provided more than a test score.

"All a test does is it puts a score on that child," Killian said. "But, does it tell you that they learned anything? They may have copied off somebody else, they may have guessed - we don't know if they learned anything, but through projects we can check comprehension and comprehension tells you if a child learned."

Killian said in mid-September, the school will find out if it won the Blue Ribbon Program.

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