Dear London Families,
I am happy to share some positive news about the London City School District's progress during the 2022-2023 school year, as highlighted by the recently released report cards from the Ohio Department of Education. For the third consecutive year, both our district and individual schools have demonstrated notable improvement in student achievement. The district's overall performance index score, which measures the achievement of every student on every state test, has surged by more than 12% over the past two years. Additionally, we are proud to report a six-year streak of rising graduation rates, with nearly 95% of London students meeting the graduation requirements annually.
One particular achievement to highlight is our students' accumulation of 967 college credit hours during the 2022-2023 school year through London's College Credit Plus program. This initiative, which features 11 courses exclusively taught at LHS, has resulted in no less than $165,000 in tuition savings for students and families. This accomplishment stands in stark contrast to the situation almost a decade ago when London students earned only a handful of college credits each year.
Ohio's new star rating system evaluates schools annually, ranging from one star (Significantly below standards) to five stars (Significantly exceeds state standards), in half-star increments. Overall, London received a 3-star rating, indicating that we met state standards for performance this year. In individual components, the district achieved the following scores: achievement (3 - meets state standards), progress (2 - fell short of growth expectations), gap closing (3 - meets state standards), early literacy (2 - requires support to meet state standards), and graduation rate (4 - exceeds state standards). Ratings for College, Career, Workforce, and Military Readiness are pending. From a school perspective, London High School earned a commendable 4 (Exceeds state standards), London Elementary achieved a 3.5 (Meets state standards), and London Middle School received a 2 (Below state standards).
Despite these accomplishments, we recognize that our district has a number of areas to improve. Likely, the biggest barrier to student achievement in our district is attendance. Last year, our district's average attendance rate stood at 91.1%, with a concerning 29.8% of students classified as "chronically absent" (missing no fewer than 18 days of school). Since the pandemic disrupted the 2020-2021 school year, the number of chronically absent students has risen by over 10%.
Effective school attendance is indisputably fundamental to a student's success. Chronic absences immediately place students at higher risk, particularly in the early grades where chronic absenteeism significantly impacts reading proficiency. Students unable to read at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Furthermore, persistent school absences can have lasting consequences into adulthood, including increased likelihood of unemployment, poor health, and involvement with the criminal justice system.
While the district has implemented dedicated attendance intervention programs, employed a Student Support Specialist (Melissa Canney) to help break down environmental barriers to student success, and fostered a productive partnership with the Madison County Courts system, it is important to emphasize that attendance is a shared responsibility between home and school. We encourage parents to prioritize attendance and collaborate closely with our school staff to develop effective strategies that promote regular school attendance. Together, we can provide our students with better success and ultimately better outcomes.
Our district remains committed to utilizing a data-driven, strategic improvement process in each of our schools to continually enhance areas of strength and address areas of concern. We invite you to learn more about our district's improvement process on our website.
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the success of our students and community.
Dr. Lou Kramer