Big Walnut gets ‘B’ on report card


By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com



Big Walnut Local Schools received an overall “B” for its district grade on the recently-issued Ohio School Report Cards.

The component grades included: “A” (for Graduation Rate and Progress), “B” (Gap Closing), “C” (Achieving and Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers) and “D” (Prepared for Success).

“We received another ‘B’ on the state report card this year,” said Superintendent Angie Hamberg, in an email. “Only 5.1% of districts received an ‘A;’ 27.8% received a ‘B.’ This means our score is in the top third of scores statewide. Of special note, our progress grade moved from B’s in the last three years to an ‘A.’ This measure reflects how much growth students are making in a year, with a year of growth equaling a ‘C’ grade.”

By buildings, the overall grades were: “A” (for Big Walnut Elementary and Hylen Souders Elementary), “B” (Big Walnut High School, Big Walnut Middle School and General Rosecrans Elementary) and “C” (Big Walnut Intermediate and Harrison Street Elementary).

To learn more about the Ohio School Report Cards, visit: https://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/district/overview/046748

During a meeting Thursday, administrative staff interpreted the grades for Big Walnut Board of Education members.

Jen Young, director of Academic Achievement, said if you were using a Grade Point Average as a measurement, the district actually improved from a previous 3.34 to a 3.58.

As for the state-issued Report Cards, Young said, “It’s one piece of data we look at overall.”

In her email, Hamberg agreed.

“While we are pleased with the progress we continue to make on the report card, we are careful to use the report card for what it is — a snapshot in time of our students’ progress and achievements,” she wrote. “We use trend data from these tests, along with other local data, to make decisions on what we need to adjust with our programs. We are careful to include multiple data points in decisions, not just the state test data.”

During the school board meeting, staff also explained that the state’s components don’t always reflect the district’s mission. For example, Prepared for Success only measured college preparation, whereas Big Walnut emphasizes career readiness for its students.

“Locally, we value our 2020 Vision for every student to have an education that is personalized, engaging, and based on growth,” Hamberg concluded in her email. “We also value other important skills that are not assessed on the state report card: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. We will continue to focus our efforts on ensuring our students have these employer-coveted skills in addition to academic skills and knowledge.”

As an alternative to the state report cards, Young said that the district has produced an eight-page Quality Profile that offers “a more robust look” at Big Walnut. To view it, visit: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zrgYNF4kUrV3_TX9W_7h3Um-gaUJI8Y5/view

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By Gary Budzak

gbudzak@aimmediamidwest.com

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.