The Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District has received an overall grade of B on the latest state report card released Sept. 13 by the Ohio Department of Education.

"The report card shows many positives for our district and also identifies some areas for improvement," said Steve Barrett, district superintendent. "We have either maintained or improved in all report-card components over the years, and our students consistently show great growth as measured in the progress section of the report card."

The state report cards are used to rate districts throughout Ohio on performance during the 2017-18 school year.

This year's grade card marks the first time schools and districts have been assigned overall letter grades.

The overall grade is determined by results from the report card's six components including 20 percent from achievement and progress, and 15 percent from gap closing, improvement among at-risk K-3 readers, graduation rate and prepared for success.

Overall grades received by Gahanna's specific schools are: Lincoln High School, C; middle schools East and West, A; Gahanna Middle School South, B; Blacklick, Chapelfield, Goshen Lane and Jefferson elementary schools, B; High Point Elementary School, A; and Lincoln and Royal Manor elementary schools, C.

Gahanna-Jefferson curriculum director Tia Holliman said the district report card is only one component used to measure the impact that curriculum and instructional practices have on student learning.

"In our district, we focus on using a balanced assessment system that provides real-time, actionable feedback about students' strengths and weaknesses so that informed instructional decisions can be made regarding what is best for students," she said.

Holliman said state test scores provide a quick snapshot that compares many school districts across the state at one point in time.

"These tests do not measure the complex, rich and engaging learning experiences we are providing students," she said. "We want our teachers to feel empowered to go beyond what the state standards ask of them and provide learning opportunities that raise expectations, enrich the learning process and support students' future college and career pathways."

Paolo DeMaria, state superintendent of public instruction, said in a press release that this year's report cards show improvement in districts in every corner of the state, at all levels of wealth.

"Each of Ohio's students can achieve, and the report cards provide us with reasons to celebrate," he said. "They also identify areas for improvement, and we'll use them to drive conversations on how we can better serve Ohio's 1.7 million students."