The Delaware City Schools Board of Education approved a compressor replacement at Schultz Elementary and discussed the recently released Ohio Department of Education State Report Card for the district during its Monday meeting.

During his report, Superintendent Paul Craft reported that the district received its report card from the Ohio Department of Education this week, but he said they won’t be able to compare themselves to similarly sized school districts until after the weekend.

“You know I like to do a comparison of where we are with other districts, but we don’t know that yet,” Craft said. “We’ll have a much better sense when you start comparing yourself to districts like you.”

Craft said the district got a “C” in the Achievement category, which “represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them. Craft said the district got a “C” in this category in 2017, but he said the district met more indicators (37.5 percent) than last year when the district met 20.8 percent.

In the Progress category (component grade), which “looks closely at the growth that all students are making based on their past performance” the district scored a “B,” which it also scored last year.

In 2017’s Progress category (value added subcategories), the district got a “A” for overall progress, an “A” for gifted students, a “C” for lowest 20 percent students, and a “B” for students with disabilities. Craft reported that this year the district got an “A” overall, an “A” for gifted, a “C” for lowest 20 percent students, and an “A” for students with disabilities.

“What that means is the lowest 20 percent of students met the expected growth … they only way they give you an overall “A” is every subgroup has to be at least a “B,”’ Craft said.

In the Gap Closing category, the district got a “D,” which is an improvement from last year’s “F,” but Craft said the district would have done better if the same metric had been used this year.

“Oddly, we actually went from an “F” to a “B” if you look at how they did it last year,” Craft said.

He added the state added a new category this year at the last minute that wasn’t measured the same way as other factors. “If you look at where we were last year versus this year, we are stronger in every category that was on last year’s.”

The district stayed roughly the same in the remaining three categories and earned the same grade as last year; a “B” in Graduation Rate; a “C” in Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers; and a “D” in Prepared for Success, which looks at “how well prepared Ohio’s students are for all future opportunities.”

Craft said the district earned a “C” overall.

“If any of you brought home a report card like this I’d be disappointed, “Craft said. “On the other hand, when you set it against what the state is doing … the average school in the state of Ohio meets zero indicators. They’ve really raised the bar, so we are comparing ourselves against that very much raised bar.”

Craft said the improvement on Gap Closing, especially when you measure against the way the state had been measuring it, is “really good news.”

Additionally, the board approved a $37,550 contract to replace a compressor in the main air handler at Schultz Elementary.

Director of Facilities and Transportation Jason Sherman explained to the board that the compressor was original to the building and went out over the summer during the intense heat. Sherman said it is one of three compressors at Schultz and suspected the other original compressors would also have to be replaced soon.

During the public participation section of the meeting, local resident Donya Stark spoke to the board and encouraged them to take steps to improve the special education programs at the district and listed improvements she would make.

On Tuesday, Craft said he appreciated her input and perspective on the special needs program.

“We are absolutely committed to maximizing the growth of all of our students, including our special education students,” Craft said. “We have and will continue to put a great deal of emphasis and a lot of resources toward meeting the needs of our students on IEPs (Individualized Education Programs). Gratifyingly, we have recently learned that this year’s report card will show that the overall academic growth of our special education students last school year was significantly higher than the growth of similar students around the state of Ohio.

The board will meet next at 6 p.m. on Oct. 8 in the board room at Willis Education Center.

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.