Pickerington Times-Sun

District near perfect in third-grade reading proficiency


Approximately 95 percent of Pickerington Local School District third-graders achieved a cut-off score for the state's reading proficiency test, and only one will have to retake the exam this summer.

Of the district's 741 third-graders in the 2013-14 school year, 701 scored this spring met the Ohio Department of Education's cut-off score of 392 that's required to move on to the fourth grade.

The 94.6-percent passage was above the statewide rate of 87 percent, and only one of the 40 students who didn't meet the standard is in danger of either not advancing a grade level or being required to take remedial reading courses next year.

"We are very proud of our students and their parents for the support they provided our students, along with our staff and administrative team," said Rob Walker, Pickerington superintendent.

"Our results were, we felt, outstanding."

The 50-question Ohio Achievement Assessment reading test is a mix of multiple choice, short-answer and extended-answer questions.

According to the ODE, scores are scaled and have a possible range of 260 to 503. Students who failed to reach the passing score of 392 in the fall or spring are supposed to be held back. Eventually, any student who scores below 400, which is considered proficient, will be retained.

Sharon Caccimelio, Pickerington's director of teaching and learning, said 39 of the students who didn't achieve a score of 392 or higher are exempt from being held back because they were either special-needs students or because English is not their native language.

Additionally, she said, the single student who still needs to pass the test in order to advance moved into the district after the test was administered last fall. So, he only had one attempt to meet the state requirement.

"He will have a chance to take the alternative test or take the OAA test in July," Caccimelio said.

Caccimelio added three students who failed to meet the cut-off score last fall achieved proficiency after the spring test.

"I'm thrilled with the way our students performed and also give kudos to our staff," she said.

"They have been working really hard to ensure they meet the standards.

"We have worked very hard in the district to put our current frameworks in place. "We've done a lot of professional development with teachers and good, solid practices that are research-based."