COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Education released its assessments of school districts Thursday.
The state switched to a new system for the 2021-22 school year, issuing one through five stars (as opposed to the previous grades A-F) to schools in the areas of Achievement, Progress, Early Literacy, Gap Closing and Graduation.
Areas of measurement are:
Achievement: This component represents whether student performance on state tests met established thresholds and how well students performed on tests overall.
Progress: This component looks closely at the growth all students are making based on their past performances.
Early Literacy: This component measures reading improvement and proficiency for students in kindergarten through third grade.
Gap Closing: This component measures the reduction in educational gaps for student subgroups.
Graduation: This component looks at the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate and the five-year adjusted cohort graduation rate.
The state’s number of stars for Clinton County districts (from left: Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Graduation, and Early Literacy):
• Blanchester — 3, 1, 4, 4, 2
• Clinton-Massie — 4, 3, 5, 4, 2
• East Clinton — 3, 2, 3, 2, 2
• Wilmington — 3, 1, 2, 2, 2
The News Journal reached out to Clinton County’s superintendents for comment Thursday afternoon.
Wilmington City Schools
WCS Supt. Jim Brady said, “When school report cards are released, it gives us a chance as educators to analyze data that shows what we do well and what we might need to adjust. The state has moved away from previous ratings, now using a star system.
“A big part of what we’ll be doing over the upcoming months is trying to see where data and real-life solutions intersect. We have already implemented recent instructional interventions and enrichments as we continue to tackle the educational challenges that our district (and others) have faced with remote learning and absenteeism. We are encouraged by the 8-point increase in third-grade reading and the implementation of the new phonics program that focuses on foundational reading skills.
“This year we have increased English/Language Arts and math to 80-minute blocks in the middle school to focus on grade level and foundation skills. We have also added an intervention/enrichment period that will focus on reading skills. Over the past 12 months, teachers along with building and district leaders have reviewed and adopted new math curriculum in grades K-12.
“We know this new curriculum and these new instructional approaches will positively affect student learning, and we look forward to improved results for our students. Obviously, we have room for improvement, but we are fortunate to have many caring and dedicated staff members who will keep working in our students’ interests,” said Brady.
East Clinton Local Schools
“I am proud of our teachers and students,” said East Clinton’s Eric Magee. “There are great things happening across the district. The improved scores at the elementary levels reveal the emphasis we have placed on building our kids from the ground up. I am excited to see the growth in our students as the next several years unfold.
“While these scores are essentially a snapshot of where a student is on a given day, we can pull out trends in the data that highlight many positives that are taking place,” Magee continued.
“Certainly we will use data trends to help determine our next steps in moving forward. As educators, these scores matter. They are important. But also, as educators and as parents, we can look beyond a test score to see the incredible value that each and every student has,” said Magee.
Clinton-Massie Local Schools
Clinton-Massie Supt. Matt Baker said, “Clinton-Massie Local Schools will use the state report card data as one of many data points that allow us to continue growing as a district. The state report card is regularly changing so we are still learning how the newest ideation will allow us to better serve our students and inform our staff.
“We celebrate the work done to give us scores that exceed state standards in Academic Achievement, Graduation Rate, and Gap Closing. We recognize the area of Early Literacy will need to improve.
“The Clinton-Massie Board of Education continues to support growth in our state report card data through the strategic planning process. We are processing the newest data and we will report to our stakeholders pertinent information that allows them to support their child,” said Baker.
Blanchester Local Schools
Blanchester Schools Supt. Randy Dunlap said he likes having baseline data for district educators to work from. Indeed, he said Thursday he already can see some areas they know they have the ability to work on.
Dunlap pointed to the “Gap Closing” category in which the district received 4 stars as a rating that made him glad. This category and its rating relates to the district’s highest-need students “making significant gains, which is great,” said the superintendent.
Dunlap acknowledged he is concerned about the 1-star rating in the “Progress” category which pertains to how students progress year over year. He said district educators were anticipating a low score in the category and had previously started gathering as much data as they could to address it.
“Our teachers are working hard. I’m excited; we’ve got some teachers who seem to have a renewed energy this year,” he said.
Even though the district got 4 stars in the “Graduation” area, Dunlap said they added some graduation pathways this year in conjunction with the state, and he expects to see an increase in the graduation rate.
Blanchester Schools received 3 stars for “Achievement” which represents whether student performance on state tests met established thresholds and how well students performed on tests overall.
“I would say overall we’re pleased, not happy, but pleased. Our goal next year [for “Achievement” category] is 4 stars,” said Dunlap.
For purposes of comparison with Clinton County’s districts, nearby school districts include:
Hillsboro — 4, 3, 5, 3, 3
Greenfield — 3, 2, 2, 5, 2
Washington CH — 3, 1, 3, 3, 3
Miami Trace — 4, 3, 5, 4, 3
Little Miami — 4, 3, 5, 5, 4
Waynesville — 5, 5, 5, 5, 3
Xenia — 3, 2, 4, 2, 3
Fayetteville-Perry — 3, 3, 5, 3, 2
Western Brown — 3, 2, 3, 3, 3
Find further explanations of the ratings scale at education.ohio.gov .
The entire list of Ohio school districts and their assessments are at https://www.limaohio.com/infocenter/2022/09/15/interactive-database-ohio-school-report-cards-2021-22/ .