The Johnstown-Monroe Local School District has been rated "excellent" on the latest state report card, which was released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Education.

The Johnstown-Monroe Local School District has been rated "excellent" on the latest state report card, which was released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Education.

The 2007-08 rating is a two level improvement from 2006-07, when the district was in the continuous improvement category.

The six designations used by the state to rate districts are excellent with distinction, excellent, effective, continuous improvement, academic watch and academic emergency.

"We are very pleased to see the district report card reflect the dedication of each and every member of our community of learners and the steadfast determination of our staff to succeed," said superintendent Damien Bawn. "It takes the synergy of all the good people involved -- the people who provide the learning opportunities, all who provide the allied supports, and those members of our community who give to help us achieve -- to make a real difference, touch the lives of our students in such positive ways, and have such a magnificent impact on the future."

The district was rated excellent based on meeting a specific number of state indicators, a performance index score, adequate yearly progress and value-added measure.

Johnstown met 24 of 30 indicators, an increase of one indicator from the previous year. To meet the indicators, at least 75 percent of the students tested must score proficient or higher on a given assessment.

The district failed to meet proficiency in math, science and social studies at both the fifth- and eighth-grade levels.

For the second consecutive year, Johnstown didn't meet the "adequate yearly progress" (AYP), which requires several student subgroups to be at or above annual goals or to have improved over the previous year. Those subgroups include specific ethnic groups, students with limited English proficiency, economically disadvantaged students and students with special needs.

Johnstown didn't meet AYP in reading or math in the students with disabilities group.

Laura Lawrence, director of curriculum and special education, said students on individualized education plans (IEP) continue to be placed with students in regular classrooms with an intervention specialist to meet students' needs.

"Students with disabilities need to be educated in the general education classroom with their peers to the greatest extent possible," Lawrence said. "Our classroom teachers and intervention specialists are providing accommodations and support to these students in the general education setting."

The J-M district continues to make slight improvement with its performance index score that reflects level of achievement of every tested student.

The performance index score from 2007-08 was 95.9, up from 95.4 the previous year and 95.1 in 2005-06.

The "value-added" measure is new to the report card system. It represents the progress a school has made with its students since last school year. In contrast, achievement scores represent student's performance at a point in time.

In addition to rating each school district, the state also rates each school building.

For the second consecutive year, Johnstown-Monroe High School was rated excellent, meeting 12 of 12 indicators, achieving a 103.1 performance index and meeting AYP.

Adams Middle School improved from an effective rating to excellent. Oregon maintained its excellent rating for the third consecutive year, while Searfoss maintained an effective rating.

Bawn said the district's success comes not so much from individual programs or changes but from working together as a system through a process of continuous improvement and with a common objective.

"Our purpose is, through an effective public education, to make life better for our students, our community, and our world," he said.

Complete report card information can be viewed in detail by visiting