Superintendent Updates


John Downs joined the faculty of the Hallsville School District more than twenty years ago. His first fifteen years in education were as a classroom teacher and building lead teacher, the latter focused on teacher mentoring and professional development. John accepted a central office administration position leading district curriculum and instruction in 2008 and became Superintendent in 2016. You can follow him on Twitter @HR4Supt and on his blog posts below.


April 10, 2019  J. Downs

Hallsville Families and Community,

The spring season brings new energy to our schools, as students across the district take advantage of outdoor learning activities, participate in athletic contests, and gratefully reach the end to this winter’s demand for indoor recess. The district is also looking forward to noticeable changes with our school bond construction at the primary school, slated to begin during the upcoming spring and summer months. In response to community questions about the project, we created a “frequently asked questions” document, which we will continue to update.  Please download the FAQ here, and you can always follow construction updates on our website at  


John Downs

Superintendent of Schools


February 19, 2019  J. Downs

This winter has presented some challenges, and I think most of us in mid-Missouri are beyond ready for spring to arrive. In times like these, I enjoy reflecting on things that are going well. So, I will take a few moments to mention some 2019 student celebrations.

The state finally released last year’s assessment results and accreditation report cards for all Missouri districts. As usual, Hallsville students demonstrated their academic capability by outperforming the state in 11 of the 14 tested areas. A few highlights include:

  • Fourth graders’ proficiency rate in math was 16% higher than Missouri

  • Seventh grade math results were more than 12% better than the state

  • Algebra 1 students outperformed Missouri by nearly 14%

  • Hallsville students demonstrated proficiency roughly 9-10% higher than the state in third grade math, fifth grade math, sixth grade English, and seventh grade English

The 2018 Missouri tests in English, math, and science were all new, so our results aren’t comparable with previous years. While we look forward to having consistent state data in the future, these new baseline results are quite encouraging. Our 2018 census ACT results show a similar pattern:

When presented with academic results such as these, our other college and career readiness data aren’t surprising:

  • Hallsville’s 2018 four-year graduation rate was 98%, compared with the overall Missouri result of 89%

  • 98.8% of 2017 Hallsville graduates went on to continue their education, become employed, or enlist in military service

I don’t mean to suggest we are perfect; there are always areas for improvement. In fact, our district will be revising our strategic plan over the coming months. I sincerely hope the entire community will participate in this process to help us provide the highest level of education possible to our children. More information on how to become involved in this process with be available soon.

Still, results like these demonstrate that Hallsville’s students are prepared for life—not just as a group, but as individuals. Whether it’s Andrew Huddleston winning Hallsville’s first state wrestling championship, Sarah Putting advancing to Future Business Leaders of America state competition in three different events, or graduate Jared Lockwood’s acceptance into Princeton’s prestigious Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative, our students routinely demonstrate the passion, perseverance, and prowess to achieve great things.

I hope all of us take note of our amazing students and their many successes, both within the walls of our school district and beyond. As always, our sincere thanks for your continued support of our students and the Hallsville School District.


John Downs

Superintendent of Schools


December 17, 2018
 J. Downs

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