Highland receives a five-star state report card

by Chris Studor

There was reason to celebrate at the Sept. 12 Highland Board of Education meeting as Superintendent Catherine Aukerman announced the district received five stars on its State of Ohio Report Card.

Highland is one of just 12 school districts in the state of Ohio to achieve this designation.

“We are extremely proud to earn a 5-Star rating in each component this year,” Aukerman said. “While the report cards are not the only measure of success or accomplishments of a district, it is an important statewide benchmark and provides valuable data that we use to continue raising student achievement and preparing all students for their futures. I want to commend our students and teachers for their sustained focus and commitment to learning, despite all the challenges over the past few years. We are also thankful to have a supportive parent base and community that recognizes and values the importance of a high-quality education.”

School Board President Norman Christopher reminds the community that such an achievement doesn’t happen by accident.

“Our district has been on a journey for the past 15-20 years,” he said. “I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am of the students, parents, staff and administration. There is a level of engagement here in that if a student is identified needing help, we get them that help. All of this requires tremendous focus and it is something to celebrate.”

Board member Bob Kelly echoed those sentiments, noting that he’s been on the board long enough to remember when the state report cards weren’t always as commendable.

“This has taken tremendous leadership and commitment from the staff, students and community. I am proud and thankful,” he said

Aukerman explained Aukerman explained that under the new five- star rating system, which is a change from the previous letter-grade system, a five-star rating means a school district “significantly exceeds state standards.” A 4-4.5-star rating means the district exceeds state standards; a 3-3.5-star rating  means the district meets state standards; a 2-2.5-star rating means the district needs support to meet state standards; and a 1-1.5-star rating means the district needs significant support to meet state standards.

Like the prior system used to rate school districts, Aukerman said the new rankings are based on are based on six categories; achievement, progress (value added), early literacy, gap closing, graduation rate and college, career, workforce and military readiness.

Within the categories are components. In the Achievement category, for example, the components contain students’ performances in English (grades 3-8); Math (grades 3-8); Science (grades 5 and 8); English language arts 11; Geometry; algebra 1; biology; American history and American government.

For further details on the state report cards, visit  education.ohio.gov.

In other news, t   he Highland Board of Education will offer for sale at public auction, the former Hinckley Elementary School building, on Tuesday, Oct. 11, at 5:30 p.m. School treasurer, Neil Barnes, said the board has the right to reject all bills.

The sale will be made to the highest bidder but will not be final until written notification of the acceptance of the bid is given by the Board. The Board           is scheduled to meet on Monday, Oct. 17. Additional information on the sale can be found on the Highland Local Schools website on the school treasurer’s page.

The Highland Foundation also announced it will hold the Parents Night Out on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 6-8 p.m., at UnWined, 132 Main St. in Wadsworth. Admission is $20 or a donation of equal value to support the upcoming Highland Foundation Great Gifts Dinner Auction.

The 18th Annual Great Gifts Dinner Auction will be held Nov. 12, at Weymouth Country Club, 6-11 p.m. This year’s theme is: Emerald City – Paved with Educational Excellence inspired by the opening of the district’s three new elementary schools last fall.

For more details on both events visit highlandfoundation.org. ∞