TALLMADGE — The state report cards issued earlier this month by the state serve as a reminder "of some of the things we are doing well and some that we need to do better," said Shelley Monachino, director of teaching and learning.
However, they do not tell the entire story, Monachino said.
"The report card is just a one-time snapshot of student progress, and we look at the data from that as well as our other tools and assessments throughout the year to make sure that we are meeting the needs of our students," Monachino said. "Of course when looking at the data, we not only look at what we are improving on, but what we can do better."
The Tallmadge City Schools received an overall district grade of C in the 2018-19 school year. The district received an A for graduation rate; B grades in progress and gap closing, a C in achievement and and Ds for improving at-risk K-3 readers and prepared for success.
In the 2017-18 school year, Tallmadge City Schools also received an overall C grade. The district received an A for graduation rate, a B for gap closing, a C for achievement and Ds for progress, improving at-risk K-3 readers and prepared for success.
The report cards issued by the state measure both districts and individual schools in six categories.
"When looking at the results of the report card, one thing that we focus on is that as long as our students are making growth, that is what important to us," Monachino said.
Most Summit County school districts maintained their overall grades, with Coventry and Manchester improving their scores. Coventry moved from a D to a C and Manchester moved from a C to a B.
For the second year, Hudson was the only Summit County district to receive an overall A. While Nordonia Hills City Schools earned a B, Aurora and Solon earned overall A grades.
No Summit County district received a failing grade, which triggers state involvement. Three — Akron, Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls — earned a D.
Statewide, nearly 80 percent of districts received a C or higher.
Cuyahoga Falls was the only Summit County district to score lower than last year.
"We’ve certainly got to identify the root causes for the disappointing results," Superintendent Todd Nichols said.
His team was just starting to dig into the data, he said, and was encouraged by some of the school-level data. Silver Lake Elementary School earned a B overall. Five out of the nine schools in the district earned an A or a B for closing the achievement gap. But as a district, Cuyahoga Falls earned a D in gap closing.
This is the second year the state has given districts the overall letter grade, which critics argue overly simplifies a year’s worth of student achievement and doesn’t take into account the poverty level of a school’s student population.
In response, many school districts, including Tallmadge, have prepared "Quality Profiles," which outlines district achievement in six categories including Academics, Arts, Parent and Community Involvement, Student Leadership and Activities, Student Services, and Fiscal Stewardship.
"The District Quality Profile gives a more in depth look at all wonderful things as well as all the great achievements of our students," Monachino said. "Some of the highlights include the different college, university and trade schools that our students attended this year both in state and out of state. We also had students join the Army, Navy and Air Force. About 10% of our students went into the workforce. We are very proud of our students, teachers, staff and administrators and their efforts that they put in to education every day."
Tallmadge City Schools’ 2018-19 Quality Profile can be found at www.tallmadgeschools.org.
Report cards for all school districts and individual school buildings can be found at reportcard.education.ohio.gov. The website also explains in detail what each category represents.
Reporter Jennifer Pignolet contributed to this story. April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @AprilKHelms_RPC