Knost, board move ahead on district’s vision points

We have written several times about the excellent job Eric Knost is performing as superintendent of the Mehlville School District.

We particularly have been impressed with Knost’s outreach efforts since becoming superintendent in July 2011. No one could dispute that he has made a genuine effort to connect with residents — supporters and critics alike — through four town-hall meetings and other avenues, including letters to the editor and one-on-one meetings.

Besides accessibility and transparency, Knost is focusing on improving academic achievement — with remarkable results.

During last week’s Board of Education meeting, he discussed two of the district’s 15 vision points — increase career programs, including Project Lead the Way, and continue to increase Advancement Placement offerings at Mehlville and Oakville senior high schools.

The district’s website contains a list of the 15 vision points with a gauge indicating how much progress has been made toward the goal.

Progress on increasing career programs is at 72 percent, and the website notes a two-year program in culinary arts has been implemented at both high schools. ProStart I was implemented during the current school year, while ProStart II will be offered beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.

In addition, a four-year biomedical science program has been implemented at both high schools. Principles of biomedical sciences was implemented during the current school year and human body systems will be offered next year. More classes will follow.

Progress on increasing AP offerings is at 80 percent, as the district continuously has increased its AP classes over the past few years. Three new AP classes were added for the current school year, and AP Chemistry will be added for the 2013-2014 school year.

Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, Mehlville will offer 19 AP classes.

Astonishingly enough, Knost noted that when he became principal of Oakville Senior High School in 2002, the Mehlville School District offered no AP classes whatsoever.

We believe Knost put the district’s progress in perspective when he said: “… We’re not becoming, we are a top-notch, absolute Class A — whatever you want to call it — curricular resource for students in our community, and that is becoming more and more evident. And we should all be proud of that. I applaud the board for supporting these visionary-type of things …”