For the first-time ever, schools in the Ripon Area School District received a new federal report card, achieving the highest ratings possible.

   However, they’re not alone. Many other schools in the area performed just as well.

   The schools received the Joint Federal Notification Packet, which reports school and district progress on achievement for students under two federal laws: the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

   “This is the first year actually that federal accountability rating is taking place, so we don’t really have anything to compare it against [such as past years] to be honest with you,” said Chrissy Damm, Curriculum director. “This is a brand new report, and it will now go into effect every year.”

   Under the new federal ESSA accountability system, the eight schools within the Ripon district achieved the highest rating of “not identified” along with the best rating of “meets requirements” under IDEA.

   “That’s the best you can get,” Damm said. “If you’re not identified, that means that there’s no further action, in terms of being monitored and things like that. Schools, who did not receive that ‘not identified’ rating, have to work specifically with the state to do some additional reporting and do some additional steps toward improvement to make sure that their rating does go up in the future.”

   Read the full story, including how the schools will work to retain this year's ratings for next year, in the April 11, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.