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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Jul. 17, 2014 5 years ago

State issues grades for elementary, middle schools

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by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

The Florida Department of Education has released the school grades for elementary and middle schools across the state. In Orange County, nearly 62% of the schools are high-performing, earning grades of A or B, according to Kathy Marsh, senior manager of media relations for Orange County Public Schools. Statewide, the percentage is nearly 51%.

In West Orange County, 16 schools maintained their grade of A from 2012 and four schools earned a C. There are no D- or F-graded schools in West Orange County.

The state will release the school grades for high schools in the fall. Locally, students attend Dr. Phillips, Ocoee, Olympia or West Orange high.

This is the 16th and final year that school grades are being used to measure school accountability through assessment-based performance and learning gains measures.

A number of West Orange County schools have maintained an A throughout this era of FCAT testing. Bay Meadows and Palm Lake elementaries each have earned 16 A’s. Southwest Middle earned 14 A’s in a row; and Dr. Phillips and Windermere elementaries, Gotha Middle and Windy Ridge K-8 all received their 13th consecutive A. MetroWest Elementary earned its 12th consecutive A, and Thornebrooke Elementary its 11th. In its first nine years, Whispering Oak Elementary has received all A’s; Hope Charter earned its eighth A in its first eight years; and Bridgewater Middle and Sunset Park Elementary both have earned an A in each of their first seven years. SunRidge Middle, which has been open for two years, earned its second A, and Montessori of Winter Garden Charter, in its first year, received an A.

Keene’s Crossing Elementary kept its A grade for a third year in a row, and Ocoee Middle received an A for a second year.

Frangus Elementary made a big leap from last year’s D grade to an A.

Lake Whitney, Tildenville and Westbrooke elementaries, along with Chain of Lakes Middle, all improved their grades from B to A. Maxey Elementary brought its C up to a B.

Dropping from an A to a B were Dillard Street and Spring Lake elementaries.

Lakeview Middle again earned a B.

Clarcona Elementary and Oakland Avenue Charter dropped from a B to a C; Citrus and Ocoee elementaries maintained their C grade for a second year; and SunRidge Elementary, which opened two years ago, has received its second C.

According to OCPS: “Elementary, middle and combination schools are assigned a school grade based primarily upon student achievement data from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test 2.0 (FCAT 2.0), Florida End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments and the Florida Alternate Assessment (FAA), which is administered to cognitively disabled students for whom the FCAT 2.0 is not an appropriate assessment. School grades communicate to the public how well a school is performing relative to state standards. The assessment-based components of all school grades are calculated based on student achievement in reading, math, writing and science, annual learning gains for each student, as well as the progress of the lowest quartile of students. School grades for middle schools include an additional component measuring middle school students’ participation and performance on high-school-level EOC assessments and industry certifications. High school grades involve additional components on graduation rates, acceleration and college readiness, which are calculated near the end of the calendar year.”

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