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Districts get report cards

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By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT

For the Review Times

Most area school districts received a B or C overall grade on the school district report cards released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Education. Fostoria was one of three districts to receive a D.

That element of the report card is new this year, and is based on results in the six component areas that have been graded in previous years.

“Achievement” and “progress” each make up 20 percent of the overall grade. Graduation rate, “gap closing,” improving at risk K-3 readers, and “prepared for success” are worth 15 percent each. The report cards cover the 2017-2018 school year.

Earning B overall grades were Arcadia, Arlington, Bluffton, Bowling Green, Columbus Grove, Elmwood, Hopewell-Loudon, Leipsic, Liberty-Benton, Patrick Henry and Upper Sandusky.

Findlay, Carey, McComb, Mohawk, North Baltimore, Pandora-Gilboa, Riverdale, Van Buren and Vanlue got Cs.

Cory-Rawson, Fostoria and Kenton received a D.

The overall grade is a useful addition to the report card, said Liberty-Benton Superintendent Mark Kowalski, whose district got a B.

“It kind of sets the bar across the state,” he said, and administrators and teachers know how their districts compare with others.

“We’re pleased with the B for our district grade. Our school community expects us to do well, our staff expects us to do well,” Kowalski said.

Still, the district will look to improve in all areas, he added.

Compared to the previous report card, Liberty-Benton got the same or better grades in five areas. Only the K-3 reading score fell, from a B to a D.

But as Kowalski noted, and as the state report card included, 100 percent of the district’s third-graders met the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and could move on to fourth grade.

This part of the report card was called “K-3 literacy” last year and “improving at-risk K-3 readers” this year.

The K-3 reading component is about improving reading skills in students who are not on track, explained Stephanie Roth, Findlay’s director of elementary instruction. Findlay City Schools also received a D in that area.

Students in kindergarten through third grade are given diagnostic tests each fall. Those who are not on track go on a “reading improvement plan,” Roth said. A course of intervention is designed based on test scores and the specific weaknesses a student has.

The more students who move from off-track at the beginning of one school year to on-track at the beginning of the next year, the better the grade for the school district.

Roth cited two problems with how the state measures and grades this area: First, the time between tests is the “whole school year plus the summer slide.”

The “summer slide” is the loss of reading or other skills over the summer. Roth would prefer a comparison between fall and spring tests.

Roth’s second criticism is that school districts get no credit for students who are already on track.

Findlay’s on-track numbers for each grade level were: kindergarten, 72.1 percent; first grade, 90.6 percent; second grade, 86.5 percent; and third grade, 80.4 percent.

Findlay Superintendent Ed Kurt said the overall grade, and the whole report card, is one “snapshot” of what a district is doing.

“It’s not an evaluation of everything that happens every day in the classroom,” he said.

Left out, for example, is the Findlay district’s focus on the “4 Cs” (creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking), its 1:1 device program and its emphasis on project-based learning.

Following are Hancock County school districts’ letter grades and component grades on the 2017-2018 report card, as well as the 2016-2017 component grades for comparison.

For more information about what the components mean and how grades are calculated, visit http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Data/Report-Card-Resources/Report-Card-Guide.pdf.aspx.

Arcadia

2017-2018 letter grade: B.

2017-2018 components: achievement, C; gap closing, A; improving at-risk K-3 readers, B; progress, D: graduation rate, A; prepared for success, D.

2016-2017: achievement, C; gap closing, A; K-3 literacy, C; progress, D; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, C.

Arlington

2017-2018 letter grade: B.

2017-2018 components: achievement, C; gap closing, A; improving at-risk K-3 readers, F; progress, B; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, C.

2016-2017: achievement, C; gap closing, D; K-3 literacy, C; progress, A; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, C.

Cory-Rawson

2017-2018 letter grade: D.

2017-2018 components: achievement, D; gap closing, D; improving at-risk K-3 readers, C; progress, D; graduation rate, B; prepared for success, F.

2016-2017: achievement, D; gap closing, F; K-3 literacy, C; progress, D; graduation rate, B; prepared for success, D.

Findlay

2017-2018 letter grade: C.

2017-2018 components: achievement, D; gap closing, B; improving at-risk K-3 readers, D; progress, C; graduation rate, B; prepared for success, D.

2016-2017: achievement, D; gap closing, F; K-3 literacy, C; progress, D; graduation rate, B; prepared for success, C.

Liberty-Benton

2017-2018 letter grade: B.

2017-2018 components: achievement, C; gap closing, B; improving at-risk K-3 readers, D; progress, B; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, C.

2016-2017: achievement, C; gap closing, C; K-3 literacy, B; progress, D; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, C.

McComb

2017-2018 letter grade: C.

2017-2018 components: achievement, D; gap closing, B; improving at-risk K-3 readers, F; progress, D; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, F.

2016-2017: achievement, D; gap closing, D; K-3 literacy, C; progress, D; graduation rate, B; prepared for success, D.

Riverdale

2017-2018 letter grade: C.

2017-2018 components: achievement, D; gap closing, B; improving at-risk K-3 readers, D; progress, F; graduation rate, B; prepared for success, D.

2016-2017: achievement, D; gap closing, F; K-3 literacy, B; progress, F; graduation rate, B; prepared for success, D.

Van Buren

2017-2018 letter grade: C.

2017-2018 components: achievement, B; gap closing, A; improving at-risk K-3 readers, D; progress, D; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, D.

2016-2017: achievement, B; gap closing, B; K-3 literacy, A; progress, D; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, C.

Vanlue

2017-2018 letter grade: C.

2017-2018 components: achievement, D; gap closing, A; improving at-risk K-3 readers, not rated; progress, F; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, D.

2016-2017: achievement, D; gap closing, F; K-3 literacy, D; progress, D; graduation rate, A; prepared for success, C.

Findlay Digital Academy

Findlay Digital Academy is an online school that offers dropout prevention and recovery for students in grades nine through 12. It is a community school, or charter school, sponsored by Findlay City Schools.

Report cards for this type of school are somewhat different than those for traditional public school districts.

2017-2018 rating: Meets standards.

2016-2017 rating: Exceeds standards.

2017-2018 components: high school test passage rate, does not meet standards; gap closing, exceeds standards; progress, meets standards; graduation rate, exceeds standards.

2016-2017: high school test passage rate, exceeds standards; gap closing, exceeds standards; progress, meets standards: graduation rate, exceeds standards

Rubright: 419-427-8417

Send an E-mail to kathrynerubright

Twitter: @kerubright

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