Although Groveport Madison Local Schools dropped from an overall C to a D on the annual report card released Sept. 12 by the Ohio Department of Education, district officials say they're focused on the big picture and its improvement over the past few years.

“While the overall state report-card grade may not be what we were hoping for, we know from looking at the individual report-card components and other data, our student achievement has steadily increased over the past five years,” Superintendent Garilee Ogden said in a statement.

Over that time, Ogden said, the district also has seen improvement within the state’s evaluation.

“Since 2014, despite increased standards and increases in cut-score thresholds, the district has increased its performance in three of the key state indicators (gap closing, K-3 literacy and student progress).”

The state rates districts on six indicators.

Gap closing refers to a district’s ability to instruct vulnerable students in English and math, in addition to non-native English speakers. The district’s grade dropped from a B to a C; however, it received an F in 2014.

In the area of improving at-risk K-3 readers, the district improved to a C from a D. This area looks at how successful districts and schools are at getting struggling readers on track to proficiency in third grade and beyond.

The district’s highest grade is in the progress section, where it earned a B, although that is down after receiving an A last year. Progress refers to the academic growth made by students, based on prior performance. Within the progress section, the district received high marks for the improvement made by students in the lowest 20% of achievement, students with disabilities and gifted students.

In each of the other three categories, the district received the same grade as a year ago.

For the achievement section, which grades student performances on state tests, the district earned a D.

It also received a D for its graduation rate. According to state data, the four-year graduation rate was 81.1%, with the five-year rate at 85.9%.

The district received an F on its ability to prepare students for success after graduation.

Ogden said she is optimistic that progress that has been made and is confidence in the system and the district’s future.

“We know the academic improvement plan we have in place is working," she said. "We will continue focusing on academics, being intentional in our lessons, teaching practices, and professional development. We also will continue to improve our school climate and culture, creating environments where students feel safe and well-cared-for and where they believe in their ability to accomplish the tasks before them."

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2019 state report cards: central Ohio school districts