The Grandview Heights City School District earned an overall grade of a B on the state report card, released Sept. 13 by the Ohio Department of Education.

The state report cards measure Ohio school districts on performance during the 2017-18 school year.

The overall district grades, ranging from A to F, are based on the subgrades districts received in six components on the report card: achievement, progress, gap closing, graduation rate, K-3 literacy and prepared for success.

"Our report-card result was the best one we've had since the new format was adopted by the Ohio Department of Education," Superintendent Andy Culp said. "There's a lot to celebrate.

"Our overall grade was a high B. I think we would have liked to have seen an A. We were very close to achieving that," Culp said.

Grandview received an overall B grade in achievement. The category represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on the exams.

The data for achievement includes a performance index score of 106.3 out of a possible 120 points, earning a B grade.

"Our performance index score is once again the highest score of the 16 school districts in Franklin County," Culp said. "What is especially pleasing to us is that our score increased nearly 3 points over last year."

The district's performance index score on the 2016-17 report card was 103.8.

Grandview earned an A for indicators met by reaching the threshold of at least 80 percent of students passing state tests in all but one exam. The indicators met also includes the gifted indicator and the chronic absenteeism indicator.

The district met the threshold in 22 of 24 indicators.

It did not meet the benchmark for eighth-grade English language arts, which 74.3 percent of students passed, and the gifted indicator.

"We are always looking to improve in every metric, but when we see an area where we have fallen short of the 80 percent passage rate, we delve into the data and our teachers work as a team to look at how we can improve the instruction we're providing students," Chief Academic Officer Jamie Lusher said. "We'll do that with eighth-grade language arts."

On last year's report card, the district failed to meet the benchmark on the fifth-grade math test, sixth-grade language arts and sixth-grade math.

The year-to-year comparison shows the district improved and reached the benchmark in each of those tests this year.

The year-to-year improvements in the tests were 70 to 92.8 percent in fifth-grade math; 72 to 89.4 percent in sixth-grade language arts; and 79.8 percent to 88.6 percent in sixth-grade math.

The district earned a C grade in the progress component of the 2017-18 report card. The progress category measures the growth that all students are making based on their past performances.

"The grade in this component is a little confusing, because a C indicates we have met an expected year of growth," Culp said.

An A grade would indicate a district met more than a year's worth of growth, he said.

Grandview received A grades in graduation rate and gap closing. The gap closing category measures how well students from various subgroups, including ethnicity, disability and economic background, perform.

The district received B grades in the categories of improving at-risk K-3 readers and prepared for success, which measures how well students are prepared for future opportunities.

"Grandview Heights schools takes the state report card and the corresponding data very seriously," Culp said. "We want to set our students up for success and this is one way to measure how we're doing."

But the report card is not the only measure parents and other community members should use to hold the district accountable, Lusher said.

A district academic prospectus is available at ghcsd.org or in hard copy at each school building and provides detailed information about the instruction and initiatives taking place in the district, Lusher said.

A quality profile will be presented during the Oct. 16 school board meeting and will include measures of the district's performance beyond the state report card, including the U.S. News and World Report ranking of high schools and the Advanced Placement honor roll, she said.

"Families should use those documents along with the state report card collectively to get a more wide-ranging view of what's happening in our district and in our schools," Culp said.

afroman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekAfroman