Ohio is making changes to the way it measures and rates the performance of its schools and districts in order to make these assessments easier to understand and more descriptive.

In previous years, report cards used six ratings to describe school performance – Excellent with Distinction, Excellent, Effective, Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch and Academic Emergency – and were mostly based on how well students performed on state assessments.

Beginning with the 2013-2014 school year, the results of district and school report cards will be shown in different ways. New components will be established and measurements of each component will be phased in over time. Letter grades of A-F will now be given in six broad categories:

  • Achievement: How well are students doing against national and state standards of success?
  • Gap Closing: Are students in all demographic groups making gains in reading and math?
  • Graduation Rate: Are all students graduating on time?
  • Progress: Are students of all abilities growing academically?
  • K-3 Literacy: Are students in kindergarten through third grade reading at or above grade level?
  • Prepared for Success: Are students ready for college and careers?

Changes will begin in August 2013, when the report card will have nine measures receiving grades. An overall grade for the school and/or district – to be the combination of grades of all six categories – will begin in August 2015. This gives schools time to adjust to the new system and focus their efforts on being successful in all areas being measured.

Community members can learn more about the changes to school and district report cards by visiting:
www.newreportcard.education.ohio.gov

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has scheduled the release date for the report cards at the end of August. After the release, you will be able to find your individual school’s report card on the Ohio Department of Education’s website.While each of us may feel like we have a full understanding of what it means to receive an A or B from our personal experiences in school, the formulas used to calculate these grades are far more complex than the letter grades we received as students in times past.

I am hopeful that the use of letter grades will not stifle the dialogue about student learning in our community and ask parents and community members to remain open to working with your local schools as we adapt to new federal and state demands. Our district and others around the state will first focus our efforts on understanding these new components and the grading scale used to measure our progress. We will then focus on being successful in all of the areas being measured.

With the federal government, Ohio General Assembly, the State Board of Education and the Department of Education making changes to how our community will review the work happening in our schools, Superintendents, community partners, teachers, and parents at Kenton City Schools have been issued a challenge to continue to raise our expectations.

As educators, we raise the bar not because the government has imposed a new way of doing business but because teaching is our calling and instilling a love of learning is our passion. We will engage in best practices for our students because it is the right thing to do for our community. Educational practices must continue to improve because our students need it, our parents expect it, our economy requires it, our democracy is dependent on it and it is our responsibility as a community. I look forward to meeting these new challenges with you as we inspire all of our
students to “inquire, dream and excel.”

Sincerely,

Penczarski

Jennifer Penczarski

Superintendent, Kenton City School District