The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

December 12, 2012

3 Ashtabula Area City Schools earn excellent ratings

By SHELLEY TERRY - sterry@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — The Ashtabula Area City Schools District has received excellent news from the Ohio Department of Education.

 With the ODE’s final “report cards” now in, three out of seven Ashtabula Area City Schools have hit the excellent rating.

Michigan Primary School (K-3) knew early on that it received an excellent rating, but it was not until this week the intermediate schools (grades 4-6)  Saybrook and Lakeside, which are now Erie and Superior at the new Ashtabula Lakeside Elementary Campus on Wade Avenue, found out that they also earned the distinction of excellent,  school officials said.

“These results are a direct reflection on how hard everybody has been working for the past five years — teachers, principals and students,” Assistant Superintendent Patrick Colucci said. “Parents are starting to support the curriculum and are getting involved and academic coaches are providing on-site professional development in each of the buildings. It’s wonderful.”

And, there’s more good news: In the five county area (Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoney, Geauga and Columbiana), seven schools were recognized and awarded the title of The Most Improved.

Ashtabula Area City Schools District boasts two of the selected schools — Michigan Primary and Superior Intermediate.

“We've always known our schools are excellent and for the state to also recognize it is certainly wonderful,” Superior Principal Cristine Rutz said.

Rutz has another reason to celebrate.

Superior was not only rated excellent, but also in the top 2 percent of high-achieving schools in the state, Colucci said.

Erie Principal Jim Beitel said, “We are just extremely proud of our district and all it has accomplished. The dedication and pride is visible in every building.”

Michigan Primary School Principal Janie Carey agreed.

“Our entire district works tirelessly,” she said. “Great things are happening each and every day.”

Colucci said this is “the best it’s ever been.”

Overall, Ashtabula repeated its previous designation of continuous improvement.

The state judges districts, in part, on how many so-called indicators they meet during the course of a year. There are 26 indicators, and most of them gauge academic performance. In the first wave of preliminary data, people could only estimate the number of indicators their district met.

Ashtabula Area City Schools met 12 of 26 indicators, and it met the state’s 93 percent minimum requirement, coming in at 94.2 percent.