Parma school officials respond to 'D' report card as they pitch new levy

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Updated: Sep. 17, 2018 at 8:44 PM EDT
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PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Last week, school districts across the state got their report cards. The Parma City School District got an overall grade of “D.”

That grade may impact whether residents pass a 4.5-mill levy, which was placed on the November ballot.

School officials say if it passes it will cost the owner of a $100,000 home a little over $13 more a month.

Janine Andrzejewski is the principal at Valley Forge High School in Parma.

“We’d also look to reduce pay-to-participate fees for our students. So, athletics, extracurricular activities and such, and also reinstate some extracurricular activities that were completely eliminated because of funding. Then additionally, they would look to increase career and tech programs, she said.”

This is the first year Ohio has given a letter grade to its 611 individual districts to indicate how well or how poorly a district has done. The 10,000-student Parma district just fell short of making a “C.”

Dr. Charles Smialek is the superintendent of Parma City Schools.

“A 'D' is not what we expect of ourselves. It’s not what our public expects of us. They rightfully expect more and we do too. I want to say within that 'D' once you start to peel back some layers of what that number actually look like, we were .034 points away from a “C.” What we’re trying to send a message to our community and to our teachers and our administrators is every kid matters, every test matters, every piece of data matters."

Parma has almost a 50/50 split of elderly residents, many on fixed incomes, and of younger people who are parents. That has made it difficult over the past seven years to pass a new money levy.

You can watch the entire CW 43 Focus interview, with host Harry Boomer, Sunday at 6:30 a.m. on our sister station CW 43 and on demand on our Roku and Amazon Fire apps.

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