MANSFIELD -- Mansfield City Schools has continued its academic improvement efforts which are reflected in performance gains on the 2019 state report card, but Superintendent Stan Jefferson said Thursday the district is focused on greater gains in the year ahead.
While the overall composite grade of the school district was a D, it did improve in three of the six component grades on the state report card, according to Larry Gibbs, public information officer for the district. Gains occurred in the Progress, Gap Closing and Graduation components. The B that the district earned in GAP Closing shows that gains are being made for all students as well as its most vulnerable populations.
“While we are pleased with the improvement in several areas, we have raised the bar for academic achievement at all levels,” Jefferson said. “Our goal is significant, measurable academic gains for all students.”
Within the Progress Component, which the looks at the growth of students based on past performance, the district saw three of the four measures improve two letter grades These three groups made the expected growth, which is equivalent to a year’s worth of learning.
Jefferson credited the work of former superintendent Brian Garverick and his team. Garverick began work Aug. 1 as the director of alternative learning.
The superintendent said that Stephen Rizzo, the district’s chief academic officer, will continue the process of working with district and school leadership teams to analyze report card data for areas of strength and areas in need of additional improvement.
The district's only F was in Prepared For Success, which looks at how well prepared Ohio’s students are for all future opportunities. This was Mansfield City Schools only failing grade on the report. The Ohio Department of Education lists grades for all of the state's public schools on its website at this link.
“I see growth in many areas. We will review all of the data with our principals and teachers to build on gains and we will also continue to refine strategies for improvement where needed,” Rizzo said.
He credits the work of students, staff, and families in making learning a priority both at home and in school.
“We want our students to engage in learning with clarity and a known purpose,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo added the district's grad card improvement can be credited to several changes in the revised standard of the Ohio Department of Education's grade cards and the districts focus on better understanding the goals for students during test taking.
"We've worked hard to learn how to better understand what needs to be done," Rizzo said. "One of our big changes was our teachers began working collaboratively and using data to drive improvement."
He said the district also focused on technology as students now take state tests on computers.
"They have to be able to type by fifth grade," he said. "We need them to be comfortable taking the tests online, not just on test day, but everyday."
Jefferson said Mansfield City Schools is not satisfied with its composite grade.
“We know we have more work to do, but we also know – as the Ohio Department of Education acknowledges – that the state report card is only one part of a district’s story,” Jefferson said. “Day in and day out, our students are learning effectively in their classrooms at every level.”
Jefferson said work will intensify to improve other components of the report card, including students’ performance on state tests, K-3 reading, the graduation rate and preparing students for success when they leave school. He noted the district is working to implement new literacy materials this fall to support reading achievement.