SEBRING — Fred Wild Elementary School is among Florida’s lowest performing elementary schools based on English language arts data from the past three years, according to the Florida Department of Education.
The recently released school accountability grades showed Fred Wild Elementary School with a “C” grade for 2019, but it was on the low end of the “C” grade range. The school also had “C” accountability grades in 2017 and 2018.
Superintendent Brenda Longshore said plans are being developed now to add 30 minutes to the school day for reading instruction.
The lowest-performing 300 elementary schools in the state are determined based on a three-year average of the English language arts achievement and learning gains points each school earns in the school grades model, according to FDOE.
Specifically, the points for English language arts (ELA) achievement and for English language arts learning gains for all three years were summed and then averaged for each elementary school; then the schools were ranked from lowest to highest based on the average points.
Fred Wild Elementary School was among about 26 schools at the top end of the lowest 300 schools with a three-year ELA achievement and learning gains sum of 88. Statewide, at the bottom of the list, three elementary schools had a 57.
“It’s not absolutely confirmed yet, but it looks like we will be lengthening the day by 30 minutes,” Longshore said. “They are crunching numbers and working with transportation and as soon as all of that gets confirmed then we will be sending out notifications to the parents and teachers as well.”
Fred Wild Elementary School was at the very top of the list, but they will extend the reading instruction for next year for those students, she said. The school made some significant improvement in many of the areas of the school grade and have increased their overall reading points from last year, she said.
“We just got to keep working,” Longshore said. “I am sure that everyone is very driven to provide the very best education for our students.”
The school’s new principal, Megan Moesching, said, “Fred Wild gained 8 points in ELA achievement and 10 points in ELA learning gains from the 2017-2018 school year to the 2018-2019 school year so we are moving in the right direction.
“Although it will be a challenge, I am confident we will not be on this list after the 2019-2020 school year. Per the state statute, schools must incorporate an extra hour of ELA instruction into the day,” Moesching said. “Being that Fred Wild has 45 additional minutes in the master schedule, we will only add an additional 15 minutes to meet the state requirement.”
Other Heartland area schools on the lowest 300 elementary list are: all three elementary schools in DeSoto County, LaBelle Elementary School (Hendry County) and Seminole Elementary School (Okeechobee County).