Last updated: August 24. 2013 8:13PM - 140 Views

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LIMA — While only preliminary and partial state report card information was released Wednesday, it is possible that Lima schools’ continuous improvement rating is in jeopardy.

The district did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress and fell below the value-added measure. It is the same as last year, but Superintendent Jill Ackerman said the district possibly fell from meeting five to three indicators this year. The indicators and ratings have not yet been released by the state.

“There can be lot of circumstances, but we are not going to make excuses for it,” Ackerman said. “We are setting expectations high, digging in to see where we are and what we need to do.”

The Ohio Department of Education released only portions of the state report card for districts around the state Wednesday.

“ODE is committed to releasing data when available so that students, parents, educators and the public can be informed about the progress of our schools,” said Michael L. Sawyers, acting superintendent of public instruction. “Schools and districts have had access to preliminary student achievement data on standardized assessments throughout the summer. It is time to share this preliminary information with others, with the understanding that the data.”

Earlier this month, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to release many of the preliminary data elements for the 2011-2012 Local Report Cards in spreadsheet format.

Additional report card data for districts and schools, including school and district ratings and attendance and performance index numbers, will be released at a later date, pending the progress of an investigation by State Auditor David Yost into alleged irregularities in the reporting of student attendance by local districts.

Districts are looking forward to getting the final results.

“We love looking at Performance Index,” Ottoville Superintendent Scott Mangas said. “That tells us how much above and beyond our kids are performing.”

Delphos schools Superintendent Frank Sukup is pretty sure the district will retain its excellent rating and says it could be close to excellent with distinction, the highest rating. He called this year’s report card one of the best the district has ever received, crediting the staff’s work to align curriculum and students’ efforts.

“We are just very pleased and proud,” he said. “It shows that the city schools are providing a good quality education to the youth in the community.”

Just more than half the districts in the nine-county area met AYP, which measures success of pupil subgroups such as racial minorities, and economically disadvantaged.

Just fewer than 50 met value added criteria, the measure that reflects how much progress was made since the previous year. Ten districts scored above value added, including Delphos and Shawnee in Allen County, New Kn0xville and Wapakoneta in Auglaize County, and Hardin Northern and Kenton in Hardin County.

Seven districts scored below value added, including Lima and Quest Academy in Allen County, and Upper Scioto Valley in Hardin County.

Ackerman said when looking at individual school data, some improved, while others faltered. High school scores were not as strong as the previous year.

The district’s two magnet schools saw success, she said, and fifth and sixth-grade scores were up. The district restructured last year, including establishing the two kindergarten through eighth-grade magnets and putting fifth and sixth grades together. The period of transition could have also negatively affected some scores, Ackerman said.

Ackerman said the district has worked hard since May in training staff on new state standards and creating units of study. All areas of the curriculum have been involved.

“We are putting a lot into everything to try to continue to improve,” she said.

The information released Wednesday also included four-year and five-year graduation rates. Lima’s four-year rate is 71.4 percent. The West Central Learning Academy is at 45.3 percent and LifeLinks Community School in Van Wert is 16.7 percent.

Most schools in the region fell in the 90s, with Minster, New Bremen, New Knoxville, Jennings, Miller City-New Cleveland and Ottoville graduating 100 percent.

“Most of the students in Ottoville are born and raised here and just do their whole education here. Parents get their kids enrolled here and they stay here,” said Mangas, who believes the district has a shot at being excellent with distinction.

The four-year graduation rate pertains to the Class of 2011 (students graduating in four years) and is the one that will be used to determine the overall rate not yet released, said ODE Spokesman John Charlton. The five-year graduation rate speaks to students who were in the Class of 2010, but did not graduate until 2011. It recognizes schools that were persistent and got students to graduation, Charlton said.

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