The Westerville City School District maintained an overall letter grade of C 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.

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

Westerville Superintendent John Kellogg said overall, the district is moving in the right direction.

“Our state-issued grades held steady on four of the six standards, and we improved on the remaining two,” he said. “Our overall academic-achievement grade is up this year (from a D), and our most improved grade occurred in the progress component, which is the growth that all students have made based on their prior performance on state tests.”

Westerville improved from a D to C in progress.

Kellogg said the grade for gap closing held steady at B, as did the graduation rate with a B grade.

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 well districts are doing in teaching English learners to become proficient in English, according to the ODE.

Graduation rate looks at the percentage of students who are successfully finishing high school with a diploma in four or five years.

“We met one more state testing indicator than last year, and despite earning one of our highest performance-index scores in recent years, our grade held steady on that measure,” he said. “Every year, once we receive our final results, we analyze the data at both the district and school levels. It's also a great benefit to see how other districts performed because if we follow the trends we're seeing from others, then all of our results are probably being impacted by the adjustments and formulas that the state has put into place for the year.”

If the district sees something unusual as compared to others, Kellogg said, that's a red flag to investigate more thoroughly.

“Thankfully, our results have trended closely with those of other districts across the state, as well as our similar districts,” he said.

Although Kellogg would prefer that academic growth occur a bit faster than the district has experienced lately, he said, it's certainly not for lack of effort.

“I know that our staff members have been working extremely hard to give our students an exceptional school experience while helping them to improve their performance on these assessments,” he said. “I'd like to thank everyone for their continued work to keep our students focused and headed toward the ultimate goal of graduating with a diploma from our district."

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla

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2019 state report cards: central Ohio school districts