A two-year academic watch status has Oberlin educators implementing new programs to help students meet the Ohio Department of Education-required growth rate.
Langston Middle School was put on a state watch at the start of the school year due to 2012-13 and 2013-14 test scores.
“It’s no one kid’s fault,” said superintendent David Hall. “It’s no one teacher’s fault. It’s a thing we have to work on together.”
The school will be watched by the state through the 2016-17 school year.
“You have to show progress for two consecutive years,” said LMS principal Chris Frank.
“We’re already showing progress,” Hall said. “I’m confident we’ll make it out. We’re making major strides in all our sub-areas.”
The middle school has added more instruction time to the school day so every student can get additional help in understanding material taught in the classroom. Educators are receiving professional development, and enrichment and intervention hours are being offered to students.
Hall is also interested in creating a mentoring program at the schools.
The new superintendent said the watch status is the result of the state constantly changing its standardized tests and scoring.
“In two or three years we have had multiple different types of tests,” Hall said. “There’s a lot of elements happening between these times.”
Frank said each test was set up differently and it’s a constant learning curve for every school.
Oberlin is not far from the required tests scores to meet the state’s mark, Hall said. “Our kids are achieving,” he said.
“We all have to work together for all our kids to achieve at their own levels,” he said. “We’re not blaming anyone.”
Frank said teachers are going through interventions to help each student, Langston has extended parent-teacher conference hours, and parents can have coffee with the principal throughout the school year.
“We’re increasing our opportunities for parents to come in,” he said.
Middle school teachers are even staying after hours to help students who want to learn more, the second-year principal said.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.