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Middle school named ‘High Progress School of Honor’

MINGO JUNCTION — Indian Creek Middle School has been recognized by the Ohio Department of Education as a High Progress School of Honor for achieving standards based on the state report card.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria announced School Performance Awards for 2019 this month and all public schools administering Ohio State Tests were considered for the distinction and selected based upon criteria for the 2018-19 school year. A total of 63 districts, 436 schools and 12 career-technical planning districts were lauded for achieving high performance, outstanding progress and momentum for students across Ohio. Evaluations for ICMS were based upon progress and gap closing components in the seventh and eighth grades and the school earned a ‘B’ overall on the state report card, as well as an ‘A’ in progress and ‘B’ in gap closing.

“Eligibility of our school met the following criteria: We serve 40 percent or more economically disadvantaged students, plus student performance on Ohio state tests over a five-year period [ for the 2015-2019 school years] was evaluated against statewide gains,” Principal Holly Minch-Hick explained. “Our school must earn an ‘A’ or ‘B’ on the overall (all students) value-added measure for each of the three most recent years (the 2017-19 report cards), and our school must earn an ‘A,’ ‘B’ or ‘C’ on the gap closing component on the Ohio School Report Card in 2010.

“The progress component looks closely at the growth that all students are making based upon their past performances, such as overall/all students, gifted, students in the lowest 20 percentile and students with disabilities. The gap closing component shows how well schools are meeting the performance expectations for our most vulnerable students in English/Language Arts, math, graduation and English language proficiency.”

She added that the honor was evidence of the dedication and hard work of the staff and students.

“I am so proud of their accomplishments; it is well deserved.”

Minch-Hick said was the first time the school earned the distinction. It currently has about 309 students in grades 7-8 but yielded a total of 37 last year, which also included its largest eighth-grade class.

Indian Creek Superintendent T.C. Chappelear noted his pleasure with the good news.

“This award from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria recognizes the hard work and dedication by the staff at Indian Creek Middle School. It also points out the quality education that students are receiving at Indian Creek due to a great staff and community,” Chappelear commented. “Great job by the students and staff at Indian Creek Middle School to achieve this award from the Ohio Department of Education and the State Board of Education of Ohio.”

Meanwhile, the ODE named two Schools of Promise, two High Performing Schools of Honor and 71 High Progress Schools of Honor while each program has its own criteria. Among other benchmarks, a School of Promise must receive an A or B on the Progress component of the Ohio School Report Card. The Schools of Honor initiative builds on the Schools of Promise program, recognizing schools that exceed Schools of Promise standards. To be named a High Performing School of Honor, 90 percent or more of all students must score Proficient or higher in reading and math on statewide assessments over the last five years, along with several other requirements. To become a High Progress School of Honor, conditions for a high school include increases in graduation rate over the past five years that meet or exceed the 90th percentile of statewide gains in graduation.

“Across the state, there is increased student exposure to poverty and social stressors,” DeMaria said. “These schools are succeeding in meeting the needs of the whole child, and helping students take full advantage of educational opportunities. Congratulations to the students, teachers and administrators at these schools for the impressive success we celebrate with these awards.”

The ODE is also recognizing 72 schools that have a substantial proportion of economically disadvantaged students (40 percent or more) for reaching high academic achievement and progress with the Schools of Promise and Schools of Honor awards.