District earns five stars in state’s inaugural overall rating, will take a deeper look at select areas

by Judy Stringer

The Hudson City School District earned an overall rating of five stars, the highest a district can receive, on the 2023 Ohio School Report Card.

This is the second year the state has used star-based scores – rather than letter grades – on individually rated subcategories and the first year of overall star ratings. A five-star rating significantly exceeds state standards, three meets them and one “needs significant support to meet state standards.”

Assistant Superintendent Doreen Osmun said she is proud of teachers, administrators, support staff, students and community members – “all of us working together, not against each other, to have these kinds of results.”

Osmun addressed the report card, drilling down on some specific improvement opportunities, at a Sept. 28 board of education meeting, just two weeks after the state results were released.

In addition to a five-star overall rating, Hudson earned five stars in four of the five subcategories measured by the state in this latest report card iteration. It also scored a 105.1 in its Performance Index Ranking, a measure tied directly to statewide testing, placing the district among the top 20 highest performing Ohio school systems.

The one subcategory where Hudson schools received four rather than five stars is a measure called “progress,” which, according to Osmun, relies on predictive modeling to assess a student’s year-to-year learning growth. The state’s data shows three areas where “the district fell short of student growth expectations,” she said, noting those are seventh-grade language arts, fifth-grade science and eighth-grade math.

Osmun said detailed data – by grade- or teacher-level, for instance – have not yet been released, obscuring any additional insight into what is going on.

“I need to look at the data a little bit closer,” she said, anticipating that data would be available sometime in October. 

Other areas that administrators plan to evaluate on a deeper level based on this report card include the district’s chronic absence rate, which is 9.7%, and services to gifted students. Osmun suggested shortcomings in the latter may be partly due to how the district reports its gifted services and how some students, specifically high-performing middle school math students, are identified for differentiated services.

“We are already doing this work,” she said. “We are going to make sure our math teachers have the professional development, and they will be writing a website for the students who are gifted in math.”

Early literacy update

Osmun also revisited the district’s efforts to beef up literacy performance among its youngest students.

According to this fall’s literary assessment, she said, 52 of Hudson’s current second-grade students need intensive intervention to catch up to their peers, down from 67 when those students were first-graders. Likewise, the number of third-graders that required intensive intervention last year, 51, fell to 42.

“We are hovering in pre-COVID numbers right now,” Osmun said.

The reading scores of first-graders showed a growth in the number of students qualifying for intensive intervention from 12 in kindergarten to 32 this year. Osmun said the “dip” is expected because of the addition of new assessments. There was also a slight uptick in fourth-graders needing those intensive reading services from 33 at the end of third-grade to 44 this year.

Still, she commented about the overall progress, “We are hopeful, we are excited, and we have added more interventions than ever.” ∞