Felicity schools rated ‘effective’ by state for the fifth straight year

Felicity-Franklin Schools have earned an effective rating on the state report card for five years now, and superintendent Glenn Moore said that they hope to climb above this plateau soon, hopefully by next year’s test. While the effective rating is the state’s second-highest rating for schools, the goal, he said, is to attain the highest rating possible, excellent.

“The staff is onboard with it, they know what our areas of concern are and what we’re concentrating on,” said Miller. “They know what efforts we are making into making sure we improve. Whatever we’re doing, I’m sure we’ll see lots of improvement in the future on our test scores. We’ve put lots of time and effort in on this.”

The district has already managed to climb above a lower rating once. According to Moore, the district once rested in a lower rating of continuous improvement. That was six years ago. Now, the district is within range of excellent, but must improve in at least six areas to do so.

Districts are rated based on student performance in 25 indicators, ranging from elementary to high school aged students. To be rated excellent, a district must pass 24 or 25 out of 25 indicators, or score above a 100 on an index score that rates the overall performance of students.

Felicity-Franklin has currently passed 17 indicators and scored 93.3 on the performance index. Fifth grade reading and math, sixth grade math, seventh grade math, eighth grade reading and math, 10th grade science and 11th grade social studies remain areas for Felicity-Franklin to improve on before next year’s tests.

“Weak isn’t a term I use, I don’t think we’re weak in any areas,” said Miller. “We’ve identified areas we’ll concentrate on, but I don’t consider them weaknesses. We’ve been concentrating on math, but the way the system works is you work real hard on it and then take a jump. We realize our scores have plateaued for the past couple of years, so that’s what we’re working on. I don’t consider anything we do a weakness.”

Overall, Moore said that reading has been a strong subject area for the district, as well as writing. Math, however, has not come as easy. The district, he said, is now looking at new ways to reach out in subject areas where students need the most help. The hope is to buffer up those areas and come out with much higher scores on the next district report card. For that, said Moore, everyone will need to pitch in.

“We have a continuous improvement plan with three components,” said Miller. “We look at academics, barriers to learning and parent and community involvement. Each of those have activities in it that we’ve identified as priorities. Parent and community involvement is important to everything we do. You have to have their support and they have to know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.”