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Schools receive no letter grades

State releasing report cards today with limited results due to pandemic

WARREN — Ohio schools will receive report cards today, but without grades.

Yes, you can blame this on COVID-19, too.

Unlike state report cards in past years, there will be no letter grades for districts or individual schools because of the pandemic and closing in-person classes last spring.

Ohio legislators passed House Bill 197, which prohibited schools from administering state achievement tests after March due to the state’s actions caused by the pandemic.

Because spring testing did not take place, ratings for student achievement and gap-closing progress will not be reported this year, according to state officials. Improving at-risk readers data only will be partially available.

The report cards will, however, provide the available information about graduation rates, “prepared for success” indicators and kindergarten to grade 3 reading diagnostics.

In addition, much of the usual demographic and enrollment data will be published, along with other district and school operational details.

“While schools have less information available than in years past, we still emphasize the importance of gauging where students are in terms of academic achievement and using available district data to inform improvement to instruction,” Paolo DeMaria, Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction, said. “The education community’s goal is to carry forward the teamwork, collaboration and care we’ve seen since last spring through this new academic year and beyond.

“We have never been more focused, united and determined to ensure each child is challenged to learn, prepared to pursue a fulfilling post-high school path and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who contributes to society,” he continued.

Youngstown City Schools officials said although there won’t be letter grades, its academic team will use the data that is included on the report cards, as well as data the district has collected, to continue to make improvements.

“CEO (Justin) Jennings’ strategic plan names improving academic performance as one of its goals, so that data will be used to help determine the specific areas needing improvement and the best ways to raise academic performance,” Denise Dick, school district spokeswoman, said.

Youngstown schools received F grades in the last two report card periods.

Lakeview schools Superintendent Velina Jo Taylor said the district is disappointed that district and school building grades are not being issued this year. During the last two years, Lakeview has earned overall B grades on the state report cards.

“We still want to know the kids are making progress,” Taylor said. “We want to make sure our students are getting good information and are applying what they are learning.”

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