Final state report card results issued by the Ohio Department of Education have confirmed that the Canal Winchester Local School District earned a rating of excellent.
Preliminary scores were released in October, but final ratings were delayed while the Ohio Auditor's Office investigated several districts, including Columbus City Schools, for allegedly "scrubbing" data in an effort to improve their rankings.
Canal Winchester was not one of the districts under investigation.
Getting the preliminary results confirmed was good news for new Superintendent James Sotlar.
"We are proud to announce that Canal Winchester schools received the rating of excellent, making this the third year that our schools received a grade of at least an excellent for student performance," Sotlar said last week.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment that reflects the strength of quality teaching and widespread community support," he added.
He acknowledged that there is room for improvement, however.
The district did not meet adequate yearly progress for 2011-12 because students with disabilities did not achieve proficient scores in math and reading.
And overall, the district scored "below" in the Value-Added measure because students did not achieve at least a year's worth of progress in an academic year in eighth-grade reading, fourth-grade math, fifth-grade math and seventh-grade math.
"Not meeting AYP or districtwide Value-Added is an area of concern that we will continue to address," Sotlar said. "Our expectations are to earn the highest state rating in every area. Our teachers, support staff and administrators work incredibly hard to ensure student success on a daily basis."
Canal Winchester schools met 25 of 26 state indicators and earned a 100.3 Performance Index score.
The state indicators reflect test scores of students in grades three through eight and in 10th grade. At least 75 percent of students in the grade must score proficient or higher on each test.
The only test in which Canal Winchester students did not meet the mark was fifth-grade math.
Other requirements include a minimum passage rate of 85 percent for students taking the Ohio Graduation Test in 11th grade, an attendance rate of 93 percent and a graduation rate of at least 90 percent.
The Performance Index reviews the achievements of every student enrolled for a full academic year. PI scores can range from 0-120 points. The Performance Index is a "weighted average that includes all tested subjects and grades and untested students," according to the ODE. A greater weight is given to advanced scores and a weight of zero is given to students who were not tested.
The 100.3 Canal Winchester schools earned for the 2011-2012 school year was slightly less than the 100.5 earned for the 2010-2011 academic year but higher than the 98.1 PI score in 2009-2010.
This is the last time the Ohio Department of Education will use the current rating system for school districts. Next year's report cards will begin a transition into an A-F rating system.
"Canal Winchester Local School District is more than just a report card," Sotlar said. "We provide great educational and extracurricular opportunities that are preparing students for their future. We will continue to focus on our mission of teaching students to be effective and responsible citizens in the 21st century."