In the wake of an overall D on the latest state report card, the Canal Winchester school district is working to develop what Superintendent Jim Sotlar called a "portrait of a graduate" that will address what students need in order to be successful in an "ever-changing workforce."
The "portrait" will be based on input from local businesses as well as students, staff members and residents. Although it will look at every grade level, the primary focus will be on the high school.
He said he hopes to have it ready to present to the school board by March, if not sooner.
Sotlar said he is "disappointed" with the D Canal Winchester schools earned from the Ohio Department of Education on the state report card for the 2017-18 school year.
"The D rating is not a standard we have for Canal Winchester," he said.
As the leader of the district, he said, he takes "full accountability" for the grade but said it does not represent the successes students in the district are achieving.
"One thing that I will say is that the report card is not an actual reflection of everything going on here in the district -- never has been, never will be," Sotlar said.
"Sometimes you can't look at a one-time assessment and sit here and say that is a true reflection of what is going on because it is not. It's just a snapshot in time. It was never meant to be a final assessment -- it's a measuring tool."
According to the ODE website, the district's highest grades were an A for its graduation rate and a C in K-3 literacy, which looks at the progress the district is making in helping students who are struggling with reading achieve proficiency by the time they reach third grade.
Canal Winchester received a D in three areas -- achievement, gap-closing and prepared for success.
The achievement score measures student performance on state tests. Gap-closing evaluates how the district is meeting the needs of students with different disabilities, economic backgrounds and ethnicities in English language arts, math, graduation rates and English language proficiency.
Prepared for success measures student readiness to enter college, technical school or the workforce after high school.
The district's lowest grade was an F in progress, which looks at the growth of students classified as the "lowest 20 percent statewide in reading, math, or science; gifted students" and students with disabilities.
Patrick Chiles, a Canal Winchester parent, told the school board in September the results on the report cards caught many parents by surprise.
"We were shocked, and we'd like to know what plans are being made to address it," Chiles said.
Sotlar said the letter grade given to the district on the report card "is not acceptable to me" but suggested that deciding whether the district is doing a good job should be based on more.
"Before anyone passes judgment on a letter grade, have them look at the whole picture and not just that one aspect," he said. "We're going to do everything we can to prepare our students for that test, but that's just one aspect."
Sotlar said the district is constantly reviewing data to determine areas of strengths and weaknesses so officials can make "instructional decisions on what is best for the kids moving forward."
"Our goal No. 1 is to make sure that we are engaging students with high-quality instruction around the learning standards," Sotlar said. "There is no magic pill that is going to fix this. It is going to take time."