Lake Central receives A from Department of Education

Jamie Zega and lakecentralnews

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As the first semester was drawing to a close, the Indiana Department of Education released its school letter grades for the 2012-2013 school year. This year, Lake Central received an A rating from the state.

“The A grade is a symbol of the hard work of students, staff and parents.The grade may not reveal the complete picture of a school’s strengths or potential, but the grade does act as a marker for current accomplishments,” Mr. Robin Tobias, Principal, said.

For the 2011-2012 school year, Lake Central also earned an A. In the summer, the school also received a Four Star rating to add to its state comeback. This rating, however, was the first accomplishment Lake Central achieved under Mr. Tobias’s reign as principal.

“I feel proud to have been a part of the leadership that has contributed to the school grade,” Mr. Tobias said.

In the 2011-2012 school year, the State adapted their grading methods amidst much controversy from teachers and administrators. According to the Department of Education, “Indiana’s new A-F model holds schools and corporations to higher standards and provides a more accurate picture of their performance by incorporating student academic growth and graduation rates, as well as college and career readiness, as measures of success.”

After receiving C’s from 2006 to 2011, Lake Central moved into the A range last year for the first time since 2005. Last year’s sudden change, accompanied by the Four Star rating, has stemmed from Lake Central’s academic growth.

“The assistant principals and the guidance staff have improved our student documentation process regarding graduation and transition programs. Our graduation rate has improved because of the dedication of students, the determination of teachers and the supportive goals of parents. Mr. [Sean] Begley, [Freshmen Center Principal], has developed a data analysis process that has led to helping teachers better identify students’ strengths and weaknesses while implementing researched based decisions to structure targeted remediation. Our vision for success is centered on our Core Values of TEACH [Team player, Enjoyment, Accountability & integrity, Commitment & Caring and High expectations], and we have thrived because of our belief in teamwork,” Mr. Tobias said.

Although some people tell students that grades are just letters on paper, the Department of Education views the school grades as more than just letters to be honored or condemned for.

“The grade is more than an honorable achievement. It is intended to measure not just the success of the students or school as a whole, but it is also meant to measure the success rate and abilities of individual teachers. The school grade can affect whether or not a teacher is retained, placed on probation, or commended,” Mr. Tobias said.

The Lake Central School Corporation as a whole saw improvement as well. In 2012, the corporation produced three A-graded schools. This year, that number jumped to seven A-graded schools of the 10 in the corporation. The corporation’s 2013 grades are as follows:

Lake Central High School: A

Clark Middle School: B

Grimmer Middle School: C

Kahler Middle School: C

Bibich Elementary School: A

Homan Elementary School: A

Kolling Elementary School: A

Peifer Elementary School: A

Protsman Elementary School: A

Watson Elementary School: A