Buckeye Valley Local Schools staff review and discuss feedback from the State of Ohio’s School Report Cards that were released last month.

Courtesy photo | Paul Craft

Ohio School Report Cards were released last month, and Buckeye Valley was given a rating of 4.5 stars out of five, which Superintendent Paul Craft said he’s pleased with. He added the district is already aiming higher for next year.

The report cards evaluate and rate districts in five categories: Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Graduation and Early Literacy. The district earned between three and five stars in the various categories with three stars indicating the district “meets state standards;” four stars note the district “exceeds state standards;” and five stars means the district exceeded expectations “by a larger magnitude.”

Buckeye Valley was rated four stars for Achievement, which measures student performance on state tests; four stars in Progress, which measures the growth all students are making based on their prior performances; five stars in Gap Closing, which measures the reduction in educational gaps for students in subgroups; four stars in Graduation, which measures the four- and five-year adjusted cohort graduation rate; and three stars in Early Literacy, which measures reading proficiency for students from kindergarten to third grade.

Craft said it was “gratifying” to see every building in the district rated four out of five stars, and he’s proud Buckeye Valley High School was rated five out of five. Craft said that distinction puts Buckeye Valley High School in the top 10% of high schools in the state.

Craft added he was particularly interested in the district’s Performance Index, which measures the test results of every student. The district’s performance index improved by 4.6 points from 89.7 to 94.3 out of 108.8 possible points, well above the state average of 80.9.

Craft said the district’s performance index prepandemic was 93.6, and he’s glad BV is “literally one of the first districts in the state to have more than made up our pandemic learning losses.”

“We’ve continued to move forward,” Craft said. He acknowledged there are still students impacted by the pandemic learning loss but added “our teachers are really digging into the question of ‘what do we need our kids to know?’ and ‘how do we know if they know it?’ It’s really good. I’m pretty excited about the job they are doing out there.”

Craft said all the buildings in the district increased their performance index. East Elementary went up 10.3 points from 79.9 to 90.2; West Elementary went up 1.2 points from 99.3 to 100.5; Buckeye Valley Middle School went up 3.9 points from 86.3 to 90.2; and Buckeye Valley High School went up 4.6 points from 91.4 to 96.0

“East went up 10.3 points,” Craft marveled. “I’ve been in education for 35 years, I’ve never seen a building make that kind of improvement from one year to the next. It almost means every kid in that building moved up a level.”

Craft credits the improvements at the elementary school to the science of reading investment the district has done. Specifically, Craft said he’s excited about BV’s January rollout of a phonics-heavy curriculum for elementary students.

“That’s already paid dividends,” Craft said. “The potential for this district is unlimited. Our kids are ready to learn and perform at higher and higher levels, and our staff is committed to making that happen.”

Craft said he sees the state report card as an “overall reflection of the work we’ve already done,” and it allows the district to use the feedback to improve instructions.

“(The feedback) helps you inform your pacing and core structure,” Craft said. “(It helps us see) where were we strong, where were we weak. You don’t think your way to getting better, you do it in the trenches.”

Craft said he’s pleased with the results overall but will continue to push the district forward.

“I feel great, but I won’t be satisfied,” Craft said. “But it’s a reflection of what we’re doing for our kids. We’re doing even better and better at growing every kid. It’s great to see we’re growing our kids and the data suggests we really are.”

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.