Mostly A's And B's On Local Schools' Report Cards

The Indiana Department of Education has released school and corporation letter grades for the 2017-2018 school year. View local school grades here.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A’s and B’s are the norm for southeastern Indiana’s schools on their 2017-2018 report cards.

The Indiana Department of Education released the state school accountability A through F letter grades on Wednesday. About two-thirds of the state’s schools – public and private – received either an A or B.

“Our current accountability grades are an indication of the great education Indiana students are receiving,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Our work is paying off and as a Department we will continue to partner with dedicated stakeholders to ensure every school and every student is successful.”

While more than half of Indiana schools received the same letter grade as they did in the 2016-2017 academic year, many did improve their standing this year. The IDOE says 22 percent of schools improved by at least one letter grade. Fewer schools earned an A grade, but fewer schools also earned a D or an F.  

Indiana lawmakers charged the state accountability system in 2015 to put more emphasis on student growth. The grades also come from student proficiency, largely determined by ISTEP test performance. Grades for high schools also consider college and career readiness and graduation rates.

RELATED: ISTEP Scores Remain Low Statewide; View Local Results

Batesville Community Schools continue to be a model for success among area public schools. The district earned an A grade once again with the 10th highest overall score among Indiana public school districts. Batesville High and Middle schools each received an A on their report card, while the primary and intermediate schools were each awarded a B.

“The 2018 IDOE A-F Accountability scores reflect two things: the support in our community and the investment by every BCSC employee in the success of our students. I'm proud our district's performance ranks among the best in the state,” says Batesville Community Schools superintendent Paul Ketcham.

Rising Sun-Ohio County Community Schools superintendent Branden Roeder was glad to see the district improve from a B last year to an A this year. Ohio County Middle School and Rising Sun High School earned A’s, while the elementary school received a B rating.

“I am very excited with our accountability growth over the last several years,” Roeder says. “This year, we reached the point of an A rated district, including two A rated buildings. The students, parents, the entire staff, and the school board should be very pleased to know that their hard work is paying off.”

Like Rising Sun-Ohio County, South Ripley Community Schools also improved from a B to an A as a corporation. South Ripley High School improved from a C to a B, while the elementary and junior high schools earned A’s.

South Ripley superintendent Rob Moorhead credits the the outstanding results to the hard work of students, teachers, support staff, administrators and parents.

“We are extremely pleased with the growth scores shown by our students in grades 3-8 that helped lead to their A ratings.  Although any system may have its flaws, our focus is on building relationships with students and providing them the best possible education each day,” says Moorhead.

Other area public schools awarded an A this year include North Dearborn Elementary, East Central High School, Lawrenceburg High School, South Ripley Junior High, South Ripley Elementary, Jac-Cen-Del Middle School and High School, and Milan High School.

Switzerland County Community Schools underperformed compared to the rest of the region. Switzerland County High School received a B on its report card. However, Jefferson-Craig Elementary, Switzerland County Middle School, and Switzerland County Elementary were assigned a C, D, and D, respectively.

First year superintendent Rod Hite pointed toward the always changing Indiana accountability model and standards. He says many schools have struggled with performance scores on the new versions of tests with the new standards.

But, the Switzerland County school district – recipient of a district grade of C for the second straight year – has a plan to improve its report card.

“At Switzerland County School Corporation we have taken a district wide approach to curriculum this year,” explains Hite.

“We feel this will be a three to five year process to update our standards, instill best practices which will emphasize effective teaching in every classroom, enhance grade level and school to school collaboration while creating a guaranteed and viable curriculum in each subject area, not just those tested, in all buildings within the district. As we make this transition, principals are working hard to begin to look at individual student data points, share these items with teachers and begin discussions that will focus on the social and emotional side of learning as well as the academic needs of each student. Throughout this practice we believe we will see individual growth scores increase and our overall performance scores improve as well.”

Local private schools were largely A and B grade recipients. St. Nicholas School in Sunman and St. Michael School in Brookville each earned A’s.

Oldenburg Academy received a B instead of its usual A, but principal Brian McFee says the parochial school has shifted the focus for all students to new IDOE graduation requirements in lieu of worrying too much about the ISTEP test, which will be taken for the final time in the spring of 2019.

“With the new focus, Oldenburg Academy students are focusing on the three pathways – including a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum, preparation for nation-wide standardized tests including SAT, ACT and ASVAB, and internship programs with community partners. We believe the transition to focusing on these programs, instead of the state ISTEP (which is being phased out in a few years) has caused us to not perform to our usual standard. While our ISTEP scores are lower than anticipated, we are encouraged that our college and career readiness benchmarks continue to be strong - including SAT, ACT, ASVAB tests and alumni success in their postsecondary plans,” says McFee.

St. Lawrence School in Lawrenceburg and St. Louis in Batesville also earned B grades. St. Mary School in Aurora – which is in danger of closing after this school year due to finances – was assigned a C on its report card.

RELATED: St. Mary School Needs A Miracle

The Indiana Department of Education released two sets of letter grades this year due to varying accountability equations and standards between the state and federal governments. About 67 percent of public schools received the same letter grade for both state and federal accountability systems, with 31 percent of schools receiving a higher letter grade on the state accountability system. The IDOE explained that most unmatching letter grades are due to differences in performance metrics between the two systems.

View statewide state and federal letter grades for the 2017-2018 school year at https://www.doe.in.gov/accountability/find-school-and-corporation-data-reports?utm_content&utm_medium=email&utm_name&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term.

 

Southeastern Indiana School and Corporation Grades

School corporation, schools, grades (2017-18, 2016-17)

Batesville Community School Corporation - Corporation (A, A), Batesville High (A, A), Batesville Primary (B, B), Batesville Middle (A, A), Batesville Intermediate (B, B). 

Franklin County Community School Corporation - Corporation (B, B), Laurel School (B, D), Franklin County High (B, B), Brookville Middle (C, C), Brookville Elementary (B, A), Mt. Carmel School (B, B).

Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation - Corporation (B, B), Jac-Cen-Del Middle/High (A, B), JCD Elementary (B, B).

Lawrenceburg Community School Corporation - Corporation (B, A), Lawrenceburg High (A, A), Greendale Middle (B, B), Central Elementary (C, B), Lawrenceburg Primary (C, B).

Milan Community Schools - Corporation (B, B), Milan High (A, B), Milan Middle (B, D), Milan Elementary (B, B).

Rising Sun-Ohio County Community School Corporation - Corporation (A, B), Ohio County Elementary (B, D), Ohio County Middle (A, A), Rising Sun High School (A, A).

South Dearborn Community School Corporation - Corporation (Appeal pending, C), Dillsboro Elementary (Appeal pending, B), Manchester Elementary (B, B), Moores Hill Elementary (B, B), South Dearborn Middle (C, C), South Dearborn High (B, C), Aurora Elementary (C, B).

South Ripley School Corporation - Corporation (A, B), South Ripley Jr. High (A, A), South Ripley Elementary (A, B), South Ripley High (B, C).

Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corporation - Corporation (B, A), North Dearborn Elementary (A, B), Sunman Middle (B, A), Bright Elementary (B, C), Sunman Elementary (D, C), East Central High (A, A).

Switzerland County School Corporation - Corporation (C, C), Jefferson-Craig Elementary (C, C), Switzerland Co. Middle (D, D), Switzerland Co. High (B, B), Switzerland Co. Elementary (D, D).

Private schools - St. Nicholas Sunman (A, A), St. Mary Aurora (C, B), St. Lawrence Lawrenceburg (B, A), St. Michael Brookville (A, A), St. Louis Batesville (B, B), Oldenburg Academy (B, A), St. John Lutheran Aurora (no grade, no grade).

RELATED STORIES:

ISTEP Scores Remain Low Statewide; View Local Results

Ind. Department Of Education Releases 2016-17 School Accountability Grades

School Corporation Letter Grades: A's For L'burg, Sunman-Dearborn, Batesville

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