Michele Bagrowski, Archbold Area School District curriculum director, said the district will earn the Excellent ranking for the 2009- 10 school year, but could slip to Continuous Improvement for 2010-11.
If Archbold does fall to Continuous Improvement in 2010-11, it will be the first time in 10 years the district will not hold the Excellent ranking.
There are six levels in the Ohio Department of Education School Report Card system: Excellent with Distinction; Excellent; Effective; Continuous Improvement; Academic Watch, and Academic Emergency.
In an interview, Bagrowski said falling from Excellent to Continuous Improvement would require school district officials to write an extensive plan for improvement.
The state will not “punish” the district by taking away grant or subsidy money.
Speaking to members of the school board at its Monday, July 19 meeting, Bagrowski said preliminary data shows Archbold will achieve the Excellent rating this year.
But, district officials won’t know whether the district will earn Excellent with Distinction until the end of August, when more data is released.
When first introduced, Ohio school report cards had a series of indicators based on test scores. As a school district met more indicators, it received higher rankings.
Today, the school report cards are based on several calculations. The calculations start with the indicators, but now include performance index scores, the Adequate Yearly Progress scores implemented by the federal government No Child Left Behind program, and the value-added program.
For the 2009-10 report cards, there are 26 indicators, mostly based on student test scores. In most cases, at least 75% of students must pass the achievement tests to meet the indicator goal.
This year, the only indicator Archbold schools did not meet was fifth grade science. Of the students who took the test, 71.13% passed.
Failing to meet one indicator does not knock Archbold out of the Excellent ranking.
The bigger difficulty for Archbold is the AYP area.
Bagrowski told board members Archbold did not meet its AYP goal for the second straight year.
AYP is calculated based on student sub-groups, which includes those on IEPs, or Individualized Education Plans. IEPs are developed for students who are in special education.
There are 10 subgroups, including students who are Limited English Proficient, or LEP; black (non-hispanic), white, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged.
Students can belong to more than one sub-group, but there must be at least 30 students in a group to be considered a sub-group.
Those students are given the same test as the general student population. The requirement for a sub-group to meet a certain goal continues to increase until 2014, when the state has determined that 100% of sub-group students must pass the test.
For the 2009-10 school year, sub-groups failed to meet requirements in three areas. Students on IEPs failed to meet their goals in reading and math, and Hispanic students failed to meet their reading test goal.
If Archbold fails to meet the AYP goals for 2010-11, and does not meet AYP for more than one student group in the most recent year, the district can be rated no higher than Continuous Improvement.
To help Archbold students meet the goals, Bagrowski said school district officials are planning to provide more assistance to students.
Bagrowski said the district provides extra services to students with limited English language skills. But additional services are needed for Hispanic students who are not considered LEP.
21st Century Grant
The district has obtained a 21st Century Schools grant. The program, while open to all, specifically provides services to enhance the education of the Hispanic student population.
The grant program will bring students and parents in after school, and help students learn to enjoy school.
The grant is for $70,000.
“That’s a significant amount of money” to develop an after-school program, Bagrowski told school board members.
For the IEP students, Bagrowski said school offi cials will do more intervention and take a more comprehensive look at the programs.
School officials also are working on finding time during the school day to give IEP students additional instruction.– David Pugh