Johnstown Independent

State report cards

J-M excellent with distinction; Northridge Local excellent

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The Johnstown-Monroe Local School District earned "excellent with distinction" status on the Ohio Department of Education's annual report card.

Northridge Local Schools fared almost as well, earning an "excellent" grade for 2011-12.

The report cards were released Feb. 27.

Johnstown-Monroe's "excellent with distinction" rating is a best for the district, which met all 26 indicators. Its performance index is 103.5; adequate yearly progress was not met; but the Value Added measure is rated "above."

"There's always room (to improve)," Superintendent Damien Bawn said. "We won't slow down a bit."

Bawn, who is retiring, said Johnstown-Monroe was in the top 10 percent of the Value Added measure in Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Education, Value Added monitors growth or improvement over a period of time to determine the value gained by a student during that time period.

"The people in the district have really pulled together," Bawn said.

He said all of the district's buildings met adequate yearly progress, but the district as a whole did not.

Bawn didn't elaborate on that, saying only that it's a "continuous-improvement process."

Adequate yearly progress is a federal measure of performance of all students in the subjects of math and reading.

Northridge officials say they're pleased with the results but see room for improvement.

"There is absolutely room for improvement," Northridge school board president Doug Hart said. "We're pleased, but we're absolutely looking to get better."

Northridge met 24 of 26 indicators for an "excellent" rating, shy of the required 75-percent passage rate in fifth- and seventh-grade mathematics. Its performance index was 100.1. Adequate yearly progress was not met, but the Value Added measure was. With a tumultuous year behind the district, including a change in leadership and legal wrangling surrounding transportation of private-school students who live within the district, Hart said he's "not at all critical" of Northridge for not having a perfect score.

"There's plenty of work to be done," he said.

Northridge Superintendent Chris Briggs said the district would focus on improving its fifth- and seventh-grade math curriculum.

"There's a lot of work to do," he said. "We're excited. It's a reflection of the hard work the staff, teachers and students are putting forth."

The final release of the state report cards had been delayed since August to accommodate an investigation of allegations of data manipulation, known as "scrubbing," by some districts. However, most of the information from those cards already was public knowledge.

Hart said the Northridge school district that is under investigation for data scrubbing is in Montgomery County, and Licking County's Northridge school district is not suspected of data scrubbing, as some media had reported, he said.

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