SEBRING — While there were a few bright spots, overall Highlands District schools were significantly below the statewide results on the science assessments and biology I EOC (end-of-course exam).

On the Biology I EOC, Highlands maintained 54% at Level 3 and above while statewide it improved from 65% in 2018 to 67% in 2019.

State assessment scores are ranked in five achievement levels with Level 3 considered “on grade level” and Levels 4 and 5 above average and Levels 1 and 2 needing improvement.

At the school level in Highlands, the percentage of students in Level 3 and above on the Biology I EOC were 45% at Avon Park High School, 62% at Lake Placid High School, 56% at Sebring High School and 40% for Highlands Virtual School, the district’s online education program.

The FDOE showed comparison data for all science in eighth-grade (statewide science and biology EOC).

Statewide the percentage in Level 3 or above slipped from 52% in 2018 to 51% in 2019 while Highlands slipped from 43% to 41%.

In the statewide fifth-grade science assessment, the statewide percentage in Level 3 and above slipped from 55% in 2018 to 53% in 2019 while Highlands fell from 50% to 43%.

Following are the 2019 elementary school results in Highlands for the percentage of students in Level 3 and above on the fifth-grade science assessment:

• Avon — 34%.

• Cracker Trail — 55%.

• Lake Country — 40%.

• Lake Placid — 46%.

• Memorial — 38%.

• Park — 35%.

• Sun ‘n Lake — 61%.

• Woodlawn -42%.

The FDOE press release noted all subgroups increased performance in Biology 1.

African American students increased by 3 percentage points, Hispanic students and students with disabilities increased by 2 percentage points, and white students, economically disadvantaged students and English language learners increased by 1 percentage point.

In Biology 1, the achievement gap between African American and white students narrowed by 2 percentage points and the achievement gap between Hispanic and white students narrowed by 1 percentage point.


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