Monkeying around on the playground

A pre-schooler is seen in this 2017 file photo enjoying new playground equipment at Beacon School.

Note: This story appears in the Sunday, Oct. 6 newspaper on Page A1.

Things are looking up for Beacon School.

Just as area districts receive a state report card, the Ohio Department of Education gives a yearly assessment of those serving students with disabilities.

The Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities, which operates Beacon School in Athens, received the highest ODE ranking score. The DD board met all of the state requirements this past school year, as it has over the past several years.

In a provided statement, Supt. Kevin Davis described being proud of the students and staff for this achievement. He particularly commended Beacon Principal Rebecca Martin for “leading the way.”

“We are able to do this because of our hardworking and dedicated staff,” Davis said. “The teachers, instructor assistants, paraprofessionals, and support staff that make up the Beacon School community work with our students and with each other every day to provide quality service.”

ODE’s traditional report card system rates school districts on a standard letter grade system, from A to F. The special education rating categorizes districts on a four-point scale, with “Meets Requirements” being the top mark. This is what Beacon attained.

Similar to other districts, ODE tracked Beacon students’ proficiency in math and reading; early child development; and the graduation rate.

Beacon students take the “Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities” (AASCD) tests. These are administered by groups of grades, from 3-5, 6-8 and high school age. The early grades are tested in language arts and math, with science and social studies added in for older students.

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