Lindsey Even: Program Coordinator
(573)676-5225 Option 4
Missouri A+ Schools Program
Missouri's Outstanding Schools Act of 1993 established provisions for the implementation of a grant award program to institute A+ Schools and improve the education of high school students within the State of Missouri. Beginning in 1994, the A+ Schools Program has provided grant awards to Missouri's public school districts that demonstrate a commitment to ensure that the Program's goals are met in their high schools.
The goals are that all students:
- Graduate from high school.
- Complete a selection of high school classes that is challenging and for which there are identified learner expectations.
- Proceed from high school to a college, technical college, or a high wage job with workplace skill development opportunities.
High schools that apply for the A+ status must outline a plan that includes innovative activities to make progress toward achieving these three goals. Activities include: building partnerships that include the high school, post secondary school, businesses, industries, community organizations, parents, and students; providing students with the motivation, skills, and knowledge to graduate from high school; integrating academic and vocational learning; and preparing students to select a career path focus and a program of study designed to meet academic standards established by the local school district.
The South Callaway R-II School District received official A+ Schools designation in 2009. The students graduating from South Callaway R-II High School in 2009 and each succeeding year are eligible to participate in the A+ Schools Financial Incentive Program. The funding for the financial incentives is dependent upon South Callaway R-II High School maintaining its A+ Schools status and the availability of state appropriations from the Missouri General Assembly.
Missouri A+ Schools Program Requirements
A part of the A+ Schools program is that a student who qualifies according to the following criteria and continues his/her education at a Missouri public community college or vocational-technical school may be eligible for state reimbursed tuition, and general fees. (A+ Schools Student Financial Incentive is subject to legislative appropriation and South Callaway R-II achieving designation as an A+ School in 2009). These costs may be reimbursable only after secured federal financial assistance funds, that do not require repayment, have been applied. The incentive, offered by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, may be available for up to six semesters of attendance during the 4-year period immediately following high school graduation.
Requirement 1: Enter into a written agreement with the high school to participate in the A+ Schools Student Financial Incentives Program.
A student may enter into the agreement at any time during his/her four years of high school prior to graduation. Due to the requirement to accumulate tutoring/mentoring hours, it is recommended that the agreement be signed as early as possible.
Requirement 2: Attend a designated A+ School for three consecutive years prior to high school graduation.
A student must attend a designated A+ School during his/her sophomore, junior, and senior years. The student financial incentive is dependent upon South Callaway R-II High School being designated as an A+ School before the applicant graduates, and the availability of state appropriations from the Missouri General Assembly. Earliest possible recipients will be 2009 graduates.
Requirement 3: Graduate from high school with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
This average will represent the applicant's cumulative GPA that includes the freshmen through senior years.
Requirement 4: Maintain at least a 95 percent attendance record for the four-year period.
The applicant must have a 95 percent or better average attendance record for the four year period, freshman through senior years. A student with a 94.9% percent or lower average will not be eligible.
- A cumulative attendance record will be kept from the beginning of the A+ student's freshman year until graduation.
- The official record of attendance will be maintained in PowerSchool.
- Cumulative attendance information will be accessed by the A+ Coordinator at the end of each semester.
- Each semester parents, guardians and students will be provided information that includes the student's attendance record.
- The A+ Program does not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences.
After receiving information indicating an attendance problem relative to eligibility, the parent, guardian, or student will have 10 days to file an appeal with the A+ Coordinator. If an appeal is not filed within 10 days of notification, a wavier for days missed will not be considered. The Appeal process is available for review in the student handbook.
Requirement 5: Perform and document 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring for younger students during the junior and/or senior year of high school.
The following guidelines should be followed when completing this requirement:
- An A+ Tutoring/Mentoring Class will be made available to juniors and seniors. The class will start the Fall of 2008, and will provide training and placement for students who wish to fulfill mentoring requirements.
- Tutoring and mentoring activities will provide encouragement to lower grade students to set goals, stay in school, and strive for good grades.
- Tutoring and mentoring activities will be school-based, academic in nature, and under the auspices of school.
- The tutoring and mentoring activities may occur before, during, or after the school day, including summer school so long as the tutor is supervised by a teacher.
- All tutoring and mentoring must be supervised and verified by a teacher, principal, counselor, or the A+ Coordinator.
- The A+ Coordinator will maintain records of tutoring/mentoring hours that each applicant accumulates. Only activities that have been verified with a time sheet signature by the tutoring supervisor will be counted toward the 50-hour requirement.
Requirement 6: Maintain a record of good citizenship and avoidance of the unlawful use of drugs and/or alcohol.
Definition of Citizenship: Students who are to receive the financial incentive are expected to be good citizens. The state of Missouri, which funds the A+ Schools Program, and the South Callaway R-II School District expect a high standard of behavior.
A good citizen will approach school as a medium to acquire educational skills that will be essential to the individual's success in post-secondary life. As a result, the A+ participant must strive to make the most of their time at school. Students who find themselves in violation of the South Callaway R-II High School discipline code and are consequentially assigned disciplinary action should be aware those actions could jeopardize their A+ incentive eligibility.
Students should avoid illegal drugs and alcohol. The possession, use, purchase, distribution, and/or sale of drugs and/or alcohol are unlawful, wrong, harmful, and prohibited. The possession of, or attendance under the influence of, any unauthorized prescription drug, alcohol, narcotic substance, counterfeit drugs, or drug-related paraphernalia on school grounds or at school functions will result in expulsion from the A+ program. Verbal or written contact with a law enforcement official or juvenile official regarding any unlawful use of drugs or alcohol shall result in probation.
Subsequent to such contact with a law enforcement or juvenile official, any conviction, suspended execution of sentence, suspended imposition of sentence, informal resolution agreement, or other disposition which does not result in a complete dismissal of all allegations of unlawful use of drugs or alcohol shall result in removal from the A+ Program and forfeiture of benefits as provided by law.
An admission to any employee of the School District of any participating student's unlawful use, possession, distribution, or purchase of any drug or alcohol shall also result in removal from the A+ program and forfeiture of benefits as provided by law.
A probationary period may be assigned to students, regarding their A+ status, whose charges are pending adjudication.
Requirement 7: Make a documented good faith effort to secure all available federal post-secondary student financial assistance funds that do not require repayment:
During the applicant's senior year, he/she will be required to complete an application for securing federal post-secondary financial assistance. Reimbursement from the state may be given only after federal funds that do not require repayment have been applied.
Parents must complete and file the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA summary report must be sent to the community college or public vocational technical school the student is planning to attend.
The FAFSA form is available is available on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Parents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible after January 1 of that school year.
Tuition incentives may only be awarded to reimburse the unpaid balance of the cost of tuition and general fees after available federal post-secondary student financial assistance funds that do not require repayment have been applied.
Click here to download the current A+ Student Handbook in PDF.