SALEM - An A on the Salem school district's latest state report card earned Superintendent Tom Bratten an invitation to lunch Oct. 29.
That same grade for student performance also earned invitations for the principals at Reilly Elementary, Salem Junior High and Salem High School.
The Eastern Ohio Education Partnership extended the invite to all school districts and schools which scored an A at the state level on the new report card for standards met, performance indicators or overall value added.
Salem received an A for meeting 22 of the 24 required performance indicators, based on how many students in the district passed the state tests at a proficient level or higher. At least 75 percent have to pass in order to get credit for meeting the indicator. Salem missed out on two indicators, one for fifth grade math where the percentage was 74.2 percent, and one for fifth-grade science with a percentage of 67.7 percent.
According to Bratten, under the old report card system, meeting 22 of the 24 performance indicators would have given the district a rating of excellent. This year, though, the state awarded separate letter grades in different areas and no overall grade.
He was pleased with the outcome of the performance indicators because they offer an overall picture in the area of achievement. He said it "shows off the talents of our teaching staff and our students."
He said the fact that they reached excellent status in that area is what people need to remember. The district focused its attention on the overall student population and continues to focus on helping all students achieve.
The performance indicators include: math and reading in third, fourth and sixth grades; math, reading and science in fifth, seventh and eighth grades; and math, reading, science, social studies and writing in 10th and 11th grades for the Ohio Graduation Test.
The district will receive the recognition for achieving academic excellence during the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership Excellence in Education luncheon to be held at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. Bratten will represent the district, along with principals Cindy Viscounte, Sean Kirkland and Dr. Joe Shivers.
"There is an unbelievable amount of hard work from our students and staff that goes into reaching this achievement and they are to be highly commended. Our staff does a tremendous job focusing on the daily needs of our students, and our students come every day ready to work and learn. None of these achievements happen without the total cooperation from both sides towards that common goal," he wrote in a press release.
During a recent school board meeting, board member Howard Rohleder gave a brief overview of how the district fared on the new report card and what goals the district had this year at each school building.
The district received a B for the performance index and a B in the area of gap closing, which looks at whether every student is succeeding regardless of race, income, culture or disability.
For the progress area, which looks at whether students received a year's worth of growth, every single student would have to make a year of progress just for the district to receive a C, Rohleder explained. According to the state report card, Salem received a D.
For graduation rates, Salem received a C, graduating 87.4 percent of students in four years.
The focus of the schools will be: Buckeye, reading; Reilly, special education and reading; Southeast, fifth grade math and science; Junior High, inclusion of special education students; Senior High, focus on graduation rate and prepared for success measures.
Salem's report card can be found on the Ohio Department of Education website at reportcard.education.ohio.gov by clicking on district and looking up Salem.