In a year when the state significantly elevated achievement standards and increased the rigor of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), more than half of Lake County School District-operated elementary and middle schools raised or maintained their school grade.
Five schools in Lake County increased grades this year, including an outstanding two-letter improvement at Beverly Shores Elementary, which jumped from an “F” grade in 2010-2011 to a “C” this year, and Eustis Elementary, which soared from a “C” to an “A.” Three other schools that moved from a “B” the previous year to an “A” grade this year are Pine Ridge Elementary, Seminole Springs Elementary and Sorrento Elementary.
“I think at this point and time it says something when the bar has been raised and schools show improvement and impressive growth,” said Dr. Susan Moxley, Superintendent of Lake County Schools. “Our entire Lake County Schools staff has been extremely focused and dedicated to providing a quality program and supporting all students to achieve at higher levels. I appreciate all the hard work by everyone.”
Kathy Tatro, Principal at Beverly Shores Elementary, added, “We went in with a plan, worked the plan and worked off data for each student. We had tremendous support from the District the entire year. That includes academic support and physical plant support. The teachers and entire staff were receptive to change and wanted to increase student achievement. We also had great support from some of the local churches and community organizations. Thanks to all and we will continue to strive for academic excellence.”
School grades are calculated solely using student performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and a handful of end-of-course assessments in secondary school subjects of Algebra I, Geometry and Biology. With massive changes this year to the state’s assessment model — FCAT — a decline in school grades was predicted not only locally but across the state.
Changes to the FCAT are necessary as the state system transitions to the new testing model in 2014-15. PARCC, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College, is a consortium of states working together to develop a common core of K-12 assessments in English and math. To begin this transition to PARCC assessments, the state has increased the rigor of the FCAT and elevated achievement standards. For example, the Florida Board of Education adopted in December 2011 new FCAT 2.0 scales and achievement levels and created new cut scores for these assessments.
In all, Lake County Schools recorded 16 “A” grades, including:
While 36 middle and elementary schools ‑ Lake County School District-operated and charter ‑ received grades from the Florida Department of Education today, seven more high school grades are yet to arrive. These grades are set to be released by FLDOE at a later date as high school marks take into account additional measures, such as graduation rates and advanced placement test scores.
An exception is Lake County Schools’ newest high school, Lake Minneola High School, which earned an “A.” Since Lake Minneola High did not have a senior class in its first year and, therefore, will not have a graduation rate, the high school received its school grade early.
One school that did not receive a grade today is Tavares Elementary. Tavares Elementary is currently assigned an “I” rating, rather than a school grade. The “I” rating indicates that FLDOE Education is not able to accurately evaluate the grade for the school with the available data. When sufficient data becomes available, the regular school grade will then be calculated and assigned to Tavares Elementary.
For a complete list of District and school grades, log on to http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org.