SUNBURY — Big Walnut Superintendent Ryan McLane name-dropped another Ryan when comparing the district’s performance on the state report card.
“Our report card actually wasn’t that bad,” McLane said at the Big Walnut Board of Education meeting on Oct. 20. “The state has changed the way it reports on schools, and now we’re on a star system. Think of it as a Yelp review or how you review college football and basketball recruits. So out of a total of 25 possible stars across five categories, Big Walnut attained 20. So that puts us as a four-star recruit. (Ohio State football coach) Ryan Day would probably be calling us.”
The five categories are achievement, progress, gap closing, graduation and early literacy. Big Walnut received five stars for graduation and gap closing; four stars for achievement; and three stars for progress and early literacy.
“There are definitely some areas we need to improve upon, but some areas are worth celebrating,” McLane said. “For example, in the achievement category, this is based on the state tests, there are 20 that they track for this report card, and our results were in the top two of Delaware County schools in 15 of the 20 tested areas. Again, there’s room for improvement, but I think Ryan Day would be calling us. Do we mess up sometimes? Absolutely, but I know that we are all truly trying our best.”
McLane praised the students and staff for the district’s stellar performance, and he put the report card in the context of its impact on Big Walnut Local Schools.
“The thing about report cards is by the time you get that end-of-the-year report card, there’s not a whole lot you can do. … The state report card was released in the fall for the previous school year, so in my opinion, it has very limited use because of how long you have to wait to get the data,” he said. “Imagine if you were trying to lose weight, stepped on a scale, and got the results a couple months later. That would force you to find other ways to measure your progress, which we as a district do now. The previous administration did, so this is nothing new.”
That wasn’t the only mention of sports by the superintendent at the nearly three-hour meeting.
“I’d like to congratulate all of our fall sports teams and programs for remarkable seasons,” McLane said, mentioning the boys and girls soccer teams in tournament play, cross country teams, boys golf, girls volleyball, varsity football, and the marching band.
Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County. He may be reached at the above email address or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.