Dublin City Schools' staff had more than a new school year to celebrate last week during the district's annual convocation ceremony.

Dublin City Schools' staff had more than a new school year to celebrate last week during the district's annual convocation ceremony.

Superintendent David Axner announced during the Aug. 20 event that the district had earned the top rating possible on its state report card. The Ohio Department of Education released official report card results Tuesday.

District staff, which filled the Scioto High School gym, erupted into applause when Axner announced "that Dublin was ranked excellent with distinction. As a district, we got the highest rating possible."

The district also met the academic standards of adequate yearly progress (AYP) and all 30 state indicators.

As for the value added indicator that was added to the state report card last year, Axner said Dublin met those requirements as well.

When the district is broken down to grade levels, Axner said ratings were still good.

"At the elementary level every building met or exceeded value added," he said. "Every building was rated excellent or excellent with distinction."

Dublin's four middle schools met AYP and "met or exceeded value added," Axner said.

At the high school level, all three buildings received one of the highest ratings and met AYP, Axner said.

SAT scores also increased by an average of nine points among the class of 2009, Axner told the crowd.

Dublin teachers and staff were expected to welcome more than 14,000 students back to school this week; Axner said the district has grown to the 12th largest in the state. "Even with the growth, we've had the highest rating," he said.

Along with Axner's news about state report card ratings, staff also heard from state superintendent Deborah Delisle, who applauded the district for its achievement.

"Now that I'm at the state level, I realize how difficult it is to meet AYP every year," she said.

Many districts that receive excellent or excellent with distinction ratings were moved down a ranking because they didn't meet AYP, Delisle said.

She asked staff to be compassionate, good role models and advocates of the students during the new school year. Teachers and school staff should be aware of interaction and the "shadows they cast" around students.

"Everyone who works with children has to be aware of the shadow that they cast," she said.