2017-18 Report Card Shows Continued Growth

2017-18 Report Card Shows Continued Growth in Key Areas
Posted on 09/19/2018
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The Ohio Department of Education recently released the state report card results for Ohio schools, including an overall letter grade for each district. Lakota Local Schools showed marked improvement in key areas, earning a final grade of ‘B’ by the State.

"Lakota Schools continues to provide a high-quality, student-centered education and that is reflected in this year's state report card," said Superintendent Matthew Miller. “We are proud to have received a ‘B’ as an overall letter grade. Our teachers and staff work tirelessly to provide personalized learning and engage our students through innovative teaching.”

The district has improved to a ‘B’ from a ‘C’ in both achievement and gap closing, while maintaining its ‘A’ letter grade in both overall progress and graduation rate. Miller attributes such improvements seen on the report card, in part, to increased collaboration across department, and even building, lines to meet the needs of the district’s diverse learners. 

Keith Koehne, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, notes, "Our teachers and administrators work very hard to plan for appropriate intervention and enrichment for our students. Our staff is also dedicated to building relationships with their students, which is so critical as they prepare them and build confidence to tackle rigorous assessments."

While Lakota saw its K-3 Literacy component drop one letter grade from a ‘B’ to a ‘C’, Koehne sees this as one piece of data among many.

“At Lakota, we are more interested in the end game and what the report card doesn’t tell you is how well our students fare by the time they finish elementary school,” Koehne notes. “We use this type of data to review reading intervention and instruction throughout the year, triggering changes and adjustments as needed.”

“Our teachers are collaborating and using best practices to ensure that our students are engaged in learning every single day,” Miller said. “That includes continuously moving forward and finding ways to improve.”

This year, for example, a key area of focus for Lakota is reimagining the high school experience to better prepare students for life after graduation. This was in the district’s plans even before seeing the slight decline from a ‘C’ to a ‘D’ in the latest “Prepared for Success” metric.

In addition to working with Butler Tech to grow more pathways and industry-recognized credentials, the district is working to multiply its community partnerships to enhance students’ real-world learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. 

“We believe that it is imperative for our students to be exposed to a variety of career options before they graduate from Lakota,” Koehne said. “This is one of the reasons we are focused on making our internship program so much more robust and accessible to every student during their junior or senior years.” 

Ironically, these types of experiences are not accounted for as part of the “Prepared for Success” grade on the state report card. Furthermore, programs like Lakota’s Career Readiness Academy - an alternative high school option that has received national attention for its success rate - do not earn the district credit in this area.

To that point, Superintendent Miller reminds parents and community members that the state report card is only one metric of a district’s achievements. "Testing is only one part of assessing student growth,” Miller said. “Many other factors impacting the overall student experience are not directly reflected on the report card.” 

That is why Lakota Local Schools will be releasing its second annual Quality Profile report in the coming weeks. This report is a companion piece to the state report card, highlighting current and future areas of focus for the district, including: academics, safety and security, finances, the student experience and parent/community engagement.

Click here to access the state report card for Lakota Local Schools.