The three local school districts are taking closer looks at the new report cards released by the Ohio Department of Education on Aug. 22.

The new letter-grade type scoring system replaces the former grading scale. The new system now gives letter grades in different categories including achievement, progress, gap closing, graduation rate, literacy and preparedness.

The letter grade system that is being called tougher on the districts because it focuses more on performance criteria and less on the labels previously used like "excellent" and "excellent with distinction."

Another issue with the new report cards is that there will not be an overall grade given to districts until August 2015.

According to the Ohio Department of Education's web site, the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District received an "D" in the standards met category, an "A" in the progress or value added and a "F" in gap-closing.

Newcomerstown School Superintendent Jeff Staggs said the new report cards are confusing and he, along with many other school districts in the state, had a difficult time even accessing the information. He said they were released to the public on the ODE's web site without prior notification of the school district.

However, he said the report cards are drastically different than ever before. He said there is no real explanation as to how the ODE came to the letter grade given to the district.

"We already have plans in place and we are working to improve in the needed areas," Staggs said about the results.

He did say that he was proud that the district received an "A" in progress which shows how much progress or advancement a student has made in a year's time.

"I am happy with the district's 'progress' score," Staggs said. "I am happy to see that's scored high for us."

Overall, he said he has mixed emotions with the school's report card.

"We hope to provide a great education," Staggs said. "We are on the right track, we just need to improve on certain areas."

The district has 1,016 students enrolled.

For questions regarding the district's report cards, Staggs said he would answer any questions from the community.

Ridgewood Local School District

The Ridgewood Local School District in West Lafayette fared well with the district gaining an "A" for standards met and a "B" for gap closing and graduation rate. However, they did

See REPORT, page 2

receive an "F" for progress of all students.

In all, there are 1,239 students in the district.

Indian Valley Local School District

The Indian Valley Local School District in Gnadenhutten received a "B" for standards met, performance index and graduation rate. They did get an "A" for progress but received a "C" in gap closing or the annual measurable objectives.

There are 1,768 students in the school district.

You can check your district's grade here: http://reportcard.education.ohio.gov/Pages/District-Search.aspx