Plain Local soars beyond excellence

By Nathan Hardie — Excellence is earned through hard work, determination and teamwork. Excellent with distinction then is an incredible feat to accomplish.

The Plain Local School District earned for the first time ever an Excellent with Distinction ranking that is rare to come by.

“When I first saw it, I may have screamed a little and made sure I was seeing it right,” Plain Local Superintendent Brent May said. “I was just plain excited.”

May, who is in his second year as superintendent, made sure that being Excellent with Distinction was one of the goals for the district.

For a district to reach Excellent, they must meet at least 25 out of 26 indicators and/or have a performance index of at least 100 or higher. To reach Excellent with distinction, a school must meet “above expected growth” for at least one consecutive year.

“I give all the credit to the teachers. Without them, we would not have been able to achieve this. Props to the teachers,” said principal Ken Faye.

Every individual school receives its own rating. The range for the district goes from Effective to Excellent with Distinction. The high school received an Excellent.

“There are two subgroups we need to work on to bring our school up to Excellent with Distinction,” Faye said. “The new school policies will force kids to go to class, so of course it will help people learn.”

With the district being awarded an Effective rating last year, a step down from Excellent the year previous, the Excellent with Distinction rating came as a major step up for the district.

With such a drastic jump, the news of the improvement came to some as a surprise.

“The news blew me away,” senior Jessica Imhoff said. “I feel that people are starting to take their education more seriously, and it makes me really happy. It is about time.”

According to the 2010-2011 School Year Report Card for the Plain Local Schools 94.5% of students graduate. This is coming from a district where 42.2% of students are Economically Disadvantaged.

One of the best statistics coming from this report is that only 0.1% of core academic subject elementary and secondary classes are not taught by highly qualified teachers. This provides hope for future improvement over the years as a district.

“I think that it is good that we got this because it shows that even though we can be GlenJoke at times, we should taken seriously. We have a strong school district that deserves respect,” senior Nicole Fahrni said.

It is hopeful that this rating will help define the school year educationally for the entire district.

“I have a good feeling that this is going to be the best year ever,” Faye said.

Meeting 26 out of 26 State Indicators is no easy task, and it came as a result of the district being above the level of expected growth for the year.

This comes as a major achievement for Plain. Local. as a whole.

[Updated Aug. 6, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]