Euclid Schools Response to the State Report Card
The Ohio Department of Education released their latest school report cards, based predominantly on student achievement during the 2015-16 school year. We are not satisfied with our results and do not expect that any of our stakeholders will view these as anything less than unacceptable.
We have already enacted multiple steps to increase student achievement. Our most important actions include:
1) Hiring Deans of Students for our four elementary schools. This allows our Principals to focus on their important instructional leadership responsibilities while Deans focus on Positive Behavior Supports to improve school environments.
2) Creating clear instructional expectations for all teachers and instructional staff members. Known as "This we Believe," these documents help to create the sense of clarity that is so important to improving professional practice.
3) Math Pilots at Elementary Schools: Our elementary math teachers are working with new curricula and resources, better aligned to the Common Core to help prepare our students for the rigorous state assessments they now complete.
In addition to these initiatives, our "Finish the Job" initiative is designed to improve achievement through better facilities more strategically positioned to address our students' learning needs. The proposed Early Learning Center will nearly double to amount of seats available to our three and four-year-old learners. We must get as many students into our top-rated ELC as possible to close the achievement gap before it begins. Second, the proposed high school and middle school campus strengthens and expands upon our award-winning Career Technical Education and College Credit Plus programs. These staples of our "Culture of Achievement" will continue to provide students with opportunities unmatched by nearly every other secondary programming in Northeast Ohio.
While many of the indicators were negative, we must highlight our "Progress" component. Here, we achieved a "B" with an overall value-added indicator of an "A." These results show that we achieve more than one year's growth with our students, regardless of the level of competency they bring to our classrooms upon entry. This marks the third time in the last four years that we achieved an overall grade of "A" in value-added results, a source of pride for our district.
Finally, we must point out that our own state Superintendent warns us about putting too much emphasis on a state report card that is one barometer of success. Paola DeMaria, Superintendent of the Ohio Department of Education, explains, "We recognize that Ohio’s assessment system is in transition, so the results on the report cards should be viewed in that context." We will continue to work through this period of transition to ensure we provide an excellent education to our students. DeMaria continues, "I hope that communities will keep these results in perspective; that they will gauge the quality of their districts not only by what they see on the report cards but by other information about what is happening in schools and with students."
We continue to invite all stakeholders into our schools and classrooms. We urge you not to judge our schools from postings on the internet or the snapshots of student achievement created by ever-changing state standardized assessments. Instead, walk through our hallways. Talk to our teachers and students about their experiences here. We know that you will come away impressed.
Dr. Charlie Smialek