The Archbold Area School District earned the ranking of Excellent with Distinction on the Ohio Department of Education school district report cards for 2007-08.
This is the first year ODE has recognized school districts with the new Excellent with Distinction ranking, the highest available. Only 74 school districts out of Ohio’s 600-plus earned the ranking.
This is the eighth consecutive year the Archbold district has been excellent on the school report cards.
Pettisville also ranked excellent for 2007-08, the fifth year straight, and seventh out of the last eight years.
Four of the seven Fulton County School Districts were excellent. Archbold was the only county district to earn the highest ranking.
Two districts, Evergreen Local and Swanton Local, were effective.
Evergreen dropped from excellent in 2006-07 to effective for 2007-08. Gorham-Fayette and Pike-Delta-York moved from effective to excellent.
The report card ranking system is a complicated formula, based on several factors:
•State Criteria: scores on achievement tests in certain grades, plus graduation rate and other factors.
•Performance Index: measure of every student tested, based on points awarded for the number of students who scored at a particular level.
•Value Added: measure of the progress students make over the year.
•Average Yearly Progress: or AYP, which measures if students reach certain performance goals. AYP is part of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.
Pettisville and Archbold missed only one of the state criteria.
For Archbold, it was fifthgrade mathematics. To meet the requirement, 75% of fifth graders must score at the profi cient level on the fifth grade math test. Archbold’s fifth grade test. Archbold’s fifth grade math result was 72.5%.
For Pettisville, the only state criteria Pettisville missed was eighth grade social studies. Eighth graders scored 56.4%, well off the 75% requirement.
Steve Switzer, Pettisville Local School District superintendent, said eighth grade social studies is an area that is being addressed.
David Deskins, Archbold Area School District superintendent, said when the district received preliminary data, they were short of the excellent ranking.
“In that initial release, we were not even excellent. But they added our special education students and alternative assessments (students who take the test orally or in another form), and the final results were positive.”
He said preliminary data showed Archbold failing to meet two of the state criteria. But ODE officials looked closer at the score and gave Archbold credit for one of the criteria.
Deskins said Archbold school officials make use of the report card data.
For example, the district added a special education teacher at the middle school, partly because of the number of special education students and partly to help and support the sixth grade teachers- who have last year’s fifth graders.
Adding the special ed teacher “is a direct response” to the report card scores.
“We’ve been looking at the data for six months,” he said.
Take It Seriously
Switzer said Pettisville ranked high because everyone takes the testing seriously.
“Principals, teachers, parents, and students, they take it seriously,” he said.
“The students are ready. They’re prepared by their teachers, who are prepared by the principals.
“Parents also prepare the students,” Switzer said.
Deskins said, “The thing that I think makes Excellent with Distinction all the more meaningful for us is the expectations placed on the teaching staff due to budget reductions and larger class sizes.
“The teachers really stepped up for the kids,” Deskins said.