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OCSD is making gains in preparing students for success after graduation


Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster and members of his leadership team presented to the OCSD Board of Trustees the District’s 2022 data. Dr. Wanda McMichael, OCSD’s Director of Testing and Accountability, reviewed the data from the first report card that the consolidated school district received, and shared the results, this evening. The school report card data shows that 50% of the schools in OCSD are rated average or above. It also shows that the students in OCSD are progressing. 

McMichael also explained that during the 2021 school year, parents could choose whether or not their children would take the assessments. So, if a student in grades 3-8 did not take the assessment in 2021, then the school did not have a progress score for the student in 2022. Therefore, a school with fewer than 20 students to receive a progress rating did not receive a rating in this area, and those points were then reallocated to other portions of the report card, which impacted ratings. 

For example, Bethune-Bowman Elementary originally received an average progress rating; Brookdale originally received an excellent progress rating; Elloree Elementary originally had a good progress rating; HKT Elementary originally had an average progress rating, and HKT Middle originally had a good progress rating, but those points were removed because they had less than 20 students take the assessment. 

"Nationally, student data does not appear to indicate that students are learning and achieving, and the same holds true for OCSD," said Dr. Shawn Foster. "But, I know, and team members know that there are many bright spots like graduation rate, college and career preparedness, and even educator satisfaction for which we are proud. "Further, and in real-time, the C&I team is doubling down on the student progress initiatives that proved to be successful, as well as modifying those that were not, all of which are methods to do what we can to prepare the students we serve for life after OCSD," Foster continued. 

OCSD's graduation rate is 80.5%, whereas the State's is 83.8%. Although OCSD's rate is slightly lower than the State’s, it is significantly higher than OCSD's 2021 graduation rate, which was 75.5%. 

Dr. McMichael explained that a ‘student data tracker system’ has been developed to follow every OCSD student’s progress. She shared that the instructional team and Superintendent meet quarterly with every principal, counselor, and school instructional staff to review student data and provide the necessary support and interventions to ensure students are prepared to graduate. "The tool created allows us to know exactly how students are progressing and what we can do to support them as necessary," McMichael shared. As a result, she expects the District to continue to make gains in graduating students. 

Another remarkable increase was in 2022; 55.5% of OCSD students were prepared for life after OCSD, compared to 47.6% in 2021. The nearly 7.9% increase is evidence that the schools and three career centers in OCSD, combined with the advanced academic offerings, positively impact our students' academic progress. 

Lastly, another point of pride for OCSD is teacher satisfaction. Nationally and in the State, there is an exodus of talented educators leaving the profession. In OCSD, however, we are proud to share that our teachers are relatively happy compared to the State. With over 95% of our teachers taking the survey, their perception of school climate and instructional focus is just a few tenths of a point shy of the state average, at 6.06% (school climate) and 7.1% (instructional focus), respectively. In addition, OCSD's teacher's perception of working conditions exceeds the State at 7.36%. "In OCSD, we know that victory is in the classroom with the teachers, and we are doing everything that we can to demonstrate to our educators that they are valued and appreciated," said Dr. Foster. 

Initiatives to increase student achievement in OCSD have already been implemented. Some of those initiatives include the transition to the iReady Diagnostic assessment, the implementation of district lead learning walks, MTSS Plans, the continuation of the Waterford and Letterland curriculum, and the introduction of grade band meetings. 

Dr. Foster concluded the presentation by sharing, “we know what the data shows, but we also know what the data does not show. In OCSD, we educate the whole child and, sometimes, the whole family. Therefore, we understand the challenges and opportunities that our students encounter, and we meet them where they are and grow them to where they should be," he concluded. 

The presentation, in its entirety, can be found here: Accountability Presentation