MIAMI COUNTY — The Bradford and Covington school districts scored a mix of letter grades on each of their state report cards released by the Ohio Department of Education earlier this month, with both school districts receiving the highest marks in for the Graduation Rate and Gap Closing categories.
This year was the first state report card to assign an “Overall” letter grade between A and F to school districts around the state, and both Bradford and Covington received C’s overall. The Ohio Department of Education first began implementing the expanded grade card in 2013 from its previous “Excellent with Distinction” to “Academic Warning” scale in 2013.
To view the entire state report card, including a breakdown of each district’s individual schools, visit the Ohio Department of Education website at reportcard.education.ohio.gov.
Bradford Exempted Village School District: C
BRADFORD — The Bradford Exempted School District received an overall grade of C to reflect the mixed grades on their most recent state report card.
Bradford Superintendent Joe Hurst said that, for this past year, “Bradford implemented a one-to-one Chromebook program to give students access to Chromebooks on a daily basis. Not only did this give students access to online curriculum and resources, but it gave them familiarity to the hardware that they would use on the state test. Our students did well adapting to the changes of the test, and I feel like they did their best!”
Under Gap Closing — which looked at performance expectations for vulnerable students in English language arts and math — the district as a whole scored a B. Scores varied between the elementary school and high school, though, with the elementary school receiving an A and the high school receiving a D in this category.
Under the Achievement category — which measured whether student performance on state tests met established thresholds and how well students performed on tests overall — the district scored a D.
Indicators Met under the Achievement category measures the percent of students who have passed state tests. The passage rate for each test indicator in order to meet one of those indicators is 80 percent, and the End of Course (EOC) Improvement Indicator is 25 percent, according to the Department of Education’s website. The Ohio Department of Education’s website also noted at that a new indicator under this category measures chronic absenteeism.
The district met six of those 24 indicators, receiving a 26.1 percent rating for their Indicators Met. They also received 69.6 percent for their Performance Index, scoring 83.6 points out of a possible 120.
“I am proud that our scores stayed constant or went up in all areas. Some areas like ‘Indicators Met’ actually showed growth with our students meeting more indicators and a higher percentage of indicators, while the overall grade for that area decreased,” Hurst said.
Under the district-wide Overall Progress category — which looks at the growth students are making compared to their past performances — the district scored a D.
For their graduation rate, they received an A, with a 97.2 percent four-year graduation rate and a 100 percent five-year graduation rate.
Under the Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers category, the district received a D.
Hurst went over new curriculum and instructional changes over the past year, saying, “Elementary teachers gave many hours of their summer to learn new methods and curriculum, while our high school teachers have identified and utilized new math curriculum to help the students’ learning.”
Hurst went on to say that they will be going over this data later this month to look at ways to improve.
“Bradford has a data day scheduled for Sept. 24, where teachers will disaggregate data and identify ways to improve instruction and student learning,” Hurst said.
Covington Exempted Village School District: C
COVINGTON — The Covington Exempted Village School District saw a range of scores on their recent state report card, from high marks for their graduation rates and under the Gap Closing category to low letter grades under the Progress and Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers categories.
Covington schools also utilized Chromebooks during their testing, which Covington Superintendent Gene Gooding said, “made the logistics of testing much easier.”
“Last year was our first year implementing the one-to-one program in which each of our students has his or her own Chromebook,” Gooding said.
The district earned high marks in regard to their graduation rate and in the Gap Closing category but scored low in categories of Progress and Improving At-Risk Readers.
Under the Achievement category, the district scored a D. For Indicators Met, the district received 29.2 percent, meeting seven out of 24 indicators. Under Performance Index, they received 74.8 percent, getting 89.7 points out of a possible 120.
Under the district-wide Overall Progress category, Covington scored an F. Each individual schools, however, from the elementary school to the high school, scored a D in this category.
The district scored A’s in the Graduation Rate and Gap Closing categories and a D in the Prepared for Success category, which looks at how prepared students are for future opportunities, such as for technical fields or college.
The Covington Elementary School scored an F in the category of Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers, which Gooding said he did not think accurately reflected the district’s progress.
“We do an excellent job of providing remediation to our students who struggle to read. It is a top priority of our district and 100 (percent) of our students met the third grade reading guarantee requirements for promotion to the fourth grade,” Gooding said.
The district uses the data gained from the state report cards to help with their evaluating and planning for their curriculum.
“We have not implemented any programs with the sole purpose of increasing our ratings on the report card. However, we do use the data that we receive from the report card, and many other sources to constantly evaluate and improve our curriculum, our course offerings, and our programs,” Gooding said.
Gooding, when asked how the district uses report card data to shape its goals for the next year, went on to say, “We do use the data from the report card, along with many other sources, to set our yearly goals. Each year, we evaluate the report card data to determine why we received the ratings that we did, and to determine if we have any weaknesses that need to be addressed.
“It is our goal to provide our students with the best education possible. If the data from the report card can be used to help us improve our instruction, curriculum, or course offerings, then it is certainly valuable to us.”
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org