Superintendent sees improvement in revamped state report card for Lisbon

LISBON – If school Superintendent Don Thompson can take anything away from the new state report card, it is the district has continued to improve academically.

Speaking at Tuesday’s school board meeting, Thompson addressed the recent release of the revamped state report card which replaces the previous scoring system for districts with a letter grade to measure overall performance. But the A-through-F grading system does not take effect until 2015, leaving school boards to decide for themselves how their district fared in the 18 categories that measured performance under the new process.

One of the holdover categories is the performance index, which measures a district’s academic performance on a point system, with 120 being a perfect score. Thompson said this category is generally considered the truest indicator of a district’s academic performance.

“I’m pleased to say our performance index is the highest ever,” he said, noting the district scored a 99 out of 120 points. Lisbon’s performance index has improved steadily over the past five years, “so we’re very pleased,” Thompson added.

Lisbon’s 99 points ranked fifth among Columbiana County’s 11 school districts, with Columbiana, United Local, Crestview and Beaver Local achieving higher academic performance index scores under the new report card system.

Thompson said the report card results were confusing at best, despite claims the state was trying to simplify the process. “If that was there No. 1 goal then I think they flunked in their effort to make it simpler,” he said.

In other action, the board:

– Renewed the following head coaching jobs for the winter sports season: Chris Huckshold, varsity boys basketball; Jason Thompson, girls varsity basketball; and Lauren Glenn, eighth grade volleyball.

– Hired Kellie House as the language arts teacher at McKinley Elementary School, filling a vacancy, and accepted the resignation of part-time food service worker Terry Witherow.

– Accepted a $1,138 donation for the athletic department from the Touchdown Club.

– Renewed the contract with Roth Brothers of Youngstown for roof maintenance services for $5,006, a $206 increase from last year.

– Renewed the contract with the Educational Funding Group of Cleveland for E-Rate services for the 2014-15 funding year. E-Rate is a federal program that provides discounted telecommunications and Internet services to schools and libraries. The company’s fee is 5 percent of whatever it is able to save for the district.

– Renewed the contract with East Liverpool City Hospital for athletic training services: $2,600 for fall sports, $1,850 for winter sports and $500 for spring sports.

High school principal Joe Siefke reported, among other things, that this is the first year all students in grades 10 through 12 will be loaned a laptop computer to use for school under a program begun two years ago. By next year, there will enough computers for all high school students to use.

The next board meeting is 5 p.m. Oct. 8.