School report card: Northwestern achievement rate second-highest in Clark County

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Gap in learning due to pandemic is confirmed, superintendent says.

State school report cards were released this month and although districts did not receive a letter grade, Northwestern Local School District had the second-highest performance index in Clark County.

Ohio’s report card system for K-12 schools usually includes letter grades for overall performance, and for a number of individual metrics — academic achievement, year-over-year progress, graduation rate and much more.

Those letter grades were not included in the report card for the COVID-disrupted 2020-21 school year, but some of the raw data was listed including academic, graduation and attendance measures.

Northwestern’s performance index, also known as the achievement component that measures state test performance, was 66%, second in the county only to Southeastern Local Schools’ 69.9%.

As far as chronic absenteeism, which is when at least 10% of the year’s instructional time is missing, Northwestern had a rate of 15.6. These numbers from last year were not available.

ExploreSee Ohio report card data for your school district

The district had a four-year graduation rate of 94.5%, compared to 98.1% last year and 97.4% in 2019, according to state report card data.

When it comes to the prepared for success component, which is how well-prepared students are for future opportunities, Northwestern scored 44.7%. Last year, the district scored 48%.

Prepared for success data measures college and career readiness through high school students’ ACT/SAT scores, Ohio Honors Diplomas, job industry credentials, College Credit Plus achievement and more.

Superintendent Jesse Steiner said he feels the only thing the report cards confirmed is that there is a “significant gap in learning that occurred because of the pandemic.”

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Steiner said the district is working to close the learning gap.

“We have hired a learning recovery director. She is responsible for the five learning recovery teachers that we hired. The director is responsible for working with the staff to identify students who are behind, plan interventions, and implement learning recovery strategies. She is also responsible for budgeting the federal COVID money,” he said.

Each school and district usually receives an overall A-F grade on the report cards, and more than half of each school’s overall grade depends on how students perform on state tests each spring. The report cards also usually measure student achievement, performance index, year-over-year growth and gap closing.

Last year, schools got the equivalent of an “incomplete” mark and no A-F letter grades because there was much less data than usual. The report cards only contained a handful of normal data points as the spring 2020 state tests in English, math, science and social studies were canceled after mid-March coronavirus-related school closures. The main data categories available last year were graduation rates and high school “prepared for success” measures.

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