Continued improvements mean DPS is no longer a “Watch” district

ODE no longer designates DPS as a “Watch” district because of its improved state report card grade.

Alex Kincaid
Writer and Content Specialist

For Immediate Release

The Ohio Department of Education has determined the Dayton Public School District is no longer a “Watch” district. 

Each fall, ODE identifies districts that do not show satisfactory achievement and progress for any of four subgroups, which include English learners, students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students and gifted students, and designates them as Watch districts, according to Cynthia Dewey, director of the Office for Improvement and Innovation at ODE. 

The district’s improved report card grade is the reason for this change, Dewey said. DPS earned an overall grade of “D,” along with a “C” in gap closing and a value-added score of “A" in Gifted Education.

"We continue to follow the Strategic Plan we created last year," said Board of Education President Mohamed Al-Hamdani. "We have several newly-elected Board members and we are looking forward to continuing to move the district forward." 

The Strategic Plan emphasizes, among other things, improved attendance and academic achievement for students. Al-Hamdani emphasized that the district's Career Technical Education Programs are an important step toward preparing students for college and career. 

DPS has implemented several other efforts to continue to improve the district for students and staff. Below are five things happening now that are also positive steps in the right direction for DPS.

Be Present for a Better Future attendance campaign

The district implemented its Be Present for a Better Future attendance campaign in August 2019. The goal of this campaign is to reduce the number of students who are chronically absent. 

The campaign involves more messaging to students, parents and staff about the importance of attendance than has been shared in previous years. There are also incentives for students and staff for good and improved attendance, such as ice cream parties, tickets to sporting events and other prizes. Because of these efforts, attendance has increased this school year.

Improved instructional practices

DPS has implemented new instructional practices over the last two years that have proven to increase student achievement as well as close the achievement gap. 

Gradual Release is a methodology that begins with the teacher demonstrating a lesson, the teacher and students working together, and finally, students working independently. This allows teachers to evaluate whether students fully understand a concept before they do work on their own. 

The district also uses tools such as MindPlay and ALEKS to catch up students who have fallen behind and to assist in closing the achievement gap. The district earned a “C” in gap closing on the most recent state report card.

New Road to College Mentoring Program

A new mentoring program for eligible students in 7th-12th grade will be implemented at the end of January. 

Road to College will provide students with monthly mentoring and leadership training sessions with the goal of preparing more students for college and career.

New school-based health center opening soon

A school-based health center that will serve students and the community regardless of insurance or ability to pay will be opening in early 2020.

This is part of the district’s effort to provide wraparound services to students and ensure all needs — not just academic ones — are being met.