Schools win awards from state report card

Standouts include Xenia district, Oakwood and Bellbrook high schools, and one Dayton charter

More than a dozen local schools and districts earned state Momentum Awards this month for achieving straight-A’s in student growth on the 2014-15 state report card. And Bellbrook and Oakwood high schools received the state’s All-A Award for earning A’s on all report card measures.

The Xenia school district stood out, with three schools earning Momentum Awards — Arrowood and Cox elementaries, plus Central Middle School.

Sabrina Woodruff, Xenia’s director of instructional services, applauded teachers’ instruction and interventions, calling the awards “a tremendous accomplishment.”

“We are ‘growing’ all students — gifted, special education, and lower performing,” Woodruff said. “I believe this demonstrates that teachers are differentiating their instruction and using assessment data to meet the learning needs of all students.”

Less than 5 percent of Ohio schools and less than 10 percent of districts earned Momentum Awards.

Another standout was Dayton Leadership Academy’s Dayton View Campus, one of only 10 charter schools in the state to win a Momentum Award and the only one locally. DLA social studies teacher Kelli Myers cited the school’s collective vision that all students are ready for rigorous work.

Executive Director Theodore Wallace celebrated being one of only four Montgomery County schools to win the award.

“What a story — three years ago Dayton Leadership Academies was on the brink of closure by the State of Ohio and now we are a school on the rise,” Wallace said. “We are thrilled for our students and their families and grateful to all who work at DLA for a job well done.”

Also earning Momentum Awards were district schools from Centerville (Stingley Elementary), Oakwood (Junior High), Vandalia-Butler (Smith Middle), Fairborn (Intermediate), Carlisle (Chamberlain Middle), Bethel (Elementary) and Franklin (Pennyroyal Elementary).

Fairborn, Xenia and Carlisle also earned Momentum Awards for their entire districts, as did Lebanon and Milton-Union schools.

Bellbrook and Oakwood high schools were among 46 Ohio schools (just over 1 percent) to earn the All-A Awards from the state board of education.

Bellbrook High School Principal Chris Baker pointed to ways the school tries to reach all students, like leadership and accountability training in the school’s ROTC group, and credit recovery efforts for students who fall behind.

“We’ve got a supportive community that values education,” Baker said. “I think we also have a very good staff, and just as important as the instruction, they care about students. … The bottom line is the kids and their success. If our kids are able to move on and be successful at what they want to do, that’s the real reward of this business.”

Close to 20 percent of schools got A’s on gap closing and meeting test standards, and even more did so on graduation rate, but Bellbrook and Oakwood stood out because less than 2 percent of all Ohio schools got an A on performance index.