District highlights college, career prep
Christian Dailey will be ready to enter the workforce with two years of experience under his belt when he graduates from Westerville South High School this spring, thanks to the time he's spent studying at the Delaware Area Career Center.
Westerville Central High School senior Kevin Adik will graduate with eight college credit hours after taking two college math courses offered at Central through Otterbein University.
Westerville South Senior Kaitlin Carlisle will be able to enter Ohio State University as a sophomore next year, if she chooses to, because the IB diploma she's working to complete.
Westerville North High School alumna Lauren Bruce will graduate from Ohio State in December, a semester early. She credits the Advanced Placement courses she took in high school.
The four students were highlighted at the Westerville Board of Education's meeting Monday, Oct. 14, as administrators delivered a report on the college and career readiness of the district's students.
The area is becoming more of a focus for districts as it is a component of the new state report cards.
This year, as the new report cards rolled out, the district didn't receive any data on the "Prepared for Success" component. Next year, the district will receive data only, and in 2015, when the rollout of the new state report cards is complete, the district will receive a letter grade for the component.
The state has not yet revealed exactly how the component will be graded, said Westerville Secondary Academic Affairs Executive Director Scott Reeves, but districts do know that the report card will look at six areas:
•College admission test participation and scores;
•Dual enrollment in college and career programs during high school;
•Industry credentials available to students during career programs;
•Honors diplomas awarded;
•Participation and scores in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs; and
•College- and career-ready assessments.
In 2013, 769 Westerville City Schools students took the ACT, which is about the district's five-year average, and the composite score for Westerville students rose to more than 23, Reeves said.
This year, 54 students are enrolled in college coursework at Ohio State, Otterbein and Columbus State Community College, and they are eligible to earn 240 credit hours before they graduate high school, Reeves said.
The district has 146 students enrolled at the Delaware Area Career Center, and slightly more are enrolled at Fort Hayes Career Center.
At this year's graduation, Reeves said, the district awarded 248 honors diplomas, meaning about 25 percent of graduates earned the designation.
One-hundred and thirteen students registered for the International Baccalaureate exams last year, and 33 students were awarded International Baccalaureate diplomas, Reeves said.
Also last year, Reeves said, 648 Westerville students sat for 1,104 Advanced Placement exams, and about 69 percent of those students received passing grades.
The district does still have some work to do in college readiness, however, Reeves said.
A report on the class of 2011, the most recent data available, from the Ohio Board of Regents stated that of the more than 500 Westerville graduates who entered public two- or four-year college programs in Ohio, 38 percent needed some type of remedial coursework.
Among those students, 31 percent needed to take remedial math courses, 16 percent needed to take remedial English courses and 10 percent needed to take remedial courses in both areas, Reeves said.
Reeves said all of the numbers presented to the board are familiar to Westerville's district and high school administrators.
"Internally, these are new numbers to track," he said.
The inclusion of them on the report card, however, will bring awareness to them in the community, said Superintendent John Kellogg, and perhaps will encourage more students to participate in college- and career-readiness programs.
"Programs that maybe didn't have as much light on them as they should will, because we're going to be measured on them," Kellogg said.
The numbers are important to focus on for the district, said board President Denise Pope, because they are a true reflection of how well the district is doing its job of preparing students for life beyond high school.
"That is the important thing to keep in front of us because that is the end goal. It's not just the diploma," Pope said.