Highland Schools was the only school district in Medina County to earn an overall A grade in the 2018 Ohio School Report Cards released Thursday.
Brunswick, Medina and Wadsworth, which represent the county’s three cities, all earned B grades. Black River and Buckeye were given Cs, while Cloverleaf received a D — the lowest grade in the county.
The overall grade is the newest piece of the state’s grading puzzle.
This is the first year of the composite grade, which uses the results in six components: achievement; progress; gap closing; improving at-risk K-3 readers; graduation rate; and prepared for success. Each component is weighted differently: Achievement and progress make up 20 percent each of the total overall grade. The other four components are weighted at 15 percent each of the overall grade.
The report cards can be accessed at education.ohio.gov.
The county’s superintendents stressed that the overall district grade shouldn’t define what they are doing in each of the district’s buildings.
“Today, we are celebrating the success of the district,” Highland Superintendent Cathy Aukerman said. “We’re extremely proud of our students and teachers. We couldn’t do it without the support of our community.
“We’re pleased, but this doesn’t define us. It’s just one measurement. We have to keep it in perspective. We can’t take it for granted, either. We worked hard for these results.”
Many of the superintendents said they would break down and analyze the report card data in the near future.
It was not a happy day at Cloverleaf.
“I am devastated … the composite score was a D, and we are the only district (in the county) to receive that,” Cloverleaf Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said.
The report cards are designed to give parents, communities, educators and policymakers information about the performance of their school districts.
Paolo DeMaria, the state’s superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement that the report cards and overall grades reflect how Ohio serves its 1.7 million students.
“Each of Ohio’s students can achieve, and the report cards provide us with reasons to celebrate,” he said, adding that the overall grades provide a district performance snapshot. “But they don’t tell the whole story. It’s crucial that we dig into the data to ensure we tend to the needs of each child in Ohio.”
Here is a rundown on each of the school districts in Medina County:
Black River — C
It received D grades in achievement, progress and prepared for success.
Black River received a B in gap closing and graduation rate.
Superintendent Chris Clark said the district is working to get better in all areas.
“We’ve tried to work on our educational philosophy from the ground up,” he said. “We’ve made changes to our curriculum in our lower grades. We’re seeing out test scores improve.”
He’s not a huge fan of the report card having an overall district grade.
“It’s not a true indicator,” Clark said.
He said the district had a C in performance index, which helped make up the achievement grade.
“We’re pushing our students higher,” he said. “We’re expecting more out of them. We’ve raised the bar.”
Clark said Black River’s B in graduation rate was “solid.”
“Our goal is to get 100 percent,” he said.
Brunswick — B
Brunswick earned an A grade in graduation rate and progress to push the district to the overall B grade.
Brunswick, which is the county’s largest district, graduated 93.8 percent of its students in four years.
Its only D grade came in prepared for success. That looks at how prepared Ohio’s students are for all future opportunities, whether it’s college or the technical field.
“There are some areas of concern,” Mayell said. “Overall, we were pleased.”
Mayell said the district’s C grade in achievement showed that there is still a lot of work to do.
Brunswick received an A in progress. All of the value-added components were A’s, except for gifted students, who got a B.
“These scores indicate that there is significant evidence that our students, once again, made more progress than expected,” he said. “This is great news.”
Mayell said the report card is only one part of what makes up the school district.
“Last year, I told you that I believe the report card captures an element of who we are, but that we are more than just a report card,” he said. “The activities, events and atmosphere throughout the district during the first few weeks of this school year continue to show exactly what the Brunswick City Schools are all about.”
Buckeye — C
Buckeye was hurt by the Ds it received in progress and prepared for success. That dragged down its overall grade.
Superintendent Kent Morgan said the district has shown growth in several areas and paid particular attention to others, such as the value-added scores that make up the progress grade. It got an F overall in value-added and a D in students with disabilities. He wasn’t happy that the state dropped the district a letter grade in students with disabilities from 2017.
“If we look at the letter grades, it doesn’t tell the whole story,” Morgan said. “The state evaluated us as middle of the road.”
The district earned an A in graduation rate.
He said he believes the district is meeting the needs of its students.
Morgan said the report card isn’t the end all in assessing the district.
“We don’t live or die by the scores,” he said. “We don’t take the report card as an indicator of our success.”
He said he doesn’t want it to sound like the report card doesn’t matter.
“It’s just a snapshot … that’s translated into an entire movie,” Morgan said.
Cloverleaf — D
Superintendent Kubilus was not pleased with the D grade.
“Community members, whether we want them to or not are going to associate A, B, C, D, F the same way they would associate grades,” he said. “To get a D, our community expects a higher grade, as do I. As the superintendent, I own it.
“When I first saw that grade … I was upset for our school, for our teachers who work so hard, our students, our community. They expect better and that is our mission: to do better. I am deeply troubled that the state would think, or show our community that we are a D. Two one-hundredths of a point make us a D, and that is a difficult pill for me to swallow as superintendent.”
Cloverleaf received an F in progress. All four of the value-added sections — overall, gifted, lowest 20 percent in achievement and students with disabilities — were given Fs.
“I was surprised by that was well,” Kubilus said.
He said the district improved in 15 of 21 academic achievement indicators. Yet it received a C in achievement, as well as graduation rate, gap closing and improving at-risk K-3 readers. It got a D in prepared for success.
“I can tell you we remain committed to doing what is best for our students,” Kubilus said. “I don’t think a D reflects what we desire for our students or our community. We are going to continue to further analyze the measurements and continue to formulate plans to address deficiencies in the report card.
“I emphasize, a D, no matter how it is calculated, isn’t acceptable.”
He said he’s not happy with the way the rules keep changing on the report card.
Kubilus said his district has shown improvement in several areas, but it wasn’t reflected on its overall grade.
Highland — A
Highland earned A’s in graduation rate, progress and cap closing, and Bs in two other areas: achievement and prepared for success. It didn’t receive a grade in improving at-risk K-3 readers.
Aukerman explained that any district with fewer than 5 percent of its kindergarten students not reading at that level weren’t ranked.
Highland’s graduation rate — 97.9 percent — was tops in the county. The graduation rate focuses on the percent of students who successfully finish high school with a diploma in four or five years.
It earned an A in progress, which looks closely at the growth that all students are making based on past performances. Highland was rated excellent in all the value-added scores — overall, gifted, lowest 20 percent in achievement and students with disabilities.
It also earned an A in gap closing, which dealt with how well vulnerable students are meeting their performance expectations.
Aukerman said even though she’s happy with the grades, day-in-and-day-out instruction in the classroom is the most important factor to her district.
Medina — B
Medina earned A’s in both graduation rate and progress, as well as a B in gap closing. What helped its overall grade was the fact it didn’t get any grades below a C — in achievement, improving at-risk K-3 readers and prepared for success.
It earned A’s in all four value-added scores to added up to its A in progress, which looks at the growth of students based on their past performances.
Medina superintendent Aaron Sable said he’s happy with the overall district score. He said he sees much growth in the students’ progress.
But again, he said the report card is just one level of assessment for the district.
“It doesn’t measure arts, band, choir, all the extracurriculars — all the things that make up a well-rounded experience that helps them to become adults.”
Wadsworth — B
Wadsworth earned A’s in graduation rate, progress and gap closing. It received a B in achievement and Cs in improving at-risk K-3 readers and prepared for success.
“Overall, we’re happy with where we’re at,” Superintendent Andy Hill said. “There are areas where we are strong and areas where we will continue to focus on.”
However, he said, the report card is just one piece to the overall picture. The district also released its 2017-18 Quality Profile on Thursday, which can be accessed at www.wadsworth.k12.oh.us. Hill said viewing both the state report card and Quality Profile gives the best overall picture of the Wadsworth school district.
“We’re proud of our achievement,” he said. “We’re proud of our staff and our students.”
He said there are efforts in the state to overhaul the state report cards, but so far none of them have materialized.
“The Wadsworth City School District is able to provide an exemplary educational experience for our students because of the generous support of our community,” Hill said. “Our district is fortunate to have highly qualified and motivated faculty and staff devoted to furthering the education of every student in our district.”