Wakulla County public school district ranked 10th in the state for school year 2015-2016 District Grades released by the Florida Department of Education on July 8.
“This was quite an accomplishment, considering the challenges Florida school districts have faced with the implementation of new state tests,” stated Superintendent Bobby Pearce.
Overall, the Wakulla School District earned a letter grade of “B”. Noted Superintendent Pearce, “While I was happy with our achievement, I was disappointed that that Florida Department of Education did not seem to make the public clearly aware of the difference this year that students’ learning gains counted in the grades. They were excluded in last year’s district grades because the new test could not show gains. District grades dropped from 15 districts with an ‘A’ last year to 3 with an ‘A’ this year because of adding learning gains,” noted Superintendent Pearce.
“However, we are excited to have this real baseline data. Now we know what the target actually looks like so we can move forward with a solid plan to make sure every one of our students shows a year’s worth of growth or more,” he said.
Students in grades 3 through 10 were assessed on English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. In addition, several grades were also assessed on Science and Social Studies.
Wakulla’s Science and Social Studies test scores both ranked 8th in the state.
Other areas factored into the district grades besides just straight test scores. They were: student learning gains; how the lowest 25 percent of students improved; middle school and high school acceleration, meaning success in high school classes for middle schools and success in college classes and industry certifications for high schools; and the graduation rate for high schools.
Percent tested is also considered. Wakulla tested 99 percent of its students.
Individual school grades are:
“A” – Riversprings Middle School and Shadeville Elementary School;
“B” – Wakulla High School, Wakulla Middle School, Crawfordville Elementary School, and Riversink Elementary School;
“C” – Medart Elementary School
COAST Independent Charter School earned a “D”, and also factors into the Wakulla district grade.
Of the 36 Florida school districts with less than 16,000 students, Wakulla ranked 3rd out of the 36 smaller districts.
Of the 67 school districts of all sizes, Wakulla was 10th statewide after St. John’s, Okaloosa, Sarasota, Nassau, Santa Rosa, Brevard, Gilchrist, Seminole, and Martin.