Florida’s school assessments are in — and three area districts have maintained longstanding grades.
Sarasota County was rated an A district, Charlotte County received a B, and DeSoto ended up with a C. Those grades continue trends from recent years.
This is the last year for Florida Standards Assessment results. It is also the first assessment grading districts in full years following two years of disruptions following the COVID-19 pandemic that ended the 2019-20 school years during spring breaks.
Across Florida, elementary schools showed the biggest gains, where 1 in 5 schools improved grades by at least one letter, according to the Florida Department of Education.
Charlotte County Public Schools celebrated several accomplishments reflected in the new numbers.
Besides maintaining a districtwide grade of B, the district saw five schools improve grades from last year, including Vineland Elementary School in Rotonda West, which jumped from a C to an A.
Four schools saw their grades rise from C grades and are now graded as “A” or “B” schools,” Charlotte County Public Schools spokesperson Mike Riley said in a statement Friday, and 80% of schools increased or maintained their school grades. No school had a grade below C.
Sallie Jones, Deep Creek, Kingsway, Liberty and Neil Armstrong Elementary schools all saw grades go up. However, Murdock Middle and Peace River Elementary both saw scores drop from a B to a C.
“These incredible accomplishments show the dedication of our teachers and school leaders as well as the commitment of our community to continually support student success,” Charlotte County School Superintendent Steve Dionisio stated in an email to The Daily Sun. “Clearly, this ongoing collaboration among our teachers, support staff, school leaders, families and community has resulted in improvements and achievements, and we are confident that this momentum will continue.
Dionisio said the district’s ultimate goal has not yet been met, adding that “advancing the success of all our students must continue.”
“The 2022 district and school grade results provide us additional data points of information that will guide strategic planning and resource development to recover the learning loss experienced by the pandemic and elicit future outcomes of increased academic performance of all our students,” Dionisio stated.
Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Brennan Asplen had a similar message in a statement issued through a mass emailing Thursday.
“While maintaining our A-rating is tremendous cause for celebration, let us not lose sight of all the effort and hard work that was required to uphold our pattern of excellence,” he stated. “Our District and school-based teams will immediately begin working through these latest findings to help us continue to refine our approach to teaching, learning, assessment, and student achievement for the coming school year.”
While the Sarasota County district maintained its A rating overall, several South County schools showed drops from the 2019 school year. That was the last year scored for many schools, since 2020 was not counted and 2021 was optional. Garden Elementary School in Venice showed an improvement from a C in 2019 to an A this year.
Englewood Elementary, Glenallen and Atwater each dropped a letter grade, and Lamarque in North Port dropped two grades.
“Instead of viewing the situation as a hinderance, everyone chose to approach the year as an opportunity for discovery and growth,” Asplen said in a statement. “Rest assured, we will not lose sight of the work ahead to close the gaps that still exist — pressing on to realize our full academic and operational goals as a district and as school communities.
“I am so incredibly proud of our students, families, teachers, and staff members for all of the diligent work that was invested and for truly coming together to support and uplift each other, and I remain humble to be the Superintendent for such an outstanding District.”
The grades released this week are based on the school grades model adopted for 2014-15.
The school grading system focuses the school grading formula on student success measures:
• Learning gains
• Acceleration success
• Maintaining a focus on students who need the most support.