Home Schools & Education County Schools Improve Scores, One District Jumps 26% in Two Years

County Schools Improve Scores, One District Jumps 26% in Two Years

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The state of Ohio has not released school rankings since the reporting scandals of 2014. They have released school district grades and test results from last year, and the fine folks over schooldigger.com have compiled rankings based on testing results. This isn’t as comprehensive as what the state used to compile, which factored in attendance and graduation rates, but the rankings are still interesting to explore.

How did the County school districts do? We’ll look at their rankings as a percentile, compared to all other districts in the State. For example, 40th percentile means the school ranked better than %40 of the other schools.

Circleville City Schools ranked 473 out 750, increasing its standing from the 32nd percentile to the 37th, year over year, for a 5 point gain. In 2006, the district came in at the 28th percentile.

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We contacted Circleville Superintendent, Jonathan Davis for comment.

What would you attribute the gain to?

I attribute all of our gains to the amazing staff, students, and parents we have in this district. I’m truly excited about a number of areas that showed substantial growth, especially in English Language Arts. We recognize there are opportunities for growth in certain other areas and will continue to work hard to improve these areas for our students.

What will you do this year to maintain that momentum?

We have implemented a district wide focus on authentic literacy and effective instructional practice and we have Dr. Dianne McCune working with our students and staff on a weekly basis to increase our focus and rigor in this regard.

Would you give credit to any specific schools, teachers, or departments in that jump?

Educating students is a community initiative, thus there is not one single group or department that can take the credit for the measurable student improvement we saw last year and continue to see daily.

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What are you happy with in the state report cards?

I take pride in a number of areas of our report as I know how hard our students and staff work each day. Our K-3 Literacy moved to an A. Helping children become effective readers is the most fundamental goal of education and to show such success in that area truly makes me excited. We saw positive growth in 19 of the indicators, growth in Performance Index, and positive growth in every single Language Arts category. Lastly, our District Value Added moved to a C, which means we are growing students, especially in the area of Language Arts where our district level value added grew substantially.

The district was rated in a D in Achievement, Gap Closing, and Prepared for Success. Do you think that accurately portrays what’s going on in the district? What will you do this year to improve those scores?

We are not satisfied with any of our scores collectively or individually and vow to dig deep into each category and see how we can better serve our students moving forward.

Logan Elm ranked in the 73rd percentile, up from 66th a year ago, for a 7 point gain. Logan Elm went from the 47th percentile in 2015 to it’s current rank, a 26% increase. This is by far, is the greatest improvement in Pickaway County, and a notable growth from a State perspective. One could say that Logan Elm is a rising star, based on test scores.

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Logan Elm Superintendent, Tim Williams gave this statement.

The report card indicated that we improved in achievement, progress, gap closing and k-3 literacy while maintaining the same letter grade in graduation rate and prepared for success.  For the second consecutive year, the district earned an A in Progress.  Progress measures if a student is growing year over year and we are extremely proud that we received an A, which indicates that our students have exceeded growth for two consecutive years.  

The improvements can be credited to the hard work of our administration, teachers and our students and their families.  The report card is only a glimpse into what we do on a daily basis and we will strive to continue to provide our students with a quality educational experience.

Teays Valley moved up to the 86th percentile from the 83rd position from 2016, making it the highest scoring district in the county, with a 3 point gain.

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Teays Valley Superintendent, Robin Halley gave this statement.

I would attribute our gain to the emphasis that we have placed on professional development.  We have some outstanding curriculum people here at [Teays Valley] and we have made it a practice to provide [professional development] that is aligned to instructional and curriculum standards. We rarely send our teachers for outside training.   We develop our own such as our yearly “Viking Academy” (3 days of professional activities that are offered in early August where our staff can select what they want to learn more about AND get professional credit).  We have also worked on district alignment so that in all of our buildings we are doing the same things.

We will continue this same model of teacher development.  It is working, and it will continue to produce results.  We will continue to expect increased improvement at the high school.  As you know this type of testing is relatively new at the upper levels and our teachers are adjusting accordingly.  There has been a marked increase over last year at the high school but it’s still not good enough. 

If the state holds consistent and does not offer up more changes to the way we assess our students, I’m confident that we will continue to see positive movement at each building.  We are pleased with the current report card but extremely committed to not settling.

Westfall dropped to the 42nd percentile from the 47th percentile, a 5 point drop. Westfall was the only school in the county to not gain positions, year over year. It’s also down 6 points from the 48th percentile in 2010, but remains the 3rd highest ranked school in the County.

At the time of publishing, Westfall Superintendent, Dr. Lynn Landis, did not return emails or phones calls for a statement.

Logan Elm increased the most with a 7% jump. Westfall declined, loosing 5%. With this trend, we could expect to see Circleville become the 3rd highest ranked school in the county next year, based on test scores.

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