Following two consecutive years of receiving the state's highest marks, the Pickerington Local School District slipped to "excellent" on this year's report card.

Following two consecutive years of receiving the state's highest marks, the Pickerington Local School District slipped to "excellent" on this year's report card.

Pickerington students in grades three through 12 beat state averages in testing for reading, mathematics, writing, science and social studies, as well as attendance and graduation rates, according to the Ohio Department of Education's 2009-10 state report card.

The district also met or exceeded state requirements in 25 of 26 performance indicators.

The feats were enough to score the district an "excellent" rating, the state's second-highest ranking for school districts.

However, it marked the first time in the past three years the district failed to attain an "excellent with distinction" label, the highest ranking on the report card.

"As a district, we met 25 out of 26 indicators, while last year we met 29 out of 30," said Kim Halley, lead instructional advisor in the PLSD's Department of Teaching and Learning. "Overall, our rating was excellent. That was along with 214 other districts in Ohio.

"Less than half of the schools in Ohio made that rating."

The state report card was designed to measure performance and progress among Ohio students on a yearly basis.

This year's rating is based on indicators measured during 2009-10 school year, as well as graduation rates from the 2008-09 year.

In order to meet the state standards, 75 percent of students in grades three through 10 must pass each state proficiency test. Eighty-five percent of students in grade 11 must pass each test to meet the standards.

Pickerington narrowly missed the state's standards for eighth-grade reading proficiency, with 74 percent of students passing the test. The state average was 69.2 percent.

The ODE also said the district didn't satisfy its "value-added measure."

"Value-added is a measure of how much growth students made on average in a year in a (school) building or in the year for the district," Halley said. "Now it's not only, 'Can a child pass the test?' but it attempts to measure if even the brightest children are growing in their learning.

"Historically, when you look at achievement levels for the district, we have achieved at a high level. Now, the expectation is extremely high for the district, and value-added growth will be a focus our district needs to work on."

Halley said the district will use the report card data to analyze its strengths and weaknesses. Principals for each building will look to shape their "continuous improvement plans" around ways to address shortfalls.

Aside from eighth-grade math and the value-added measure, Pickerington students exceeded the state averages for reading, math, science and social studies proficiency. The district's 95-percent graduation rate and 95.4-percent attendance rate for all students also outpaced state averages of 83 percent and 94.3 percent, respectively.

With respect to testing, 89.1 percent of third-graders passed the reading proficiency tests, compared to the state average of 78.4 percent, and 80.3 percent passed the math proficiency, compared to the state's average of 76.9 percent.

Some 90.4 percent of Pickerington fourth-graders passed the reading proficiency test and 82.2 percent passed the state math test. Statewide, 81 percent of fourth-graders passed the reading test and 76.2 percent passed the math test.

Pickerington fifth-graders' passage rates for the reading, math and science tests were 81.7 percent, 81.2 percent and 84.9 percent, respectively. Statewide, 71.8 percent of fifth-graders passed reading, while 67 percent and 69.9 percent passed math and science, respectively.

Some 91.9 percent of Pickerington sixth-graders passed the reading proficiency test and 85.4 percent passed math. Statewide, 84.1 percent of sixth-graders passed reading and 77.4 percent passed math.

Among Pickerington seventh-graders, 90.6 percent passed reading and 75.7 percent passed math, compared to state scores of 80.2 percent and 71.1 percent, respectively.

In eighth grade, 90.8 percent of Pickerington students passed reading, 74 percent passed math and 78.2 percent passed science. Statewide, 80.9 percent passed reading, 69.2 percent passed math and 64.8 percent passed science.

On the 10th-grade graduation test, 90.3 percent of Pickerington students passed reading proficiency, 88.9 percent passed math, 91 percent passed writing, 81.2 percent passed science and 88.4 percent passed social studies. Statewide, those figures were 83 percent, 80.4 percent, 84.1 percent, 73 percent and 79.6 percent, respectively.

On the 11th-grade graduation test, 96.4 percent of Pickerington students passed reading, 95.8 percent passed math, 97.8 percent passed writing, 92.4 percent passed science and 95.2 percent passed social studies. Statewide, passed rates were 91.6 percent, 89.2 percent, 93.2 percent, 85.1 percent and 88.7 percent, respectively.

"The district's overall achievement is really quite good," Halley said.