The Archbold Area School District and Pettisville Local School District were both designated as Excellent schools on the Ohio Department of Education School District Report Cards.
However, Archbold lost the title of Excellent with Distinction.
The Wauseon Exempted Village School District is the only Fulton County school district that earned Excellent with Distinction, the highest distinction possible on ODE report cards.
There are six possible designations: Excellent with Distinction, Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Ac- ademic Watch, and Academic Emergency.
Evergreen was ranked as Excellent. Gorham-Fayette, Pike-Delta-York, and Swanton ranked as Effective.
Only one district in the state, Youngstown City, was designated as being in Academic Emergency.
To earn Excellent with Distinction, a district must demonstrate better-than-expected growth in the ODE Value-Added Measure for two consecutive years.
Value-Added Measure gauges student progress in reading and mathematics during the previous school year. The Value-Added Measure is based on grade level and overall composite ratings for the 2009-10 school year.
The measure can produce one of three results: above expected growth, meeting expected growth, or below expected growth.
If students demonstrate expected growth, the report cards refer to it as having met the Value-Added Measure.
In reading, Archbold fourth and sixth graders were below expected growth. Fifth graders were above, and grades seven and eight met their expected growth.
In math, fourth, sixth, and eight graders showed above expected growth; grades five and eight were below.
Overall, that gives Archbold a composite of having met, but not exceeded, its Value-Added Measure.
“Our students have not been making as much growth as they have in the past,” said Michelle Bagrowski, curriculum director for Archbold schools.
At Pettisville, fourth graders were below expected growth in reading, fifth graders were above, and grades six, seven, and eight all met expected growth.
In math, fourth and fifth graders were above expected growth, sixth graders met their expected growth, while grades seven and eight were below expected growth.
That gave Pettisville an overall composite score of having met the Value-Added Measure.
If students in both districts finish the 2010-11 school year with a composite Value-Added Measure above expected growth, the best the district can do is Excellent, because of the two-year requirement.
There are 26 possible state indicators on the school report card. Two are attendance rate and graduation rate; the other 24 deal with test results from grades three through eight and the 10th and 11th grade Ohio Graduation Tests.
To pass most state indicators, 75% of students taking each test must score at or above the proficient level.
Pettisville schools met all 26 indicators.
Archbold schools missed one– the fifth grade science test.
Bagrowski said at the fifthgrade level, the tests take a turn.
At the elementary school level, the tests basically ask students to recall information they have learned, then enter it onto the test form.
In fifth grade, the tests ask students to take information and do something with it, such a look at a chart and find a particular piece of information.
“It’s more critical thinking,” Bagrowski said.
The science test is based on a vocabulary fifth graders have learned over the first four grades. If they don’t develop a good science vocabulary, it is difficult to do well on the fifth-grade test, she said.
Adequate Yearly Progress
Adequate Yearly Progress, AYP, is a federal government test that measures the performance of groups of students. Archbold has six of the 10 possible groups: all students, economically disadvantaged students, Hispanic, multi-racial, white non-Hispanic, and students with disabilities.
All sub-groups met the AYP requirement except students with disabilities. As a result, the district was determined not to have met the federal AYP standard.
Since Archbold failed to meet AYP in 2008-09 and 2009-10, if the district fails to meet AYP in more than one student group in 2010- 11, the district can rank no higher than Continuous Improvement.
Pettisville met its AYP goals.
Steve Switzer, Pettisville schools superintendent, was proud of his district performance index score.
The performance index is a weighted average of all students who attended the school during the entire academic year. It places emphasis on students who score well on the state indicator test. The performance index ranges from 0-120.
Pettisville’s current performance index number is 106.6. That’s up from 105 in 2008-09 and 104.2 in 2007- 08.
Switzer said in terms of performance index alone, Pettisville ranks 27th out of more than 600 school districts in the state.
Archbold’s performance index number is 102.1, down from two straight years of 103.
When asked the secret to doing well on the test, Switzer said, “Ownership.
“The students take ownership of the test. They know it’s something they need to do, and do well.
“The teachers know they need to prepare the students well, the principals know they have to support the staff well, and parents support the process.”