The New Albany-Plain Local School District for the second year in a row has received an "excellent with distinction" rating from the Ohio Department of Education.

The New Albany-Plain Local School District for the second year in a row has received an "excellent with distinction" rating from the Ohio Department of Education.

NA-PLS is one of 116 school district in the state that received the distinction, which has been a category for only two years. Eighteen of the 20 most similar districts also were excellent with distinction, according to the ODE.

The "distinction" addition is awarded to districts earning an excellent rating and performing at the top "value-added" rating for two years straight.

NA-PLS met 29 of 30 state indicators, met all adequate-yearly-progress (AYP) goals and received a performance index of 104.9 -- the highest the district has received on a state report card.

The performance-index measures the level of student achievement on state assessments and awards weighted points for the different achievement levels -- untested, limited, basic, proficient, accelerated and advanced. The scale is from 0 to 120. NA-PLS received a 103.7 last school year.

The district also received an above-expected growth designation in the state's value-added measurement, which gauges fourth- through eighth-graders' scores in reading and math and shows how the district has progressed from year to year.

The measurement was added to the report card last year.

Value-added is measured with a plus, check or minus. The plus means students have grown beyond state expectations; a check means progress is at state standards; and a minus means progress is below the expected growth level.

Overall, the district received a plus, but it received a minus in seventh- and eighth-grade reading and in sixth- and eighth-grade mathematics and checks in fifth-grade reading and math.

"The value-added measure is something we were hoping to become part of the state report card," Superintendent Steve Castle said. "It truly does give school districts a chance to measure progress and growth of every student."

Madeline Partlow, district director of teaching and learning, said the district did not meet the state indicator for eighth-grade social studies.

She said district administrators and teachers are analyzing the data but found that if one additional student had received a passing score, the district would have met the state indicator.

Partlow said teachers already have looked at new ways to engage students, such as using Web-based systems that could be used during the school day and at home.

The district also met all AYP benchmarks. AYP measures the growth of specific subgroups of students, including black, non-Hispanic; Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic; multi-racial; white, non-Hispanic; economically disadvantaged; limited English-proficient; and students with disabilities.

Partlow said district officials have worked with all students.

"We've really worked in all departments and grade levels, partly through this intervention plan," she said.

Administrators, teachers and staff will continue to work together to improve, she said.

"We are going to do considerable work to break this down further," Partlow said.

The middle school and K-1 school also were considered excellent with distinction. All other New Albany-Plain Local Schools were excellent.