By: G. Sam Piatt, PDT Staff Writer
September 1, 2012
PDT Staff Writer
Parents, community members, teachers, and school administrators gathered Wednesday morning for the Portsmouth City School District Education Forum, as Superintendent Scott Dutey delivered updates on important issues that pertain to the education of the students and the district overall.
The district report card was the first topic of discussion. Dutey informed the group that the scores were not available for review, as the Ohio Department of Education had to put them on hold due to attendance issues in some of the larger school districts. He said that the school report card results would probably be released by ODE in the month of September.
Dutey said the district report card would reveal that the district earned 13 of the 26 indicators, and improved in 21 out 26 indicators overall.
“When you look at 26 as a whole, we showed marked improvement in 15 of the 26 areas, but our indicator was six areas that we didn’t improve in,” he said. “So we are making progress. It obviously was not what we wanted, or what we thought.”
Despite the continued challenges that the Portsmouth City School District has, Dutey said that he is confident that the district would continue to move forward and make progress.
“We are going to continue to work on it. As I told my staff, we are getting close enough in those indicators, that we don’t have anymore excuses. When the kids are performing from one grade level to another, it is up to that next grade level to continue building upon that,” he said. “Our kids are performing very, very well. When you look at it as a whole and consider that 25 percent of our district are identified as Special Education, and we are still moving forward. We still have a lot of work to do, but I am excited about it.”
The superintendent said that the number to target for the district is 90, with the district’s present score being 89.4
“I can tell you that we are going to come back with 13 indicators, which is where we were last year. We also did have six indicators, in which we did show improvement,” he reported.
Dutey also gave an update on Phase two of the construction of the track and softball field.
“We are finalizing the track complex. The bleachers will go out tomorrow, and we will be putting those together over the next week or so, and that will basically finish that complex,” he said.
The softball field is near completion as well, with grass, and the sprinkler system to be added, would allow the softball field to be finished soon.
The Superintendent said the district was selected to receive the Dollar General Youth Literacy Grant. This grant would allow the district to purchase Kindle devices for students in the junior high school.
Lindsey Kegley,Grant/Curriculum Supervisor for the Central Office of the district, enlightened the group of Grade Guarantee, which will affect the third grade students in the state of Ohio. She said the Third-Grade Guarantee would start with students entering the third grade in the 2013-2014 school year, in which all students would be required to demonstrate a certain level of competency in reading before advancing to the fourth grade.
The district plans to utilize the paraprofessionals working in the schools to help to prepare to meet the demands of the Third-Grade Guarantee.
Reports were also given by administrators, Charles Kemp, Tom Walker, and the principals of Portsmouth Elementary, and East Portsmouth Elementary.
The next Education Forum meeting is scheduled to convene Nov. 20, 2012, at 8 a.m. at the usual location, Portsmouth High/Junior School.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 234 or firstname.lastname@example.org