Reynoldsburg Schools’ state report card results a mixed bag

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By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

Reynoldsburg City Schools received the latest state report cards earlier this month with the district earning top marks for its graduation rates, but only earning a “D” in an elementary-level literacy category.

At the Jan. 19 Reynoldsburg Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Tina Thomas-Manning spoke about the subject, noting she was reserving judgement until the entire report is released and paints a more accurate picture.

The Ohio Department of Education released the first part of the latest state report card in January, showing graduation rates, how well schools help struggling young readers catch up to their peers, and how well-prepared a school’s graduates are for college.

While Reynoldsburg Schools scored an “A” for 4-year and 5-year graduation rates, the district scored a “D” in the K-3 literacy category.

In its second year of grading districts on how well they help kids who are behind their grade level in reading, the state measures how well schools intervene early to help kids in danger – not on how many kids pass Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

Reynoldsburg Schools scored 46.6 percent and indicated 186 kindergarten students last school year were not on track to meet reading benchmarks. However, 26.3 percent of those students improved to on-track in the first grade.

The report also detailed how 196 first-grade students were not on-track last year, but 37.8 percent of those students improved to on-track in second grade; 108 second-grade students were not on-track last year, but 20.4 percent improved to on-track in third grade; and 236 third-grade students were not on-track this year, but 81.8 percent of those students reached proficiency on the third grade Ohio Achievement Assessments.

The district, however, did score high on rates of students who graduate from high school within four years, and separately, within five years. The report shows Reynoldsburg scored a 93.3 and 95.5 percent graduation rate, respectively.

Those numbers are above both similar districts’ results and state averages.

Of the four Academies, eSTEM Academy and Encore: Arts, Communication and Design Academy scored the highest with “A’s” in both 4-year and 5-year graduation rates. Reynoldsburg High School’s Business, Education Leadership and Law Academy scored a “C” in 4-year graduation rates and a “B” in 5-year, and the high school’s Health Sciences and Human Services Academy scored a “B” in both 4-year and 5-year graduation rates.

Also featured on the report card was a category called “Prepared for Success,” which outlined how prepared the district’s 2014 graduating class was for success by looking at items like ACT participation, students who enrolled in Advanced Placement classes and how many earned an Honors Diploma.

According to the results, 71.8 percent of seniors took the ACT, 15.8 percent earned an Honors Diploma, 38 percent participated in an Advanced Placement course and 24.3 percent participated in dual enrollment credit.

“Early indicators look like we have some successes and opportunities that we were aware of,” Thomas-Manning said.

The Ohio Department of Education will release the remaining portion of the report card by Feb. 25, which will show how much academic progress students have made over a year and the “Performance Index” composite of test scores across multiple grades and subjects.

Report cards will not show overall grades for schools and districts until 2018. Go to reportcard.education.ohio.gov for information.

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