JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin School District is putting an emphasis on the performance of its younger students.

The district is purchasing a software add-on called “Performance Matters.” It will help teachers track the progress of their elementary students.

“Performance Matters is going to help students and teachers both kind of see where they are at and where they need to go to further their academics,” said Libbie Burd, Coordinator of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction.

Tuesday night the Joplin School Board approved Performance Matters.

“We will not only be able to pull our achievement data into the system but also correlate it to attendance and behavior and early indicators of at risk so we really can look at how best to support each individual student on their learning path,” said Sarah Mwangi, Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services.

The program will help the district track students even if they transfer schools within the district.

“In Joplin about one out of three of our students where they start their school year they typically end at a different school by the end of the year,” said Mwangi. “We are a big school system so it’s really critical collectively that we are getting everybody on the same page. This is a tool that will really help our administrators and teachers really see that quick information when students transfer.”

The program will be implemented at all eleven elementary schools in the district.

“As we give different assessments it helps us as teachers figure out what they are missing then plug those holes and move forward from there. It gives us milemarkers to know at needs to happen next,” added Burd.

Performance Matters is costing the district more than $40,000 and is initially being paid through ESSER funding.

“We know that teachers’ time is very limited so we want to make sure they are able to look at data but also be very efficient with what they are seeing to move forward,” said Burd.

The program will be set up over the summer and launch this fall.

Performance Matters will cost about $5 a student every year after the initial setup.