LIMA — When the state report cards came out last month, Lima schools received an overall grade of F.
On Wednesday night, a community update meeting was held at South Science and Technology Magnet School to give the public a chance to hear from school officials about the report card and what needs to be done to flip that F into a higher grade.
“The purpose of doing this meeting is to get the community to really come in and take a deep dive into this grade card with us so that we can go beyond that front cover and that initial snapshot and really look deep down in the components of it. We have the ability to show areas that are very important to us, like value-added and gap closing, and also to be very specific. Here are some places where things are going really well and also here are some places where we need to focus our work, and so here’s how we’re going to do that,” said Jill Ackerman, superintendent of Lima schools.
Nearly 40 people came out to hear Ackerman’s presentation. Many of those were teachers or staff for Lima schools.
“We have individual building successes. For example here at the South Science and Technology Magnet school, their overall letter grade of a B and they have growth in every tested area, so that’s a big success. We’ve had a lot of successes in gap closing, with buildings going from an F in their gap closing last year to As and Bs and Cs, so there’s a lot of growth in closing the gap in those subgroups. The gifted has been a big success for us, as well as the career tech grade card, which tends to get overshadowed with everything,” she said.
The district is four-hundredths of a point in getting that F changed to a D, and Ackerman believes they can improve.
“We already know our graduation rate will be better because it’s always one year in the rear. That K-3 literacy score, we were not using the state assessment for the benchmarking because we didn’t feel it was rigorous enough for our kids, so we used a more difficult assessment, which meant that more kids were not on track. So we’re going to go back and use the state assessment,” she said.
“We have to make growth. At the end of the day every kid should be making a year’s worth of growth, so it’s not acceptable even if the grade card had a B on it. If you still have a red band of kids that aren’t making growth, that’s a problem,” said Ackerman.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.