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Wakulla Third Graders Excel in State, Panhandle, and Region on 2018 State Test

May 25, 2018


Wakulla County public school third grade scores rank 7th in the state and 2nd in the Panhandle and region on the recently released 2018 Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) in English Language Arts (ELA).


Research from the U.S. Department of Education shows that third grade is the critical time for  concentrated reading intervention taught in ELA classes in order to keep students on track for successful progress in school.


By Florida state law, third grade is the only mandatory retention grade. Promotion is based on these ELA state test scores.


“I am encouraged by this first round of released scores,” said Superintendent Bobby Pearce.  “Not only did our third graders rank high in the state, Panhandle, and region, their scores also showed improvement from last year’s scores.” 


Pearce added, “Every Wakulla third grade school average was above the state average, which speaks to the equity among our schools. I commend the hard work of the teachers, reading coaches, and administrators who put their focus on improving our students’ reading and language skills every day.”


District scores include those from Crawfordville Elementary, Medart Elementary, Riversink Elementary, Shadeville Elementary and COAST Charter School.


The state score rankings include the standard 67 public school districts.


Wakulla’s third grade ELA ranking of 7th in the state at 66 percent proficient compares to the state average of 57 percent proficient. Proficiency is defined as scoring at or above grade level: a 3, 4, or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5. 


Florida’s Panhandle consists of 21 school districts. Wakulla ranks 2nd after Liberty County.


Regionally, Wakulla also ranks 2nd after Liberty County.  Other school districts in Wakulla’s region rank in order by scores after Wakulla: Calhoun, Leon, Taylor, Madison, Franklin, Gadsden and Jefferson.           


These are the first 2018 state test scores released by the Florida Department of Education.  Third grade ELA scores are needed this soon in order set up a Summer Reading Camp for current third grade students who can get the intervention they need to be promoted to fourth grade by the end of summer. 


The Wakulla Third Grade Summer Reading Camp will focus on intense reading and language instruction in small classes with highly skilled elementary teachers working on students’ individual needs.  It will run Monday through Thursday from June 11 until July 16 with no classes on July 4.


New this summer is a Second Grade Summer Reading Camp, which will run at the same time as the third grade one. 


Noted Chief Academic Officer Sunny Chancy, “Why wait until our students are struggling readers as the work gets harder in third grade?  This Second Grade Summer Reading Camp is a preventative measure to ensure a good start to the next school year.  Parents have been very responsive, with over 85 children already registered for it.”


Parents of children who qualify are currently being notified about specifics of the Wakulla Summer Reading Camps, which are offered at no cost for instruction, transportation, breakfast and lunch. 


Curriculum Coordinator Lori Sandgren is supervising the Wakulla Summer Reading Camps.


Yet to be released are state End of Course (EOC) exam scores in seventh grade Civics, high school Biology, and eleventh grade United States History.  Other state EOC exam scores for students in combined grade levels are in Algebra 1 and Geometry. 


These scores and the rest of the state ELA and math scores in grades 3 through 10, plus Science scores in grades 5 and 8, will be released by the Florida Department of Education in June.