School letter grades released statewide today by the Florida Department of Education reflect expected changes according to how scores are calculated by the state’s accountability system. Approximately 53 percent of elementary, middle and combination (K-8) schools in the state dropped a letter grade. In Pinellas, the percentage was less at approximately 52 percent.
Amid the increased rigor of school grading, five Pinellas schools improved their grade: Bay Point Middle, Oak Grove Middle, Oakhurst Elementary, Lake St. George Elementary, and Woodlawn Elementary. Woodlawn Elementary saw a significant increase going from a D to a B.
“We are well aware of those areas that deserve celebration as well as the areas where we need to improve,” said Superintendent Michael A. Grego.
The district has been proactively working for months to ensure that schools most in need of improvement are well-equipped to continue advancing student achievement, Grego said.
A heightened focus was placed on professional development for school administrators and instructional staff over the summer. Principals were trained on effectively crafting school improvement plans, and a new matrix was designed to help district staff and principals more closely monitor student progress. Teacher professional development was conducted in mathematics, reading, writing, science and other subjects. The successful six-week Summer Bridge program provided additional instructional time for students in need of academic support. The School Board held workshops focused on the district strategic plan and will continue this work in the months to come.
“As superintendent, I see every day the hard work and commitment our teachers, administrators, and staff dedicate toward student achievement,” Grego said.
A visitation schedule to lower-performing schools is already in place and some visits will be conducted prior to the start of school.
“We will continue to work collaboratively with the Department of Education to provide additional support to students at those schools throughout the 2013-14 school year,” Grego said.
School Grades for Pinellas County
Figures include elementary, middle and combination schools (K-8). Totals do not include charter schools.
More information regarding school grades can be found at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org.