For the first time ever, the Kent City Schools district earned the highest possible rating from the Ohio Department of Education on the latest state report cards measuring school success.
Data published Wednesday by the ODE shows Kent schools earned an "Excellent with Distinction" rating — the highest of six possible ratings issued by the state.
Kent City Schools Superintendent Joseph Giancola said six of the district's eight individual buildings earned an "excellent" rating and two received an "excellent with distinction" rating.
"We knew we were 'excellent' in July, but because the data publication was postponed by the Ohio Department of Education … we had to wait for confirmation," Giancola said. "And until the value-added growth (measure) came out we weren’t sure if we would be 'excellent with distinction' or just 'excellent,' and when we came out with the 'excellent with distinction' rating we were elated."
Longcoy and Walls elementary schools were the two buildings ranked excellent with distinction.
The ratings released this week were the last of preliminary data the state made public in recent months. The final data is on hold until the state completes an investigation into some districts’ attendance numbers.
The district met 24 of 26 state indicators. Click on the .pdf file attached to this story for an explanation of how the districts are rated.
Giancola said he attributes the excellent rating to hard work by the district's admnistrators, teachers and students.
To celebrate, the district plans to post banners on its buildings and in public areas downtown if possible.
"We’ve already begun the celebration with excellence pins with all staff members and the (school) board," Giancola said. "We're working with a sponsor to print banners for each of the buildings that would say ‘An Ohio Department of Education Excellent with Distinction School District.'
"I’m very proud of our students and teachers and parents for all working together to improve our Ohio achievement assessment results," he said.
Explore Patch's searchable database to see how Kent schools stack up against surrounding school districts.