The Ohio Department of Education will release today their report cards for school districts for the 2016-17 school year. Unfortunately, our results on these state measures continue to lag behind the expectations you hold for us and we hold for ourselves. Importantly, we achieved impressive gains in several very important indicators, including Performance Index (meaning, higher percentages of students passed their state tests) and Graduation Rate (meaning, more students are graduating on time). Specifically, we improved our graduation rate by over ten percentage points from the 2015-16 school year. Further, three of our schools, Arbor, Euclid High School, and Shoreview earned A's in their overall value-added scores. However, these highlights are overshadowed by the proliferation of low grades throughout the extensive document.
We do not excuse our performance on the state's report card. Increasing student achievement will always be our most important goal. We must maintain the positive trends in both Performance Index and Graduation Rate and make significant growth in other areas. We also ask, though, that you use the state report card as one measure of our schools, not the measure of our schools.
We hope that, in addition to the report card, you will weigh these accomplishments from the 2016-17 school year:
- We worked with over 60 parents, community leaders, staff members, and school administrators to develop "Our Euclid: 2017-2021," our strategic plan that provides a blueprint to accomplish the improvement we must make.
- We continued to expand our College Credit Plus partnership with Lake Erie College that has helped our students to earn over $2.85 million in college tuition during their Euclid High School careers.
- We added multiple College Tech Prep (CTP) programs, including a welding program that operates at Lincoln Electric. These additions, and our continued attention to and promotion of career readiness programs led to 43% of our juniors enrolling in one of our CTP pathways for the 2017-18 school year. They will graduate with college credit and/or an industrial certification in the spring of 2019.
- The Cuyahoga County Educational Service Center awarded bronze medals to Arbor, Chardon Hills, and Bluestone Elementary Schools for their development of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to improve student behavior and academic focus. Our Early Learning Center was named a "model site" for the use of PBIS strategies to teach and reinforce appropriate learning behaviors in the classroom.
- Our Special Education department earned a perfect 4.0 average on their Annual Rating from the Ohio Department of Education for their exemplary compliance with intricate procedures designed to ensure appropriate learning environments and instructional models for students with disabilities.
- Our Early Learning Center received a $237,000 grant to implement Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) instruction through the construction of one of only two early learning "Fab Labs" in the nation.
- We began the processes required to build a new middle school, renovate and rebuild Euclid High School, convert Forest Park to an Early Learning Village, and improve recreational facilities in Memorial Park. Many of our residents are already enjoying these new fields.
- We reduced our operating expenses by approximately $1.6 million to practice the fiscal responsibility necessary to prolong our current funding levels for as long as possible.
- We hosted 3,354 (an average of more than nine per day) events sponsored by someone other than our school district, many at no cost to the external organization. We continue to work with partners in educational, civic, athletic, and arts arenas to increase the use of our facilities, ensuring that our schools are truly "Community Campuses."
The best measure of our school district will never come from a state report card. The best measure of our school district is the collective experience and education we provide to our students and community. To this end, I invite you to contact me at any time (firstname.lastname@example.org
) to schedule a tour of any of our schools, invite me to your church group or neighborhood association, or just establish a time to converse more about any matter related to our district. We have great kids, doing great things, every day. We would love to help you learn about and experience all that Our Euclid has to offer!
Thank you for your continued interest in and support of Our Euclid Schools.
Charles Smialek, Ph.D.
Superintendent, Our Euclid Schools