After a protracted wait, the results are finally in, and the Olentangy Local School District once again earned the top rating from the state on its annual report card.
The district was rated "Excellent with Distinction," the highest possible rating. It's the ninth straight year the district has been rated "Excellent" or better.
"Anyone who has spent time in an Olentangy school knows this district has the winning combination of quality teachers, talented students and supportive families. This shows how powerful that combination can be," said Superintendent Wade Lucas in a written statement.
Olentangy is the largest district in the state to be named "Excellent with Distinction."
The district also was awarded its highest Performance Index score ever of 107.3. The score is in line with prior projections that the score would fall between 107.2 and 107.4.
It tops last year's previous best score of 106.5 and puts Olentangy among the top 6 percent of districts in the state.
The Performance Index is based on test scores.
This year, Olentangy saw upticks in 17 of the 24 testing benchmarks measured on the state report card, and slight downticks in the remaining seven.
But it met all 26 of the state's performance indicators, which gauge the achievement of individual student subgroups.
It also exceeded Adequate Yearly Progress standards on the new report card. AYP measures academic growth from year to year.
"We are very proud that our district is providing students more than just the expected level of growth," Lucas said. "We teach our students to strive for their best and this shows our staff is doing the same."
The district saw a slight dropoff in its graduation rate, from 99.5 percent to 98.1 percent.
Its overall attendance rate came in at 95.6 percent, slightly down from last year's mark of 96.1 percent.
Those numbers previously were being withheld by the Ohio Department of Education after officials in several Ohio school districts, including Columbus City Schools, were accused of manipulating attendance data.
The entirety of the new report card data is still labeled "preliminary" because state officials say grades for some Ohio districts could be recalculated at the end of an investigation.
Olentangy officials said they're aiming for a Performance Index score of 108 or higher for next year. That's the threshold for achieving the top rating in a new, more-rigorous grading system proposed by the state.
But a historical analysis shows it may fall short of that mark. In the past decade, the district has averaged just a half-point increase each year.