PIQUA — Piqua City Schools Superintendent Dwayne Thompson was matter-of-fact, optimistic and determined in the wake of receiving several discouraging letter grades on the district’s state report card.
“We’ve set goals as an administrative team to look at how we can grow those (grades), make incremental steps and get where we want to be,” Thompson said on Friday.
Released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Education, the report cards assign grades from A to F in various performance categories.
Grades on Piqua City Schools’ 2016 report card include:
• Achievement: D
This component represents whether student performances on state tests met established thresholds and how well students performed on tests overall.
• Gap closing: F
This component show how well the schools are meeting the performance expectations for its most vulnerable populations of students in English language arts, math and graduation. This reflects the extent to which students in different ethnic, racial, income and disability groups received an equal education.
• K-3 Literacy: D
The K-3 Literacy component looks at how successful the school is at getting struggling readers on track to proficiency in third grade and beyond.
• Graduation: C
The Graduation rate examines the percentage of students successfully finishing high school with a diploma in four or five years.
Thompson said the district will work on remedying the dismal assessments by “taking it down to the building level,” that is, each principal will meet with his or her faculty to discuss goals for the next four years, and address deficiencies and areas where intervention is needed.
Piqua City Schools did receive several encouraging grades, including a B in its five-year graduation rate and value added for gifted students. “Value added” is a measure of growth by individual students.
The district also received A’s in value added for the lowest 20 percent of students and for students with disabilities, as well as an A in Progress.
“We’re really excited about that because that indicator shows we’re making growth with our students,” Thompson said, noting that the past couple of years have been difficult for the district and its students, what with going from the Ohio Achievement Test to the controversial PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing
With PARCC now a thing of the past and American Institutes for Research (AIR) testing taking its place, Thompson hopes to see things take a positive turn.
“PARCC was a difficult test, not so much in the level of content, but in the way of navigating it, and it was just a one-year test,” he said. “Now that we know we have the AIR test in place and we’re going to stick with that test, we’re going to use it as our baseline data.”
State report card data can be viewed by district at http://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/Pages/District-Search.aspx
Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341.