Reynoldsburg is 'excellent with distinction'
Final ODE report confirms district's top-ranking scores
Reynoldsburg City Schools are officially rated excellent with distinction on the state report card, confirming preliminary results released earlier in the school year.
The Ohio Department of Education released final official results Feb. 27. The reports, expected last August, were delayed while the Ohio Auditor's Office investigated nine school districts -- including Columbus City Schools -- for allegedly "scrubbing" attendance data in an effort to improve their report card scores.
Reynoldsburg schools met 26 of 26 state indicators and scored "above" in value added, and posted a Performance Index score of 101.3, an improvement over last year's score of 100.3.
The Performance Index is a weighted average that includes all tested subjects and grades, plus the number of untested students, with the greatest weight given to advanced scores.
Scoring "above" in value added indicates district students achieved more than a year's growth in an academic year.
The district did not meet all adequate yearly progress (AYP) benchmarks, however, missing the state benchmark in reading scores for students with disabilities.
Individual building results were good, though, with Summit STEM Elementary School, Hannah J. Ashton Middle School and Waggoner Road Middle School rated excellent with distinction; HS2 Academy, eSTEM Academy, Baldwin Road Junior High, Waggoner Road Junior High and Herbert Mills, Rose Hill, Slate Ridge and Taylor Road elementary schools all rated excellent.
French Run Elementary, BELL Academy and Encore Academy were all rated effective.
This report card is the last that will use the current ratings system; the next report card will have more "rigorous" standards, according to ODE officials.
The new report cards will have A-F letter grades based on six areas:
* Achievement: how well students are doing against national success standards.
* Gap closing: student performance among racial and demographic groups.
* Graduation rate.
* Progress: how well students of all abilities improve.
* K-3 literacy: how many students in K-3 are reading at grade level.
* Prepared for success: how many students are considered "college- and career-ready."
The grades in all six areas will be calculated for an overall report card grade.
Determination of grades in the specific areas will begin in August, but overall grades for districts may not begin until August 2015, to give schools time to adjust to the more rigorous standards, according to information on the ODE website, at ilrc.ode.state.oh.us.
Reynoldsburg Superintendent Steve Dackin said he welcomes the changes.
"It is right-minded to increase rigor and application of knowledge so that students are more competitive for college entrance and for jobs," he said. "In Reynoldsburg, we have been increasingly focused on those outcomes over the past three years and we look forward to seeing how we measure up."
Dackin said the individual school buildings are working on improving performance by students with disabilities.
"Some strategies are geared to all groups -- for example, close monitoring of progress among individual students and subgroups," he said. "The data helps principals and teachers identify and respond to learning gaps in a timely manner.
"Other strategies are specific to students with disabilities, including more inclusion in general instruction so that students continue to make progress on grade-level work and more co-teaching so that students with disabilities have additional supports," he said.
Dackin said principals and classroom teachers are held accountable for all of their students' learning, regardless of what academic services are provided.
"Classroom teachers are collaborating with intervention specialists and other service providers to achieve maximum academic progress with all students," he said. "A variety of in-house professional development has been provided to support teachers in serving students with disabilities."