CFHS Tops the Charts in Academic Quality

CFHS+Tops+the+Charts+in+Academic+Quality

This year, Chagrin Falls High School ranked fourth in the state for quality of education. The Ohio Department of Education gives Report Cards to all Ohio public schools, using data from end-of-course exams and other sources to rate categories like achievement, progress and graduation rate. This year, Chagrin Falls High School earned a Grade A overall. Last year, CFHS ranked eleventh, meaning that CFHS improved its scores while, as CFHS Principal Ms. Asher explained, many other Ohio schools saw scores drop.

“We did quite a bit behind the scenes,” Ms. Asher said. “We went through assessment literacy training and increased the rigor of courses. That doesn’t mean doing more or going faster. It means diving into more cognitively complex problems and learning to synthesize across a variety of scenarios.”

Asher continued that five years ago, the state adjusted its standards to be more rigorous. As a result, teachers had to “fill gaps” in their curriculums.

“Last year, we unpacked state standards, analyzed depth of knowledge, and determined percentages appropriate for the Department of Education in their assessment. Teachers rewrote assessments and refocused instruction,” Ms. Asher explained. “It was a ton of work. I had some teachers that rewrote every single assessment.”

Nonetheless, Ms. Asher believes that there is still more to be done, stating, “We’re going to keep unpacking and aligning our classes. This year, we’re looking at what our system of intervention looks like if a student is struggling, how to use Tiger Time. We are also taking steps to utilize PSAT data, and we have someone coming in from the College Board to do training on how to integrate Khan Academy.”

Ms. Asher emphasized that CFHS teachers spent lots of time over the summer rewriting assessments and adjusting curriculum to fit with the state’s standards.

“We were going through the whole curriculum, looking at how it compares to state standards,” said science teacher Ms. Anderson. “For testing, we looked at the rigor of our questions and asked, ‘Are they at a level high enough skill-wise?’  We wanted to make sure that we are aggressive and keep challenging students while leaving time for review before the end-of-course exams.”

She went on to explain that she and fellow biology teacher Mr. Ricci spent a full day reconstructing their curriculum and another day analyzing last year’s end-of-course exam scores. When asked why she spent so much of her summer working on her class, Ms. Anderson responded, “It’s what’ best for students. I’m going to do whatever I can to make bio enjoyable and structure it in a way so everyone can learn. It takes work, but it’s worth it.”  

Ms. Asher echoed Ms. Anderson’s attitude. “Students here work really hard, and the staff feels very lucky.”