New Albany News

Report card results could spur reallocation of resources


New Albany-Plain Local officials are breaking down the most recent state report card from the Ohio Department of Education and considering reallocating several resources.

Superintendent April Domine and the school board reviewed the district's annual measurable objectives -- or "gap-closing" measurements -- in reading and math during a Sept. 9 work session.

The annual measurement objectives determine the academic performance of up to 10 specific racial and demographic groups of students in reading, math and graduation rates, according to the ODE. Subgroups with fewer than 30 students are not rated.

The results are compared to a state goal and then are used to outline achievement gaps among the groups, according to the ODE.

Overall, New Albany's second to fifth grades received a D in gap-closing for reading and math. African Americans, Hispanics, students who speak limited English, economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities performed below the state standard in both categories.

Overall, middle school students received a C in gap-closing for reading and math, with African Americans, Hispanics and students with disabilities performing below the standard in reading and African Americans, economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities performing below the standard in math.

Domine said the district's performance index of 106.3 and its A for overall value-added measurement indicated students did very well.

But among the subgroups, the lowest achieving 20 percent of students in the district earned a C for yearly progress, which means they learned the average amount needed in a year, and scored lower than 70 on the performance index.

Students with disabilities earned a D for progress and achieved between 80 and 90 on the performance index.

Results divided by grade, show similar results for grades 2 to 5 and 6 to 8, with the middle school's gifted students joining the other two groups by earning a C for progress but achieving between 110 and 120 on the performance index.

Domine said one way the district is trying to improve its scores is by reallocating current resources at the elementary level to provide:

* Three literacy coaches.

* Two math coaches.

* One technology coach.

* A special education coach.

* Five literacy and math intervention teachers.

* Three Title 1 math and literacy specialists.

* Fifteen intervention specialists.

* Three gifted intervention specialists.

* One English language teacher.

Jennifer Denny, elementary head of schools, said the elementary buildings also are augmenting classroom instruction, including professional development for all staff and potential scheduling changes.

In third grade, for example, reading and language arts are taught at the same time so that all the faculty and support people available can focus on that subject, Denny said.

Domine said district officials are looking at instruction, curriculum, leadership and systems in place -- such as professional development for teachers -- to improve the data.

School board members asked about state testing compared to the national Common Core State Standards, which the district started implementing last school year. Domine said the district will see a difference in state test scores, since the ODE will measure students by a lower standard than the instruction being given.

She said the district is using other measurements to determine how well its students are doing, with the goal of making sure all students are college ready and improving the growth of district students overall.

"We need to do what's best for the students and what's right to make sure the students have the rigor they need," Domine said.