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Magazine rates R-3 near
the top of KC area schools

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

In a 2000 study published in Expansion Management Magazine, the publication rated Platte County R-3 School District as the third top district in the Kansas City metro area on the Missouri side.

Ingram's, a business magazine, in its November 2001 issue looked at the survey and its overall purpose.

"The magazine, which is designed specifically for companies looking to expand or relocate, rates 2,234 secondary school districts throughout the United States. The goal is to provide their readers with a basis for comparing the type of work force they are likely to encounter in a given community," Ingram's says.

"The unstated goal of the survey, is to help its readers choose schools for their children."

The education quotient, which is the overall score the districts receive, is calculated by three indices: "The graduate outcome (how well students learn and how many stay to graduation), the resource index (how deeply a community is financially committed to education) and the community index (how educated and affluent the community is. These indices are calculated on a scale of 50 (lowest) to 150 (highest)."

Platte County R-3 received a blue rating with an overall score of 123, which places them in the top 33 percent of the school districts. On the Missouri side of the Metro area, Platte County ranked below only first place Lee's Summit and second place Raymore.

When compared to all the school districts in the Kansas City metropolitan area, both on the Missouri and Kansas side, Platte County R-3 ranked 8th overall.

"To be our size and recognized with the other schools is something to be proud of," said Mark Harpst, superintendent of Platte County R-3 School District. "The board of education is pleased to have that distinction."

At the school board meeting last week, the board was updated on the surveys the county will be distributing to residents regarding the needs for two community centers north of the river, as well as the meetings the county has been holding regarding the issue.

"From the meetings held so far, I feel everyone seems to be in agreement regarding the need for an aquatic center, a multi-purpose room and an indoor track," said Harpst.

Information from the surveys it is hoped will be available in March of 2002.

The board also received building project updates regarding Paxton and Siegrist Elementary Schools, as well as the music room and softball/baseball field project.

Paxton and Siegrist are seeing concrete block going up at each of those locations, while at the music room the footings are being poured. The softball/baseball field project is currently undergoing finalization of the plans. Harpst stated they hope to have the project started by late winter or early spring.

The district's Career Action Program (CAP) reported it completed a mini-theater project at Smithville Lake. CAP is a 1/2 credit course involving a community service project that each graduating senior is required to take.

The site of the next board meeting, which was scheduled for Barry School on Dec. 20, has been changed due to a conflict. Instead, December's meeting will be held at the central office, with January's meeting scheduled for Barry School.