Northwestern earns county’s highest graduation score on Ohio School Report Card

Some scores lagged, and superintendent says work continues to improve those.

Northwestern Local Schools received the highest ratings in graduation and early literacy among Clark County districts on the Ohio School Report Cards list.

New report card ratings released by the Ohio Department of Education last week show school districts received an overall rating based on a new 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.

Northwestern was the only district in the county to score the highest in graduation rate with 5 stars and early literacy with 4 stars. It also recorded 4 stars in gap closing,

Superintendent Jesse Steiner said their report card shows they’re meeting state standards.

“Over the last few years, we have implemented many academic changes to improve student learning. We are still working to close the learning gaps that were created during the pandemic. Our diagnostic data shows that we are on the right path, and students are growing academically,” he said.

Not all the scores were as strong. Northwestern received an overall rating of 3.5 stars, lower than three Clark County districts. The district scored 3 stars in achievement and 2 stars in progress, the second lowest in the county.

Steiner said although “it’s important to note that test scores are just one measure of student success,” they are taking steps to improve them.

“We are focused on providing our students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for college and career success,” he said. “This includes developing their critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and creativity.”

The district is investing in professional development for teachers to make sure they’re using the most effective teaching methods; expanding access to high-quality instructional materials; focusing on providing additional support to students who are struggling, which includes tutoring programs, targeted interventions and summer learning programs; and working to create a positive and supportive learning environment for all students.

The district’s performance index, which measures state test performance, slightly decreased to 75% in this past year’s report card compared to 78.7% last year.

When it comes to graduation rate, the district increased the overall and four-year rates. They had an overall rate of 97.8%, compared to last year’s 95.5%, and the four-year rate was 98.4% compared to last year’s 94.9%. The district also had a 43.4% for the college, career, workforce and military readiness component, the second highest in the county.

Compared to last year’s star ratings, Northwestern increased by 1 in graduation and early literature, stayed the same in achievement, and decreased by 1 in gap closing and progress.

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