While the Johnstown-Monroe School District maintained its "excellent" rating on the 2008-09 report card released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Education, it also made significant gains in several areas.

While the Johnstown-Monroe School District maintained its "excellent" rating on the 2008-09 report card released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Education, it also made significant gains in several areas.

Laura Lawrence, director of curriculum, said the district met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the first time, demonstrating every student subgroup to be at or above annual goals or improved over the previous year.

"We're very excited about that," Lawrence said. "That's big. Our students with disabilities and economic disadvantages are all achieving."

The district was rated excellent for the second consecutive year based on reaching a specific number of state indicators, its performance index score, AYP and value-added measure.

J-M met 26 of 30 indicators, an increase of two from the previous year. The district failed to meet proficiency in fifth-grade math by only 1.5 percent, with 73.5 percent of students tested being proficient. The state requirement is 75 percent. The district also failed to meet proficiency in seventh-grade writing, 72.8 percent; eighth-grade science, 59.7 percent; and eighth-grade social studies, 51.9 percent.

"This is also the first time we met the fifth-grade science and social studies standard," Lawrence said. "We struggled in fifth-grade science and social studies for so long, and now we're (scoring) above similar districts this year.

"Last year, the fifth grade only passed reading. Fifth grade was so close to meet the math standard. I'm sure fifth grade will get there next year," she said. "We'll do ongoing assessment to help struggling students along the way."

Johnstown-Monroe also improved its performance index score, reflecting the achievement of every student tested. The latest score is 97.8, up from 95.9 in 2007-08.

"We want to keep improving the performance index, moving the proficient students and above to accelerated and advanced," Lawrence said.

The district is implementing a Response to Intervention (RtI) program this year for students at all levels, according to Lawrence.

"The main premise is early detection prevention and support systems that identify struggling students and assist them before they fall behind," she said. "We'll offer support to students. It could be through classroom teachers or intervention specialists. It may be a short amount of time for a small group or one-on-one. We'll utilize our existing staff to provide support in a classroom setting."

A consultant will work with the entire staff concerning RtI on Sept. 21.

"The whole idea is to provide support for students at any level," Lawrence said.

Each district building also receives a rating by the state, with J-M High School being rated "excellent," meeting 12 of 12 indicators.

Complete report card information can be viewed in detail by visiting www.ode.state.oh.us.