The Warren City School District has reached a major milestone in its work to offer students a high-quality education.
For the first time in more than 20 years, none of the district’s five schools falls into any of the federal designations defined by the Ohio Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. Meaning, none of Warren’s schools is designated as underperforming or needing state support for educational purposes.
State Support Team Region 5 Director Michele Moore, in a letter to the school district, cited Warren’s intentional and systematic focus on continuous improvement as a key factor in reaching this significant achievement.
“This intentionality has led to all of the schools being identification-free for the first time in 20-plus years. As a mid-size Urban school, this is especially commendable,” Moore wrote.
Ohio has identified schools in improvement status since the early 2000s with the passing of the No Child Left Behind Act. ESSA provides each state with flexibility to designate and serve schools in need of support.
“Our District has moved all five schools’ data out of an underperforming status due to the commitment and dedication of the entire Warren City Schools community,” stated Superintendent/CEO Steve Chiaro. “Our work is nowhere near completion and is ongoing with our goal of making continued strides and success for all children academically and social emotionally.”
In January, the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) released the latest ESSA designations. Based on federal accountability indicators, there are close to 400 schools across Ohio that are designated as underperforming.
“When we received confirmation that all of our district buildings were free from federal and state adverse academic designations, I sat back and took a deep breath,” said Patti Limperos, President, Warren City Schools Board of Education.
“I have had a front seat to all the work and dedication that our teachers, administrators, and support staff have poured into our students. Climbing this mountain, with always moving educational performance targets, has been a challenge.
“As a longtime parent, and member of the board of education for over 16 years, it was a defining moment to realize that as a school district, we finally accomplished the goal that was set over 11 years ago.”
Ms. Limperos credits Superintendent Chiaro’s leadership as key to the district’s success.
“Creating a team around him, that guides the work of the district, allowing our teachers to effectively implement the mission and vision of the Warren City Schools has been crucial,” she noted.
She said that under Mr. Chiaro’s guidance, the district has expanded its educational reach, not only locally but nationally by partnering with districts across the nation, sharing best practices and pivoting to make necessary changes to improve academic achievement.
“The rich diversity of our district challenges us to ‘meet each child where they are at’. We provide not only the academic component for our students, but also the social emotional, health and wellness, and connections with our community partners, that is so necessary for them to be successful,” she said.
“While we celebrate this achievement, we know that we are not done. There is still much work to do, and we will continue to strive and encourage our students to reach for greatness. Thank you and congratulations to everyone! Go Raiders!”