Greenon, Graham earn award for improved school report card

Performance index and value-added progress scores are used to determine state honor.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Two school districts in Clark and Champaign counties have improved in achievement and growth over last year’s report cards, earning them an award from the state.

Greenon and Graham local schools earned the Momentum Award from the Ohio Department of Education. The award comes amid a new round of state testing this month.

The award is for districts and buildings that have demonstrated “outstanding improvement in achievement while also continuing to show growth,” according to ODE.

Greenon Superintendent Darrin Knapke said the district recently has been investing in its educators’ continuous growth and development, including its commitment to professional development as a “driving factor of their strategic plan.”

“The positive impact of professional development becomes strikingly evident when analyzing the improvement in recent testing scores, which have now been solidified by this Momentum Award,” Knapke said.

The award is for those that have improved their performance index, which measures state test performance, by 3 or more points from the 2021-22 report card to the 2022-23 report card and received a value-added progress rating of 4 or more stars. Districts and buildings who received an overall rating of 5 stars are not eligible for the award.

School districts received an overall rating based on a 1- to 5-star rating, with 5 being the highest. An overall rating of at least 3 stars means a district or school meets state standards, according to the ODE.

In the letter to the districts that received the award, Stephen Dackin, director of the Department of Education and Workforce, said it reflects commitment to servicing students and the community.

“It recognizes the devoted teachers and staff who consistently go above and beyond, ensuring that all students receive exceptional learning and instruction,” Dackin said. “Your tireless efforts in nurturing young minds, fostering a positive learning environment, and promoting holistic development has not gone unnoticed. Your impact extends far beyond the classroom, shaping the future leaders of tomorrow.”

Greenon improved their performance index by 3.6%. It was 79.8% in 2022 and 83.5% in 2023, according to ODE. Their progress rating increased from a 2 in 2022 to a 4 in 2023.

“This accomplishment showcases Greenon Local’s efforts to elevate academic outcomes and provide a high-quality education for its students,” said Knapke.

On the 2023 report card, Greenon was one of the local districts that had the highest in overall and progress ratings of 4 stars. They also had a 4-star rating in gap closing and graduation rate, and a 3-star rating in achievement and early literacy.

On the 2022 report card, the district scored the second-lowest rating on progress at a 2, but had a 3 in achievement, gap closing, early literacy and graduation rate.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Knapke said they plan to use this recognition as a “catalyst for even greater achievements in the future.”

“By providing educators with the tools and knowledge they need to excel, they empower them to create enriching learning environments for their students,” he said.

He called the recognition “not just a milestone, but a steppingstone for our district.”

“It should inspire us to maintain our pursuit of excellence in all our endeavors,” he said. “(This) award is a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff and students. It underscores our collective efforts to foster student learning and success and validates the positive impact of our strategic plan initiatives.”

Graham’s performance index improved by 6.3%. It was 79.5% in 2022 and 85.8% in 2023. Their progress rating increased from a 2 in 2022 to a 4 in 2023.

“This award is a recognition of the collective hard work and dedication to growth of our GLS students and staff,” said Superintendent Chad Lensman.

On the 2023 report card, Graham scored an overall rating of a 4 but had one of the county’s highest ratings in gap closing with a 5 and progress with a 4. They also scored a 4 in graduation, and a 3 in achievement and early literacy.

On the 2022 report card, the district had a 3 in achievement, gap closing, early literacy and graduation rate, and a 2 in progress.

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