The Upper Arlington City School District once again maintained an Excellent with Distinction rating on the Ohio Department of Education District Report Card.

The Upper Arlington City School District once again maintained an Excellent with Distinction rating on the Ohio Department of Education District Report Card.

The 2008-09 report card, released Tuesday, shows Upper Arlington maintained the same rating as the previous school year.

Reached Tuesday afternoon, superintendent Jeffrey Weaver said he had not had an opportunity to take an in-depth look at the report card, but was pleased with the district's rating.

"At first blush, it looks very good, obviously," Weaver said. "There's always room for improvement and areas we have to address. The goal is to be 100 percent across the board. As unrealistic as that may be, it's what we're shooting for."

While Upper Arlington achieved a 106.3 overall rating in the ODE Performance Index -- one of the highest ratings in central Ohio -- this year's report card shows several areas for improvement.

In the area of Third Grade Achievement, reading scores declined from 96.1 percent of students meeting proficiency standards in the 2007-08 school year to 91.4 percent in the 2008-09 school year.

In Fourth Grade Achievement, mathematics scores declined from 95.3 percent of students meeting proficiency standards in the 2007-08 school year to 94.2 percent in the 2008-09 school year.

In Sixth Grade Achievement, reading scores declined from 95.1 percent of students meeting proficiency standards in the 2007-08 school year to 93.6 percent in the 2008-09 school year.

In Seventh Grade Achievement, writing scores declined from 97.9 percent of students meeting proficiency standards in the 2007-08 school year to 94.3 percent in the 2008-09 school year.

In Eighth Grade Achievement, reading scores declined from 93.7 of students meeting proficiency standards in the 2007-08 school year to 91 percent in the 2008-09 school year. Eighth grade writing scores declined from 86.1 percent in 2007-08 to 81 percent in 2008-09.

On the 10th grade Graduation Test, reading scores declined from 98.3 percent of students meeting proficiency standards in the 2007-08 school year to 97.9 percent in the 2008-09 school year. Writing scores declined from 99 percent proficiency in 2007-08 to 98.6 percent in 2008-09.

Weaver pointed out that the areas showing declines apply to different groups of students as they move from one grade to the next. Principals meet with teachers to evaluate the curriculum and make adjustments each school year, he said.

"We have to realize it's not the same students declining, it's a different group. We have to address the needs of those particular students," he said. "The declines -- while they may be appear to be minor, we still need to take them seriously."

The Upper Arlington City Schools met all of the indicators for the Adequate Yearly Progress section, a federally required measure that takes into account reading and mathematics proficiency and attendance and graduation rates. The goals are applied to 10 student groups: all students, economically disadvantaged students, African-Americans, American Indian/Alaska natives, Asian/Pacific Islanders, multi-racial students, white (non-Hispanic) students, students with disabilities and students with limited English proficiency.

The report card indicates a low graduation rate of 57.1 percent for students with limited English proficiency, as compared to the district's overall 97.3 percent graduation rate for the class of 2008.

"Those students (with limited English proficiency) represent about 1.5 percent of our population, which would be 50 students district-wide," Weaver said. "That could be at our high school, approximately 8 to 10 students, which means probably four to six of them graduated. We're talking about a limited number of students. Depending on when they come into our district and the language proficiency, we address those issues."

The graduation rate for Asian/Pacific Islanders, who make up 5.9 percent of the student body, was 88.2 percent. It's possible that some of the Asian students are also included among students with limited English proficiency, Weaver said.

"There could very well be students in multiple areas," he said.

At 95 percent, the graduation rate for white students (90.7 percent of the student body) was equivalent to that of African Americans (.6 percent), Hispanics (.8 percent), multi-racial students (1.9 percent) and students with disabilities (8 percent).

The ODE report card identified Upper Arlington Community High School, a charter school with about 100 students, as in need of improvement. Weaver said he believes the reason may be is that the school's attendance rate fell below the state's 93 percent requirement.

Weaver said he plans to meet with associate superintendent Debora Binkley, the district's director of intervention services coordinator Missy Gordon, and other administrators to analyze the report card in-depth.

cbournea@thisweeknews.com