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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2019 1 month ago

OCPS releases school grades, district grade

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No school in West Orange County received a grade lower than C.
by: Danielle Hendrix Associate Editor

Results from the Florida Department of Education’s 2018-19 school and district grades show Orange County Public Schools has another reason to be proud.

On July 11, the district announced it had earned an A grade, demonstrating an increase in 10 of the 11 components reported. According to OCPS, college and career acceleration reflects the greatest gains, followed by graduation rate and mathematics learning gains.  

The results were good to OCPS’ schools, too: The number of A traditional schools in OCPS continues to rise, with 63 earning an A this year compared to 55 in 2017-18. The district added that the percentage of traditional schools earning an A increased to 33%, up from 29% in 2017-18.

Additionally, 59% of Orange County schools earned an A or B this year, compared to 53% last year, and no schools received an F. 

The 2018-19 OCPS school report cards released last week include the school’s letter grade, but there is much more to each report card than just a letter. Updated school report cards began in 2017, after OCPS sent a survey to stakeholders asking about what indicators they would like to see.

In the past, the statewide accountability system was more focused on student performance based on statewide assessments. OCPS decided to provide the bigger picture in a school report card.

The purpose of the updated school report cards, said OCPS Director of Media Relations Shari Bobinski, is to expand available information about each individual school.

“The information displayed includes student demographics, climate survey results, attendance, participation in visual and performing arts courses, student performance on statewide assessments, extracurricular activities, magnet programs and much more,” Bobinski said.

Although school letter grades are highlighted in each report card, the information provided allows parents, teachers, students and the community a more holistic view of each school’s progress. Data is collected by OCPS’ Accountability and Improvement Office, Bobinski said. 

New this year is the inclusion of individual school grades. In the 2017-18 report cards, school letter grades were not part of the information provided in the report cards.

“These report cards reflect the priorities of our stakeholders and our commitment to provide a complete, well-rounded education for all children, so it’s important to report back to the community on how each school is doing,” Bobinski said.

“While a single letter grade does not tell the whole story of our schools, we are pleased with these gains,” Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins said. “Congratulations to our students, teachers, principals and staff for their incredible work. As always, we appreciate families and the community for their untiring support.”

Danielle Hendrix is the Associate Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She is a 2015 graduate of the University of Central Florida, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in world comparative studies. ...

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