The Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools maintained an overall letter grade of B on the latest report card released by the Ohio Department of Education on Sept. 12.

This is the second year for the overall letter grade, according to the ODE’s "Guide to 2019 Ohio School Report Cards” at education.ohio.gov.

Gahanna-Jefferson’s grades for the other six components of the report card include: achievement, C; progress, A; gap closing, A; graduation rate, A; improving at-risk K-3 readers, C; and component grade, D.

“The state report card shows many things to celebrate for our district and also identifies some areas for improvement,” said Steve Barrett, superintendent. “We are proud of our consistent, high performance on the progress section which shows how each student grows from one year to the next.”

Gahanna-Jefferson maintained all letter grades of the six components, except for improving at-risk K-3 readers, which dropped from a B to a C.

That measure looks at how successful districts and schools are at getting struggling readers on track to proficiency in third grade and beyond, according to the ODE.

Gahanna-Jefferson’s achievement grade of C represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them, according to the ODE.

The progress component, on which G-J scored an A, looks closely at the growth that all students are making based on their past performances.

According to the ODE, gap closing shows how well districts and schools are meeting the performance expectations for all students, especially those most vulnerable populations of students, in English language arts, math and graduation, and how they are doing in teaching English learners to become proficient in English.

Gahanna-Jefferson’s graduation rate of A is based on the percentage of students who are successfully finishing high school with a diploma in four or five years.

The prepared-for-success component, G-J’s lowest grade of D, looks at how well prepared Ohio’s students are for all future opportunities, whether training in a technical field or preparing for work or college, according to the ODE.

Barrett said state tests are one snapshot of school performance used to compare school districts across the state, but they don’t fully capture the dynamic engagement that occurs every day in the district’s classrooms.

“We believe in using a balanced assessment system that provides real-time, actionable feedback about students’ strengths and areas of refinement so that informed instructional decisions can be made regarding what is best for students,” he said.

Curriculum director Tia Holliman said Gahanna-Jefferson teachers work collaboratively and in an ongoing manner to provide learning opportunities that raise expectations beyond what the state standards outline.

She said programs like Invention Convention in the elementary schools, Design and Modeling at the middle schools and Science Academy at the high school are examples of how the district enhances the curriculum.

“We are committed to enriching the learning process, engaging students in rich and meaningful learning experiences and supporting students’ future college and career pathways,” Holliman said.

Assistant Superintendent Jill Elliott said how students feel and their ability to manage emotions are inextricably linked to their thinking and learning in the classroom and on assessments.

“The district has invested in hiring more counselors and supporting our students’ social-emotional well-being at all levels,” she said. “We will continue to focus on the whole child as we educate students in Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools.”

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla

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2019 state report cards: central Ohio school districts