VWCS rank high in academic growth
DAVE MOSIER/independent editor
The Van Wert City Board of Education got some positive reinforcement concerning academic growth in the district from a study conducted by Battelle for Kids and SOAR (Success Oriented Achievement Realized, a non-profit organization that develops programs for students and adults with Learning Disabilities (LD) and Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (AD/HD).
The consulting firms ranked all 609 Ohio school districts based on students’ progress between the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years, using the Ohio Department of Education’s “value-added” date to compile the rankings.
Van Wert City Schools was ranked 79th among the 609 school districts, and fifth in the northwest Ohio region that totals 48 school districts, including the other Western Buckeye League schools. The only WBL school district ahead of Van Wert was Celina City Schools, which ranked 68th among Ohio districts and third in the northwest Ohio region. Crestview Local Schools ranked 241st among the 609 districts, while Lincolnview was 345th among the 609 districts in student progress.
The rankings were also done by color, with green representing more than a year’s worth of academic growth, yellow exactly a year’s worth of growth and red less than a year’s worth of growth.
Van Wert was ranked in the green category, while Crestview and Lincolnview were both ranked in the yellow category.
“We are doing things right and are working very hard,” said Superintendent Ken Amstutz of the Battelle/SOAR rankings. “Our teachers and administrators should be commended.”
Also Wednesday, the board heard a year-ending report from high school guidance counselors Connie Ainsworth and Kerry Koontz and also approved a package to seek bids for projectors for the new grades 1-5 elementary school and the Jefferson Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten building. Bids for playground equipment were also opened, with Amstutz noting that the low bid was $97,113.
Ainsworth talked about the recently graduated Class of 2012, noting that Rhodes State was the most popular choice among 2012 VWHS graduates, a trend she says has developed over the past several years. The most popular major is in the health professions.
Koontz talked about testing, and noted that Ohio Graduation Test scores have improved in every curriculum category during the 2011-2012 school year.
The board also took some personnel-related action, accepting the resignation of fifth-grade teacher Mary Martz, after 32 years of service, and then approving a new contract for her as elementary librarian. Ashley McElroy was hired to replace Martz in the fifth-grade classroom.
Nick Adams was also employed as a preschool teacher at the Van Wert Early Childhood Center, Matt Krites as a VWHS business instructor and Adam Foster and Jacob Olson were hired as summer help on an as-needed basis.
Supplemental contracts approved include the following: Kent Smelser, assistant football coach; McElroy, high school football cheerleading coach; and Adam Tussing, high school volunteer football coach.
The board also approved Fiscal Year 2012 permanent appropriations, the FY 2013 temporary appropriations and the district five-year forecast.
The next meeting of the Van Wert City Board of Education will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, in the First Federal Lecture Hall of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.