LAKE TWP.  Everyone knows what it feels like to get a report card. From kindergarten through college, anyone who has attended school knows that one day there will be a report card filled with grades for performance. Many parents save report cards from their children over the years while others just want to forget about them.

In late September, school districts around the state received their report cards from testing data compiled by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The results were mixed for schools around the area, but Lake Local Schools was one of the districts that got As, Bs and Cs  in the six main components and on the 10 subcomponents.

What were the district’s grades? What do the state report cards say about the district? What are the take aways from the grade card? What are future plans for improvement? Superintendent Kevin Tobin explains it all below.

Lake Local Grades

Lake Local Schools received two As, two Bs and two Cs on its report card this year. There are six components that are measured by the ODE and those are listed below with the grades Lake received in each component.

B for Achievement – represents the number of students who passed the state tests and how well they performed on them. Lake received a B for Performance Index and a C for Indicators Met subcomponents.

B for Gap Closing – shows how well the district is meeting the performance expectations for the most vulnerable populations of students in English language arts, math and graduation. Received a B in Annual Measurable Objectives subcomponent.

C for K-3 Literacy – looks at how successful the district is at getting struggling readers on track to proficiency in third grade and beyond. Received a C in the K-3 Literacy subcomponent.

A for Progress – looks at the growth that all students are making based on past performances. Lake received As in three of the four subcomponents including Overall, Gifted, Lowest 20 percent in Achievement and a B in Students with Disabilities.

A for Graduation Rate – looks at the percent of students who finish high school with a diploma in four or five years. Received an A with 96.4 percent graduating in four years and 96.3 percent graduating in five years.

C for Prepared for Success – looks at how well students are prepared for training in a technical field, for work or for college.

What Does the Report Card Reveal about the District?

Tobin said the report card shows that overall the district is doing a good job of educating students. It also shows a good job of the progression of students and that they are getting the needed growth to progress.

How Success was Achieved

The district achieved success with the report card ratings for a number of reasons. Tobin said the top factors in achieving the success include:

The total collaborative effort of the strategic planning that started in the 1990s. The district sets specific goals and measures the results throughout the year.

The culture of the district where everyone does what’s best for each student which helps teachers to differentiate instruction. Instruction programs accommodate students at all learning levels with time built in for remediation when needed.

Parents expect the district to perform well and Tobin said the teachers and staff take great pride in meeting parents’ expectations.

"We know as a district that the report card results don’t completely define us and will only push us to do even better. Parents, teachers and staff all want us to meet the needs of the students and get them college or career ready and that’s what we strive for every day," Tobin said. "The culture of the entire community is service-oriented and strives to help others. I think the district works hard to emulate that culture."

What are the Take Aways?

Tobin said the top three factors that those working in the district and the parents can take away from the report card ratings include: The overall Performance Index ranked the Lake 49th in the state and put it in the top 8 percent of all Ohio districts. It shows how well the district has performed with the different student groups. And, being a top performing district in Stark County is a good position to be in for now and for the future.

He said while the report cards are a snapshot of one day in the district when the students were testing, it does show students are experiencing academic growth according to the state standards. Plus, the district is getting their students to where they need to be for success.

"The report cards don’t measure what the students at Lake are doing in the arts where a major part of their overall development happens. While I don’t believe the report cards completely define any one district including Lake, it does show how well and how successful we’ve been progressing the four student groups which were overall, gifted, lower 20 percent in achievement and students with disabilities," Tobin said.

"We are also good stewards of the district’s finances. We work to get the most for the taxpayer’s money while at the same time producing a good product for the community. There were only five districts in the state that performed better and spent less than we did," he said.

What about the Future?

Tobin said the district’ building project will help ensure success for students decades into the future. Part of the design of the new buildings include ways to enhance the learning process. Designs include flexible learning spaces with the ability to collaboratively work together on projects and the latest in technology incorporated in all of the buildings. 

"We did a lot of research and visited other districts to see what they were doing. When our buildings are complete, I think we’ll be a district where other districts come to us for best practices," Tobin said.

"We are really blessed at Lake Local to have an engaged community and parents that care about education. We’ve all worked together to get the bond issue passed that will enhance the district and take care of students’ learning needs for the next 50 years," he said.