The Goshen Local School District is already hard at work in assuring that next year’s rating from the Ohio State Department of Education is excellent.
“We have received an effective rating from the state,” said Curriculum Director Martha Moesker. “We are not yet rated excellent, but we are certainly on the right road.”
The Ohio report cards use multiple measures in determining each school’s designation. There are a total of 25 indicators for the rating and at least seventy-five percent of all students tested must score proficient or higher on any given assessment test.
Goshen schools met 23 of these 25 indicators, falling short only in the eight grade reading and the eight grade mathematics assessments. The state requirement for these areas is 75 percent. Goshen’s score for eight grade reading was 70.8 percent and eight grade mathematics was 66.2 percent.
“We are concerned about reading and writing at the eight grade level,” said Moesker. “We are putting our best resources into the middle school. For example, the school district’s literary specialist is now housed in the middle school. Also, for the last two years, we have written and received a literacy grant in the middle school which gives us extra funding.”
There are also two classes of individualized tutoring for the most challenged middle school readers.
“We believe that intervention is better than retention,” Moesker says. “We need to assess who is having a problem, where the problem is, and then get in there and intervene.”
The Goshen school district is doing many other things to assure a future excellent rating.
“We are looking at and implementing many other strategies in order to to affect change. We have mapped our curriculum and decided what we are going to teach in every core subject. Then we will map those assessments to ensure that we are challenging our students in an engaging, exciting, and authentic way. This will lift students to the curriculum in a more hands-on and meaningful way. Finally, you plan instruction based on those results.”
The Goshen school district relies heavily upon their teachers to ensure the success of every student.
“We have some magnificent educators at Goshen who work really, really hard,” she said. “We have made very strategic hiring decisions in regard to our teaching staff. We are not looking for good teachers, we are looking for great teachers. Some of our students do not come from literacy rich homes. We care about them and we want to be able to interest them. We want to be able to offer them something exciting and relevant. When you do these things, children learn. This cycle of interested learning has to start with great teachers.”
Moesker feels that their commitment over time will improve all of the scores, not just those areas that need some improvement.
“It has taken a lot of teamwork to get this far. The Goshen parents, teachers, and administrators spend countless hours working together and focusing on the education of our students. Everything we do and every decision we make is based upon the foundation and belief that it is all about the kids. We will continue on towards excellence and we will get there. It is not where we start that matters, it’s where we finish.”