School corporation receives B grade on Indiana DOE annual performance report

The Indiana Department of Education has released its 2018 annual performance report, including indicators used to compute schools’ accountability letter grades.

On the whole, the Huntington County Community School Corporation received a B grade on its performance-based report, first released by the Indiana Department of Education last fall. Factors such as enrollment and attendance, student test performance, accountability and school personnel data such as teacher salaries were used to score schools.

Enrollment of the district’s 5,169 students counted was weighed in the report, with the attendance rate at each HCCSC school up slightly past the state rate of 95.3 percent. The student-to-teacher ratio was lower than the state average of 13.5 to 1 at Andrews, Lincoln and Salamonie elementary schools and Crestview Middle School. The ratio was higher at Flint Springs and Roanoke elementary schools, Riverview Middle School and Huntington North High School.

In the elementary test performance domain, 56.4 percent of students passed the mathematics assessment, below the state average of 59.5 percent; and 67.4 percent of students passed the English/language arts assessment, above the state average of 65.1 percent.

In the high school domain, 33.7 percent of students passed the mathematics assessment, below the state average of 36.2 percent; and 65.4 percent passed the English/language arts assessment, above the state average of 60.2 percent.

No HCCSC school received an A grade for the past year. Schools either stayed the same or went down a letter grade from the previous year, with the notable exception of Lincoln Elementary, which improved from an F grade in 2016-17 to a C grade for 2017-18.

Here is how each school fared on its accountability grade and performance:

• Andrews Elementary – B, with 64.6 percent passing mathematics and 76.3 percent passing English/-language arts assessments. Enrollment was 376, with 376 with attendance rate of 96.2 percent. Student-to-teacher ratio was 12.1 to 1.

• Crestview Middle School – B, with 55.6 percent passing mathematics and 68.7 percent passing English/language arts assessments. Enrollment was 558 with attendance rate of 95.8 percent. Student-to-teacher ratio was 12.4 to 1.

• Flint Springs Elementary – C, with 45.3 percent passing mathematics and 67 percent passing English/language arts assessments. Enrollment was 437 with attendance rate of 96.3 percent. Student-to-teacher ratio was 13.6 to 1.

• Huntington North High School – B, with 33.7 percent passing mathematics and 65.4 percent passing English/language arts assessments. Enrollment was 1,516 with attendance rate of 95.4 percent. Student-to-teacher ratio was 13.6 to 1.

• Lincoln Elementary – C, with 45 percent passing mathematics and 50.3 percent passing English/language arts assessments. Enrollment was 408 with attendance rate of 95.5 percent. Student-to-teacher ratio was 11.3 to 1.

• Riverview Middle School – B, with 54.7 percent passing mathematics and 69.6 percent passing English/language arts assessments. Enrollment was 651 with attendance rate of 95.9 percent. Student-to-teacher ratio was 14.7 to 1.

• Roanoke Elementary – B, with 66.5 percent passing mathematics and 67.1 percent passing English/language arts assessments. Enrollment was 350 with attendance rate of 96.8 percent. Student-to-teacher ratio was 14.5 to 1.

• Salamonie School – C, with 67 percent passing mathematics and 66.3 percent passing English/language arts assessments. Enrollment was 207 with attendance rate of 96.7 percent. Student-to-teacher ratio was 10.8 to 1.

Horace Mann Elementary School, which re-opened for the 2018-19 school year and was closed last year, did not receive a grade.

Of the two elementary schools that were closed at the end of the 2017-18 school year, Lancaster Elementary School received a D and Northwest Elementary School was awarded a B.

Comparatively, Huntington Catholic School received a C on its accountability report, with 57.6 percent of students passing mathematics and 63.6 percent passing English/language arts assessments.

Another indicator was Huntington North High School’s graduation rate of 95.4 percent, which was above the state average of 88.2 percent listed in the report; while college and career readiness was at 71.6 percent for HNHS, compared to 65.7 percent for the state average.

Chad Daughtery, assistant superintendent for instruction at HCCSC, says improving math scores in particular has been a priority for all students since the grades first came out last fall.

“We’ve also spent some time as well on our reading strategies, and we’re in the process of trying to refresh a lot of our reading resources to help teachers meet the needs of students,” he says. “We’ve been really cognizant of trying to give teachers trainings.”

The E-learning program this past year included two “flex days,” which allowed all teachers to go through training at the same time without needing to hire substitutes, Daugherty says.

“Now when we have our flex days we’re able to give teachers training three to five hours at a time,” he explains. “That was really beneficial for our corporation, everybody trying to get on the same page with our resources and a lot of our instructional practices.”

Flex day instruction also included going over the new ILEARN assessment testing that is coming from April 22 to May 17, and will replace I-STEP.

Teacher salaries were also considered in the performance report. The annual salary range listed for HCCSC educators in 2017-18 was a minimum of $34,000 to a maximum of $68,954. The state average was between $34,165.70 and $65,536.65. Salary ranges were not listed for individual schools.

Daugherty notes that Indiana ranks in last place in average change in teacher salary by state between 2002 and 2017, referring to a chart published by Forbes.com. The accompanying article states the average teacher salary in the United States is approximately $60,000.

Statewide, the IDOE reports that roughly 22 percent of schools improved one or more letter grades in 2017-18, with nearly 9 percent improving their letter grade to an A. Overall, close to 64 percent of schools received an A or B.

“Our current accountability grades are an indication of the great education Indiana students are receiving, stated Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Our work is paying off and as a department we will continue to partner with dedicated stakeholders to ensure every school and every student is successful.”

Due to differences between federal and state accountability equations and standards, IDOE also released federal accountability grades for the 2017-18 school year. About 67 percent of public schools – including all HCCSC schools – received the same letter grade for both state and federal accountability systems, with 31 percent receiving a higher letter grade on the state accountability system.

The complete report from the Indiana Department of Education can be accessed online at compass.doe.in.gov/dashboard/apr.aspx?type=corp&id=3625.