Each year, the ODE grades Ohio school districts in areas of math, reading, writing, science, OGT scores, graduation rates and other crucial areas.
“We got ‘Excellent’ by meeting all indicators. Then Ohio added one called Value Added or growth. If kids grow, and your building exceeds a year’s growth, then they’ll bump you up to that special ‘Excellent with Distinction’,” Johnson said.
That’s what happened at South Webster Junior High and High School. Johnson remembers one student who struggled with multiplication tables in the eighth grade, but by the end of the year was doing basic algebra.
Math, in fact, was one place the school did very well.
“Our eighth-grade math scores were exceptional, and our seventh-grade reading scores were exceptional,” he said, proudly. “But we have to do a better job with our juniors and seniors. We really have to make strides to make sure every kid coming out of here is college-ready. We feel like our kids hold their own, but we have to do better because colleges in society demand so much more.”
Johnson said he’s proud of the kids who have all worked very hard to earn this honor.
“Every day they come in they see the 2009 banner hanging up there, showing ‘Excellent with Distinction’ and now we’re going to replace that with 2010. They see that every day and they know how much money our kids get in scholarships. We have an academic pep rally every fall and every spring. I think it’s important that we call every kid down there and give away shirts to every kid that makes honor roll,” Johnson said.
He also thanked the teachers for working with the students and pushing them.
“I think that says something for the teachers. How do you challenge the kids that gets straight-As all the time? You have to come up with something to challenge those kids so they’ll grow, too, and obviously our teachers have done that,” Johnson said.
Not only did the high school perform well on the state report cards, but the entire district did very well, also. The Bloom-Vernon School District is the only district in Scioto County to meet all 26 state indicators on the 2009-10 Local Report Cards issued by the ODE. The district earned a 99.6 performance index score and met its Annual Yearly Progress measurements.
Wheelersburg, Bloom-Vernon and Valley were the only three Scioto County schools this year to earn an Excellent rating from the Ohio Department of Education. All three schools were rated Excellent last year, also.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.