Although data released by the Ohio Department of Education remains preliminary, Warren City Schools have reason to celebrate.
After several years of being on Academic Watch, Warren appears to have climbed to Continuous Improvement based on its 2011-12 Ohio State Report Card.
"We've worked hard and it shows in our improvement," said Melissa Watson, teaching and learning director at Warren. "We have an idea where we are and where we need to focus. We'll continue working hard, improving and moving forward."
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Students from McGuffey Elementary in Warren wait to get on their bus at the end of the school day on Tuesday. After several years of being on Academic Watch, Warren City Schools climbed to Continuous Improvement based on Ohio State Report Card released Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Education released additional preliminary Local Report Card data for districts, traditional schools, community schools and STEM schools. The updated spreadsheet includes preliminary district / school ratings, Performance Index and attendance rate information - data not previously released.
The updated spreadsheets include this information along with data released last month, plus SAT and ACT mean scores and other enrollment data.
The most recent information provides a more complete picture of how each school performed.
Based on the 2011-12 data, of Trumbull County's other 19 public school districts, 11 rated Excellent, four rated Effective and four earned Excellent with Distinction.
Of 26 local districts analyzed in Trumbull and Mahoning counties, nine districts improved, three fell slightly and 14 remained the same.
Report Cards are typically released in August each year. The 2011-12 State Report Card data remains preliminary pending the resolution of an investigation by State Auditor David Yost into alleged irregularities in the reporting of student attendance.
State education officials have said they expect to release final data early next year.
"During the last few weeks, ODE employees have worked diligently to upload and verify remaining data for school improvement purposes," explained Michael L. Sawyers, Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction.
"As we wait for additional information related to the investigation by the Auditor of State, ODE remains committed to sharing existing data so that students, parents, educators and the public can be informed about the progress of our schools."
Some local educators have expressed frustration over having to wait for the information, and then receiving it sporadically over the last several months.
"It's been a process this year," Austintown Superintendent Vincent Colaluca said. "The information is still preliminary, but it gives us a very good idea where we stand and that's what's important. It's credit to our staff and our students that we've done this well."
The preliminary data released included results of the 26 indicators on the report card and graduation rates for districts and high schools, calculated using a method required by federal law that more closely tracks when students transfer to or from a school.
"We started the school year with an idea of where we need to improve," Kirk Baker, Jackson-Milton superintendent, said. "Based on this information we got 24 out of 26 indicators. Overall, everything is going very well. We're focusing on common core standards and working from there."
Jackson-Milton earned Excellent, dropping slightly from its Excellent With Distinction designation on the 2010-11 report card.
Damon Dohar, Weathersfield superintendent, said his school district, which made the climb from Effective to Excellent With Distinction, used data to create an academic enrichment class at the middle school, expanded its inclusion of students with disabilities and worked with teachers and staff to focus on areas that needed improving.
"Basically, we took a multi-year approach and with our teachers and staff working really hard, we made improvements," he said. "And we did pretty darned good. It's been a long process, but I believe we can maintain it.
''It feels pretty good right now. It's a big win for us overall and I'm exceptionally proud of the work we've done."