Eastwood and Perrysburg schools have hit the top marker on the yearly District Report Card.
Both schools improved to "excellent with distinction" for 2011-12 from "excellent" in 2010-11.
The full 2011-2012 report cards for 614 traditional public school districts, delayed for seven months because of a statewide attendance tampering investigation, were released Wednesday. Many elements of the report cards were already known while release of the final versions was pending.
Also in Wood County, Rossford and Bowling Green both fell from "excellent with distinction" last year to "excellent" this year.
Northwood dropped from "excellent with distinction" last year to "effective" this year.
Elmwood improved from "effective" to "excellent."
Otsego and Lake kept their "excellent" designations, and North Baltimore maintained its "effective" status.
"The only way you get to move up is your value added goes up," explained Eastwood Superintendent Brent Welker. For Eastwood, their value-added measure was tied for 32nd best in the state.
The value-added measure rates students' annual academic growth.
In general, Eastwood's success is because "our teachers continue to do a good job collaborating with each other."
The district missed out on the eighth-grade science passage requirements the past two years.
"There was a lot of attention paid to providing additional support" in that area, he said.
"We have really strong teachers." The "excellent with distinction" status is "the product of hard work."
The report cards grade both districts and individual buildings on how well students are learning, awarding 26 indicators on how students in certain grades tested in reading, math, science, writing and social studies, plus on graduation rates, attendance rates and growth in student learning.
The state wants to see 75 percent of students tested in grades 3-8 and for grade 10 to be at or above proficient level. That number bumps to 85 percent for grade 11. Districts also must meet a 93 percent attendance rate for all students, and a 90 percent graduation rate.
The drop in Bowling Green's rating was due to not making adequate yearly progress in math in the subgroup on students with disabilities, said Ann McVey, superintendent of Bowling Green Schools.
"It's very, very difficult to make AYP in the subgroup of students with disabilities. But it's not impossible," she said.
"It's really hard to keep 'excellent with distinction' in consecutive years," she added.
"'Excellent' is high performing," McVey said, "and we're happy with that. But we would have been thrilled with 'excellent with distinction' again."
Ohio's current performance index scale ranges from "academic emergency" to "excellent with distinction."
Eastwood also led the county when using the performance index numbers as a ranking. Eastwood was 76th with Perrysburg ranking 78th.
For Wood County schools, the results are:
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†Eastwood: Met all 26 indicators, up from 25 last year. Its performance index was 106.0 out of 120.
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†Perrysburg: Met all 26 indicators, the same as last year. Performance index, 105.8.
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†Bowling Green: Met all 26 indicators, the same as last year. Performance index, 101.9.
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†Lake: Met 25 indicators, up from 24 last year. The district only stumbled on its graduation rate. Performance index, 101.8.
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†Rossford: Met 24 indicators, down from 25 last year. The district did not meet its passage requirements in fifth-grade math and graduation rates. Performance index, 100.6.
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†Otsego: Met 24 indicators, down from 25 last year. The district missed on third-grade math and its graduation requirement. Performance index, 100.6.
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†Northwood: Met 21 indicators, down from 25 last year. The district did not meet third-grade math, fifth-grade math, seventh-grade reading, 11th-grade science and graduation rates. Performance index, 98.7.
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†North Baltimore: Met 23 indicators, the same as last year. The district missed its target on third-grade reading and on fifth-grade math and science. Performance index, 98.6.
‚ÄĘ¬†¬† ¬†Elmwood: Met 23 indicators, up from 20 last year. The district did not meet fourth-grade math, and fifth-grade reading and math. Performance index, 97.8.
In Elmwood, which is the only district in the county to bump up its designation, Superintendent Tony Borton praised the work in the middle school which saw the biggest gain, and the test prep being done there.
"They collect the data and see what the kids know and don't know," he explained.
Also, the school has been teaching to the state standards, "but we've been focusing on working on more rigor, where an 'A' means an 'A. An 'A' means true quality."
The improvement also has been working with special education students.
"It took some refocusing and changing the beliefs in our spec education. We can get gains in our spec education. They will grow with the right support," Borton said.
This year in Northwood, the four areas of third- and fifth-grade math, seventh-grade reading, and 11th-grade science were missed by not much less than the percentage point of what the state expected.
For instance, in third-grade math, where 74.2 percent passed and the state wants 75 percent, that's one child, said Superintendent Greg Clark.
"Not only were we within a kid or two in those areas, we also had a kid or two in those grades who missed a question or two."
In 2010-11, the district earned the highest mark "by the skin on our teeth," he said.
Last year he said it's great to be on top, but there's still work to do.
"The same holds true this year," Clark stated.
Welker admitted it will be hard to keep the "excellent with distinction" designation.
"We won't because next year we go to an A, B, C rating," he explained.
And for instance, a performance index of 108 will be needed to get an A.
"I think this might represent the high water mark for us for a while," he stated.
Next year, "we'll be shooting for an 'A' but we don't know how those calculations will be finalized," added McVey.
The new A-through-F rating system will be phased in beginning next school year. And the report cards will be based on standards aimed at making sure graduating students are ready for college and careers.
All county districts either met or went above on its "value added" marker, which takes into consideration how much individual students would be expected to progress from one year to the next.
They're also judged on adequate yearly progress, an indicator that measures the success of specific student groups based on race, ethnicity, income and disability.
For information on how each district did on all 26 indicators, visit www.ode.state.oh.us.
The assessments give parents and other members of the public a snapshot of each school's year-over-year performance and how it compares with state education standards.