Nearly half of area schools received "excellent" ratings on district report cards Ohio Department of Education released Wednesday morning.
Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village School District was rated "excellent with distinction," an improvement from "excellent" last year.
Buckeye Central Local School District improved from "continuous improvement" to "excellent," and Mohawk Local School District and Tiffin City Schools were rated "excellent" after being rated "effective" last year.
Hopewell-Loudon and New Riegel local school districts maintained "excellent" ratings, and Old Fort Local School District was rated "excellent" after being ranked "excellent with distinction" last year.
Bettsville Local School District, Lakota Local School District, Seneca East Local School District and Upper Sandusky Exempted Village School District maintained "effective" ratings, and Carey Exempted Village School District improved from "continuous improvement" to "effective."
Bridges Community Academy and Fostoria City Schools maintained "continuous improvement" ratings, and North Central Academy was ranked "academic watch."
Tiffin City Schools was ranked "excellent" for the second time, with the first time being during the 2005-06 school year.
Superintendent Donald Coletta said he always has believed Tiffin City Schools is an excellent school district, and he said it is nice to have the state verify what he witnesses daily.
"We're very proud of the 'excellent' designation," he said. "Our teachers, support staff, students and parents have worked very hard to achieve this level of success."
Coletta said improvement plans that focused on the district's weak areas on the report card were put in place last year, and the staff did an excellent job of implementing them. Also, principals made school improvement presentations to Tiffin City Board of Education.
Coletta said the district achieved the "excellent" designation during a financial crisis, and even with people losing their jobs, they remained focused on student success.
"This commitment to our mission by a very professional staff is exemplary, and I applaud their effort," he said.
Gregg Elchert, superintendent of Clyde-Green Springs, said the "excellent with distinction" rating is the highest praise a school can get from ODE. He said he is proud of the ranking, and the district's goal is to obtain the ranking again this school year.
"We've done a lot of new things. ... We're trying to use the technology we have available," he said.
Mohawk received its first "excellent" rating, and Superintendent Ken Ratliff said he wants to make it a tradition.
"I'm very excited about (the rating)," he said.
Ratliff credited teachers for having a plan that officials implemented. All of the teachers work hard on curriculum maps and making sure the curriculum aligns with the state academic content standards, he said.
"We implemented some changes. The teachers were very receptive of it. ... (The students) worked hard," he said.
Jim Lahoski, superintendent of North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, said officials want to improve test scores at North Central Academy and will. It is going to take time, he said.
Lahoski said the academy, a hands-on program, has done some good things and was able to graduate 34 students last school year.
"Kids are responding very well. ... These kids are having a good stay here," he said.
In an e-mail, Steven Pritts, superintendent of Fostoria City Schools, said the district faces the same challenges as all of the districts in the region.
"As a district, we are aggressively focusing on the implementation of the strategies outlined in our district's Ohio Improvement Plan," he said. "Our goals include increasing our graduation rate. ... Our (performance) index has improved annually for the district over the last three years."