Whitehall district maintains status on state report card

The results of the 2006-07 school year state report card for Whitehall City Schools show the district remains in continuous improvement status while other strides forward have been made.

"The district is happy that we retained our continuous improvement status, particularly with the new tests that were added at various grade levels," commented Superintendent Judyth Dobbert-Meloy. "Our goal continues to be to move to effective status."

The state offers five designations based on a variety of measures: excellent, effective, continuous improvement, academic watch and academic emergency. State indicators are calculated using data from student achievement at the third through eighth grade levels, the 10th and 11th grade Ohio Graduation Test, attendance rates and graduation rates.

On the 2005-06 school year report card, Whitehall City Schools met nine of the 25 state indicators, received a performance index score of 86.7 out of a possible 120 points and was designated as a "continuous improvement" district.

On the 2006-07 school year report card, the district met 10 of 30 state indicators, received a performance index score of 83.9 out of a possible 120 points and remained at the "continuous improvement" level.

Dobbert-Meloy said the district has already implemented a plan of action to improve results next year.

"We had teachers who worked this summer on identifying power standards among the state standards to ensure that our district curriculum continues to be aligned and that we have good means of assessing progress towards those standards on a regular basis throughout the year," Dobbert-Meloy said. "We will offer an after-school program again this year at all grade levels as an intervention to give students who need additional assistance more time to learn."

In looking at the district’s individual buildings, it appears that some improvements have already been made. Both Etna Road Elementary and Whitehall-Yearling High School achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for school year 2006-07. To meet the federal AYP requirements, every student group must be at or above the annual goals or make improvements over last year.

"We were excited that two of our buildings met AYP this year," Dobbert-Meloy said. "The targets will go up again this year for meeting AYP, so it is going to be a real focus for us. Because we have a diverse population we have many subgroups and we must be sure that they each meet the targets."

The 2006-07 state report card individual building results in Whitehall appeared to have slipped somewhat over the 2005-06 results. Beechwood Elementary slipped from an "effective" school, meeting three of eight state indicators in 2005-06, to a "continuous improvement" school meeting three of 10 state indicators.

Rosemore Middle School went from a "continuous improvement" school, meeting two of seven state indicators in 2005-06, to an "academic watch" school meeting one of 10 state indicators.

Whitehall-Yearling High School went from an "effective" school, meeting five of 12 state indicators in 2005-06, to a "continuous improvement" school meeting five of 12 state indicators in 2006-07.

The high school dropped a category based on the latest performance index score. For 2005-06, the high school’s performance index score was 90.2 out of 120 points. In 2006-07, it fell to 88.6 out of 120 points.

"Changes in building status on the report were in part due to the additional tests that were added last spring, which had not been previously administered at various grade levels," Dobbert-Meloy continued. "Schools across the state have experienced the same issue. The social studies test seemed to have a negative impact on schools across the state."

Dobbert-Meloy said the district continues to be optimistic about the latest results of the Ohio State Report Card.

"I think we have continued to make progress each year," she said. "That can be tough because we have not had the same targets two years in a row, as the state keeps adding assessments and the AYP targets are changing. We will need to continue to be vigilant with each individual student to ensure their success, but that is what our district mission is focused on – continual improvement in the achievement of all."

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