Officials from the Ohio Department of Education spoke to parents and school board members at Trotwood-Madison City Schools Thursday evening to discuss what the district needs to do to improve.
According to Clairie Huff-Franklin, director of Academic Distress Commissions for the Ohio Department of Education, Trotwood-Madison City Schools is one of the lowest performing districts in the state, which prompted a visit to the district about three years ago and another review in April.
The district is also at risk of a state takeover in September. If the school district’s report card receives a grade of “F” on September 15, an Academic Distress Commission from the state will step in to help turn things around, Huff-Franklin said.
It was a packed room at Thursday night’s school board meeting for Trotwood-Madison City Schools. After the week-long visit in April, Ohio Department of Education leaders released a report at the meeting.
“They’re…to be preventive and proactive to try to keep them from continuing with low scores,” Huff-Franklin said of the visit and review.
Among the district’s strengths – collaborating with state and local leadership for student success and evaluations of administrators and teachers that incorporate student improvement, Huff-Franklin told the crowd.
But the report also raised some challenges for the district and included recommendations, such as working with parents and educators to come up with a district improvement plan and ensure the needs of students with disabilities are being met in general education classrooms, Huff-Franklin said.
“They need to incorporate more assistance within the general ed. class with those who have disabilities,” said Aeisha Massengale, a mother whose son has a disability. “He did not get that. They put him in a class which didn’t fit him.”
By law, if Trotwood-Madison gets an “F” grade from the Department of Education in September – the third year in a row – the district will be forced to work with an Academic Distress Commission set up by the state, Huff-Franklin said.
During the meeting, school district leaders said with their interim superintendent and new board members, they’ve already addressed the recommendations in the report.
“With the new systems in place…and the financial stability we need to move this district forward, we can remedy these situations, and we have done so,” said Denise Moore, school board president.
Officials with the Ohio Department of Education will be back in six months to see what progress the district has made regarding the recommendations in the report, Huff-Franklin said.
All Ohio school districts, including Trotwood-Madison, will receive report cards with their annual letter grades from the state on September 15, Huff-Franklin said.