By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green City School District has taken some heat for low scores on the state’s testing. But the State Board of Education has notified the Bowling Green Middle School that it will be receiving an award for student growth in reading and math.
Now in its third year, the “Momentum Award” is the state board’s effort to recognize districts that have received “A”s on each Value-Added measure included on Ohio’s school report cards. That means the middle school’s report card for the 2016-2017 school year showed students made greater than expected growth in reading and math.
That’s a big deal, according to Principal Eric Radabaugh.
“It really is meaningful for our school,” Radabaugh said Wednesday afternoon. The “A” grade means that Bowling Green Middle School students made more progress over the year than most other students in Ohio.
“To me the most important measure of a school is the growth from one year to the next,” the principal said. “We are honored to receive the award.”
Radabaugh praised teachers for making the difference. “I credit our dedicated staff,” he said.
The teachers use a team approach. “We have a learning environment where teachers share ideas of what’s working and what’s not working.”
Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci was pleased with the state recognition for efforts at the middle school.
“This is another example of the great things happening in our district,” Scruci said. “We as a district are pleased and proud of the work being done at the middle school and for the hard work being recognized.”
The “value-added” grades measure growth in all the sub-groups of students, including those with disabilities. That in itself is notable, Radabaugh said.
The State Board of Education agreed.
“Your accomplishment makes you part of an elite group of districts that are ensuring the academic growth of students from every background and ability level,” state board president Tess Elshoff wrote to the school. “This is especially admirable when your district is operating multiple schools with diverse student populations and varying needs and challenges.”
The letter from Elshoff asked that the praise be extended to school administration, staffs and parents.
“Members of the State Board of Education congratulate you on recruiting dedicated school leaders and school staffs and equipping them with the tools they need to ensure academic growth for every child,” she wrote. “Please convey our thanks to your teachers, support staff and parents for believing that every child can achieve. Your district is a wonderful example for all Ohio school districts.”
The state board is also planning to hold Bowling Green Middle School up as an example for other districts.
“Members of the State Board and Ohio Department of Education look forward to sharing information about your success with districts and communities throughout our state, hoping they can follow your model of excellence,” Elshoff wrote. “Thank you for the work you do to help Ohio’s students succeed every day.”