It's too soon for Groveport Madison officials to have a clear picture of how the district will fare on the latest state report card, but Superintendent Bruce Hoover said preliminary data show improvements in several areas.

The Ohio Department of Education is not expected to release district report card grades until mid- to late September.

"As they (ODE) accrue different data sets for the district, they share back with us this area, so we pull that data from the information sent out," Hoover said. "We're excited about where we are headed. We think that, academic-wise, it is a very positive step for us as a school district."

In a report to the school board at its Aug. 16 meeting, Hoover detailed some of the preliminary results from achievement testing during the 2015-16 school year and compared them to the goals the district has since established.

Last year, Groveport Madison received a D on the report card's performance index measure and an F on indicators met, both of which help decide the district's achievement score on the report card. According to information on the ODE website, the performance index "represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them."

Last year, the district received an F for meeting only six of the 30 indicators that are used to calculate each student's test by grade level and subject area.

Preliminary information shows the number of Groveport Madison students who reached proficient, accelerated, advanced and advanced-plus achievement levels increased and the percentage of students whose achievement levels rated limited or basic decreased by 6 percent, Hoover said.

Students' scores on the Ohio Graduation Test factored into last year's district results. That will change this year: Results from the 2016 and 2017 American Institute for Research exam will be calculated into this year's district scores.

Hoover's report to the board indicated that Groveport Madison increased its percentages in 16 of the 23 areas tested by AIR. However, he said, those scores may not be high enough for the district to dramatically increase its grade on this measure.

He said the district did significantly improve its grade in the K-3 literacy component, which evaluates how successful the district is at getting readers who are struggling on track to being proficient readers in third grade and higher.

Last year, the district received an F in this area. Hoover expects that to improve to a C on the new report card.

He also anticipates a better gap-closing score, which looks at how the district meets the "performance expectations" for the most vulnerable populations of students in English language arts, math and graduation rates.

The district received an F in this category last school year, but Hoover said early information shows the percentage of students scoring proficient in every subgroup has gone up. In addition, he said, the district met its goal of 10 percent growth in three English language arts subgroups and achieved its goal of 10 percent growth in two subgroups for math.

Hoover said officials are still awaiting data about three categories: progress, graduation rates and prepared for success.

He attributed the improvements so far to the district's efforts to set goals, build "a comprehensive system at each school that addressed all facets of the learning process" and testing so teachers in each building knew how they were doing and could use the information for student growth.

"We are looking at this year to try to extend that standards-based curriculum and to start to move into more standards-based assessment practices," Hoover said.

"We've got work going on across the district this year to try to help improve the coaching of our staff and in the classroom and try to build their skills around using (state) standards," he said. "It's not just about the tests -- it's really about the quality of the work the kids do."

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