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Sycamore Schools State Report Card & Quality Profile Released

Two newly released reports show that Sycamore Community Schools is growing all students academically.

“Our mission is to provide a student-focused learning environment for all to achieve their full potential,” said Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent. “We are committed to delivering the kind of high-quality education that our community has come to expect.”

Overall more than 93% of Sycamore students scored proficient or higher on state assessments last year, according to the Ohio Department of Education’s new School Report Card.

Districts and schools were graded on six components for the 2017-18 school year: Achievement, Gap Closing, Improving at Risk K-3 Readers, Progress, Graduation Rate, and Prepared for Success.

Sycamore Community Schools received an overall “A” grade for Progress, which looks closely at the growth that all students are making based on their past performances. This includes math, English/Language Arts, and sciences tests in grades 4-8 and some end-of-course exams. The district received A’s for the growth of gifted students, students in the lowest 20% in achievement, and students with disabilities.

“All means all,” said Karen Naber, assistant superintendent. “We’re glad that the state recognizes what other highly-recognized measures are telling us; that we continue to grow all levels of learners to reach their full potential.”

According to 2017-2018 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), all seven of Sycamore Schools received high growth and high achievement marks.  

“We are incredibly proud that all seven schools demonstrated excellence in growth and achievement which is not often seen,” said Kelly Wegener, director of curriculum. “This is a testament to our teachers’ commitment to true academic success for all learners.”

The district also received an “A” for Graduation Rate on the state report card. The Class of 2018 graduation rate was 99% with 84% of graduates attending college this fall. Other achievements from the Class of 2018 that were not included on the state report include:

  • 93% of students scored a three or higher on AP tests

  • 30 National AP Scholars

  • 16 National Merit Finalists

  • 26.3 composite ACT score for college-bound seniors

Overall, the district’s Achievement component scores were consistent or above other similar districts, and well over state averages. Out of the 21 state tests given last year, Sycamore saw an increase in passage rate in 13 of those assessments.

The 2018 Quality Profile released today in conjunction with the state report card, helps characterize the overall educational value of Sycamore Schools beyond standardized testing.

“We use many different data points to guide our classroom instruction beyond state assessments,” said Forsthoefel. “We know that a high-quality education includes a lot more than what is measured on state tests and report card grades. The Quality Profile includes growth and achievement measures that are not captured by the state report card.”

Among the achievements highlighted in this year’s Quality Profile:

  • Best Communities for Music Education (NAMM Foundation)

  • #6 Best School Districts in Ohio (Niche.com)

  • #7 Best Schools in Greater Cincinnati (Cincy Magazine)

  • Ohio Auditor of the State Award with Distinction

While the district uses the state report card for accountability, administrators recognize that it does have its flaws. For example, Sycamore was given a “C” for Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers, even though 100% of third graders passed the Third Grade Reading Guarantee last year.

“We are committed to accountability, but we are looking forward to changes to the local report card to accurately reflect the great things happening in our schools,” said Forsthoefel.

The Board of Education just issued a statement of support of House Bill 591, which would design a state report card system that is understandable, provides value, and accurately reflects district, staff, and student achievement.

 

“Sycamore Community Schools is committed to working on ways to improve report card results,” said Forsthoefel. “We believe publication of district and school report cards must be accurate, fair, and credible.”