As a district, Meigs Local received a “Continuous Improvement” rating while Eastern Local achieved an “Effective” rating. More information on these individual report cards can be found in upcoming articles in The Daily Sentinel.
The rating is based on last year’s standardized testing with Southern Local meeting 24 out of 26 state indicators in subjects such as reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing. Southern Elementary met 14 out of 15 state indicators, while Southern High School met 11 out of 12.
Southern Elementary had the top scores out of ODE’s Region 16 schools to earn an “Excellent” rating. Southern High School earned an “Effective” rating, missing the “Excellent” ranking by a half of a percent which came down to one student scoring poorly. However, the scores from the two schools combined propelled the district as a whole into becoming a district of “Excellence.”
Superintendent Tony Deem said what this means in basic terms is the district exceeded the academic standards the state set forth. Deem also said though the report card is a snapshot of where the district was at a moment in time, it’s also a reminder to work harder to maintain the academic success the students are achieving.
Southern Local Principals Scott Wolfe, Kent Wolfe and Daniel Otto agree giving kids motivation to do well on the tests is crucial. Many students in the district are being rewarded with field trips to Kings Island and a Cincinnati Reds game thanks to the financial backing of the Southern K-8 PTO for kids at the elementary school and Gatling, Ohio for students at the high school. Students K-8 also got to witness their principals get their heads shaved and then watch them spend the night on the school’s roof as reward for meeting academic goals via the report card.
Beyond incentives, students are given tools to achieve their goals such as afterschool tutoring, workbooks, short-cycle academic assessments and the Study Island online program.
The only state indicator Southern didn’t meet were science scores on both the eighth grade achievement test and the Ohio Graduation Test taken by sophomores. Eighth graders scored 48.9 percent while sophomores scored a close 74.5 percent compared to a state minimum of 75 percent. Principal Kent Wolfe said the test definitely pointed out science scores/education needed to be addressed to raise scores on a portion of the test which is typically one of the hardest. Kent said the district is looking at increasing more science into the Study Island experience and Principal Daniel Otto said freshmen at Southern High School will have a “foundation class” which focuses on mathematics and science. High school students are also required to participate in Study Island exercises twice a week.
Principal Scott Wolfe felt the success of the district report card was shared as a cooperative victory which includes the cooperation of administration, treasurer, school board, teachers, parents, students and the community.
“Everyone working as a team makes this happen,” Scott said.
Deem agreed, going on to say it does take a holistic approach to achieve success; an approach which includes putting the right people in the right places and letting “success breed success.”
The report cards can be found online at www.reportcard.ohio.gov.