Piqua, Covington schools review state grade cards


By Aimee Hancock - Miami Valley Today



PIQUA — Piqua City Schools earned a “D” as a district on the state’s annual report card, which was released last week.

The district scored the following grades in the six component areas:

• Achievement: “D”

• Progress: “D”

• Gap Closing “F”

• Graduation Rate: “C”

• Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers: “C”

• Prepared for Success: “F”

“For the last two years, we had four straight ‘A’s for the ‘Value-Added’ category (which is within the Progress component and includes Overall, Gifted Students, Students in the Lowest 20 percent in Achievement, and Students with Disabilities) and the year prior to that all As and one ‘B,’” Superintendent Dwayne Thompson said.

“Additionally, we faced a challenge when ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) was forced to close down,” Thompson continued. “When that happened, local districts had to accept those students that were enrolled in that online school back into their school district. We received a number of credit-deficient students that had not been a part of our district from ECOT that ‘dropped out’ rather than working to graduate. That hurt our graduation numbers causing us to go from a ‘B’ to a ‘C’ in that category.”

Regarding the Prepared for Success category, Thompson noted it’s important to know that many components within this category are geared toward the college-bound student.

“The state requires all students in their junior year to take the ACT exam whether they plan to attend college are not. Because of this, students that plan to attend college prepare for the ACT and engage with the assessment differently than students that want to enter the workforce or enlist in the military as a viable option after graduation, and there is a difference in ACT scores between college-bound and non-college bound students as a result,” he said.

Thompson continued by stating the district “focuses on helping all students create a successful path after graduation regardless of it being post-secondary training options, the workforce, or the military,” and that it has expanded workforce options through partnerships with local manufacturers, the Piqua Chamber of Commerce, and the District Business Advisory Council, UVCC, and Edison State Community College.

Washington Primary scored the highest with an overall grade of “B.” Both Piqua Central Intermediate and Piqua High School scored a “D,” and Piqua Junior High and Springcreek Primary scored “C.”

“We do pay attention to the report card, however, teaching students to pass a test is very different than actually teaching and preparing students to get ready for life after graduation,” Thompson said. “We are working hard to build programs and set ‘Success Bound’ goals for all students so they can earn a diploma and have a successful transition once they walk out of our classroom doors for the last time. I have great confidence in my students and the staff that engage them each day in the classroom and through extracurriculars.”

In Covington, the local school district earned a “C” on the state report card.

The district scored the following grades in the six component areas:

• Achievement: “C”

• Progress: “D”

• Gap Closing “A”

• Graduation Rate: “A”

• Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers: “NR”

• Prepared for Success: “D”

Superintendent Gene Gooding said despite the “D” in the Progress and Prepared for Success categories, he believes students within the district “are making great progress each year and that they graduate from Covington High School well-prepared to succeed in college, the military, or in their chosen careers.”

“However, our goal is to continue to improve every day,” he continued. “So, we will definitely use the data provided by the Ohio Department of Education to evaluate these two areas.”

As for the Achievement component, Gooding noted the district’s grade for this year is one letter grade above where it was last year.

“We hope that our continued focus on each individual child, and our determination to push each student at his/her own unique learning level, will continue to lead to higher ratings in this, and every, category,” Gooding said.

The Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers component is listed as “NR,” which means “not recorded,” due to the fact that, according to the Ohio Department of Education website, “there were not enough students to evaluate.”

Each school within the district — Covington Elementary, High School, and Junior High — scored an overall grade of “C” on the report card.

“We will use the data provided to evaluate our curriculum, our instruction, and our course offerings,” Gooding said. “Our goal will always be to provide our students with a superior education that prepares them to be productive and responsible citizens.”

By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Today

Reach the writer at ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach the writer at ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.