Note: This story appears in the Sunday, Sept. 15 newspaper on Page A1.
The Federal Hocking school district made improvements, while Trimble, Athens Alexander and Nelsonville-York stayed pat — but all five have middling-to-below average success at educating students.
That’s the assessment from the Ohio Department of Education. The state recently released its annual ”Report Cards” for each school district in Ohio.
This year’s school district overall letter grades are: Alexander Local Schools (C); Athens City Schools (C); Federal Hocking Local Schools (C); Nelsonville-York City Schools (D); and Trimble Local Schools (D).
Federal Hocking improved from a D in 2018 to a C this year. The other four districts got the same letter grade last year.
The Messenger intends to contact school administrators across these districts for their perspectives in a subsequent news article, and provide a clearer picture of each district’s results.
The overall letter grades reflect the summation of six separate components studied by the Ohio Department of Education. Here are the six:
- Achievement — This looks at state testing scores. There are about 25 “indicators,” one for each grade and state testing subject: for example, third grade math, or high school biology. Another indicator notes any problem with students’ “chronic absenteeism.”
- Progress — This rates the progress for students in math, language and science in grades 4-8 compared to how they did the previous school year. There are further categories for gifted students; students in the lowest 20 percent of achievement; and students with disabilities. The state is looking at how each district teaches different types of students.
- Gap Closing — This looks at how districts meet expectations for the “most vulnerable populations of students.” This includes those with economic disadvantages and with disabilities. It compares those groups with the overall student body to see if the district can “close the gap” with education.
- Graduation Rate
- Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers — This tracks how many 3rd graders met the reading requirements to be promoted to fourth grade and remained “on track” with their reading ability. Districts are expected to identify struggling readers and get them back “on track.”
- Prepared for Success — This looks at “how well prepared Ohio’s students are for all future opportunities.” The scores track ACT test participation rate; how many students received honors diplomas; how many earned an industry-recognized trade credential, etc.
“Report Cards are only one part of the story,” the Ohio Department of Education states on its website. “To get a fuller picture, we encourage you to visit schools, talk to educators, parents and students, and review the school’s or district’s webpage.”