Canal Winchester schools received one A, three C's, one D and one F on the Ohio Department of Education's report card for the 2016-17 school year.
Like many other central Ohio school district officials, Superintendent Jim Sotlar said, the report card provides valuable information but is only one form of measurement for school districts.
"While we welcome accountability -- and we are not satisfied with the overall results -- the one-time assessment system with many different factors associated with it does not represent a true reflection of our district and it does not define who we are," Sotlar said. "We did see improvements in some areas and we will use this data going forward to have meaningful conversations with our teachers and to develop a plan to ensure even higher academic success for all students."
Chris Woolard, a senior executive director at the Ohio Department of Education, agreed that the report cards should not be the lone piece of evidence residents use to judge a district.
"We know there's a lot more to the story," he said.
Woolard cautioned that the proper context is needed to understand the grades a district receives on the state report card.
"We encourage parents and community members to talk to teachers and talk to principals," he said.
The achievement component of the report card is based on the district's performance index score and its score on indicators met. Canal Winchester received a C in achievement, the same as last year.
The performance index measures test results for every student. There are six levels on the index and districts receive points for each student in each of the levels.
Indicators met "measures the percent of students who have passed state tests" at various grade levels and subject areas, according to the ODE website. It also includes a gifted component.
The state raised the benchmark for indicators met from 75 to 80 percent of students passing for each test.
Canal Winchester schools received a 75.7 percent performance-index score or a C. However, the district met only three of 24 indicators, so it received an F or 12.5 percent.
Gap closing is an area in which the district showed improvement, scoring 70.3 percent for a C. That's up from the F the district posted for gap closing on the last report card.
Gap closing shows how well districts are meeting the educational needs of its most vulnerable students. It compares how well students in several subgroups. including those in poverty, ethnic minorities and students with disabilities, fared compared with other students.
The K-3 literacy component looks at how successful a district is in getting struggling readers on track to meet proficiency in third grade and beyond. Canal Winchester earned a 34.4 percent score for a grade of C -- an improvement over last year's D.
The district received an F for progress, a component that looks at the growth of all students, including gifted students, those in the lowest 20 percent of academic performance and students with disabilities in the course of a year.
Overall, the district earned a value-added grade of F and earned F's for progress made by gifted students, progress by students in the lowest 20 percent of achievement and progress by those with disabilities.
"It is something we are working on; however, we did make improvements in that area -- just not high enough to meet the state standards," Sotlar said.
Canal Winchester schools earned an A for graduation rate, with 96.9 percent of students graduating in four years and 98.1 percent graduating in five years.
"When you really look at it, what's the end result for schools?" Sotlar asked. "Whether they are hitting the mark at the third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, eighth-grade level, it helps in determining where they go. What really matters is what they do in high school.
"We are doing a very good job of preparing our kids. Our elementary and middle schools are building a foundation for our high school kids and when they come to the high school, they are ready to move on," he said.
The district earned a D in prepared for success, which is based on the number of students who earned a remediation-free score on all parts of the SAT or ACT, earned an honors diploma and/or earned an industry-recognized credential.