By Beverly Keller
Area superintendents have had a little time to digest the report cards they were issued by the State Department of Education recently.
For both East Holmes and Garaway, the grades were relatively good and praised their staff and students. “We feel very proud of our staff and students,” explained East Holmes Superintendent Erik Beun. “They performed well.” Garaway Superintendent Dr. James Millet echoed those thoughts about Garaway’s team of teachers and administrators. “We have excellent teachers,” he shared. Both administrators noted that the report card is one tool they use to measure how well they are doing in terms of standards from the State of Ohio. However, the card itself has changed and morphed over the past several years. “For us and other districts, we were first graded according to Common Core, then it became the Ohio Revised Standards and we went from the PARCC test to the Air Test,” Millet shared. “We are all learning what is expected and adjusting from there.”
In terms of what is expected, there are several areas that are “graded” and include: Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Graduation Rate, Improvement for At-Risk K – 3 Readiness and Prepared For Success.
In looking at Achievement, East Holmes was the highest ranking with a B while Dover and West Holmes had C’s and Garaway scored a D.
In Progress, both East Holmes and Dover earned A’s while West Holmes had a B and Garaway had a D.
For GAP Closing, Both East Holmes and Dover had A’s while Garaway and West Holmes had B’s. “This measure looks at how we are doing with students who are disadvantaged in some way, including economically and those with disabilities,” explained Millet. “Our score was an 89.9. It is a great reflection of our teachers and students. They are working hard and striving for excellence.”
Director of Student Services at Garaway, Jeff Williams noted that the teachers throughout the district work hard with every student. “It doesn’t matter if a student has an IEP or is a student-athlete, our teachers are working together to make a difference.”
The graduation rate at Garaway was ranked an A while East Holmes, and West Holmes recorded B’s and Dover a D. “We need to get our students to the finish line,” Dr. Millet noted. “With our new attendance policies and great rates that are some of the highest in Ohio, I know we are making a difference.”
Garaway did not have enough students at risk in K – 3 to register a score for improvement while East Holmes had a D and Dover and West Holmes had C’s.
In the last area, Prepared For Success, Garaway, East Holmes and Dover each recorded a D while West Holmes had an F.
Millet and Beun both noted that they are proud of their districts. “For us, we are taking the mindset of celebrating but staying realistic, “Beun said. “We are focused on continued improvement.”
“We maximize potential every day,” Millet noted. “We are striving for excellence. With new curriculum in place, we are excited about the future.” New systems including Ready Math for K – 8 and resources for elementary ELA teachers have been implemented.
A list ranking all public schools according to grades on the State Report Card placed East Holmes at 65 followed by Tusky Valley at 111. Dover was 197 while Strasburg came in at 241. Indian Valley came in at 264 followed by New Philadelphia at 365. Garaway was in at 405 followed by Claymont at 483.