Media Release: June 18, 2009
|Florida FCAT Scores by District
Schools grades released today show the St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) with a 10-point increase in total points, giving the district the highest overall score in the state. Last year St. Johns County Schools had the third highest score in the state.
A minimum of 525 points was needed on the recent Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) to qualify as an “A” district. St. Johns County earned 589 points compared to the state average of 524. SJCSD is also one of 34 districts that earned an “A” grade in 2009 and one of only 10 counties to score an “A” for eight consecutive years.
We are extremely pleased that we rank first in the state,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “However, we have also identified some areas for improvement and will continue to focus our efforts on those needs during the coming school year.”
The number of “A” schools grew to 27, an increase of 17 percent. Both Mason Elementary and Osceola Elementary Schools regained their “A” ranking, and South Woods Elementary moved up from a “B” to its first “A.” ABLE charter school also improved from a “C” to an “A.”
Twelve other elementary schools retained their “A” status, including Cunningham Creek Elementary, Durbin Creek Elementary, Hartley Elementary, Hickory Creek Elementary, Julington Creek Elementary, Ketterlinus Elementary, Mill Creek Elementary, Ocean Palms Elementary, Ponte Vedra-Palm Valley/ Rawlings Elementary, Timberlin Creek Elementary, Wards Creek Elementary and The Webster School. Crookshank and R. B. Hunt Elementary Schools moved from an “A” to a “B.”
All seven middle schools maintained their “A” rating this year, and Liberty Pines Academy received an initial grade of “A” during their first year.
The greatest decrease across the state was seen at the high school level. The number of “A”s dropped 43 percent from 120 to 68, and the number of D’s went from 70 to 116, a 66 percent increase. The other three grades all increased slightly, with the number of “B”s growing from 87 to 98, the number of “C” schools from 101 to 108 and the number of “F”s from 16 to 18.
Bartram Trail maintained its “A” grade, and St. Augustine High School improved from a “B” to an “A.” In their first year of operation, Creekside High School received an “A,” and Ponte Vedra High School received a “B.” Nease High School dropped from an “A” to a “B,” and Pedro Menendez dropped from a “B” to a “D.”
“Three of our high schools were penalized for not increasing performance by 50 percent in the lowest quartile,” said Dr. Joyner. “Both Nease and Ponte Vedra High School received a total of 600 points, 75 points higher than that needed for an ‘A.’ But they were five points under the learning gain cutoff, which caused them both to lose a letter grade.”
The Superintendent said he felt the grade Menendez received did not accurately reflect the level of achievement at the school this year. The district has already identified areas for improvement and strategies to be implemented to meet the needs of lower performing students.
Since they are an alternative school, St. Johns Technical High School received a grade for the first time in several years. Even though all 54 seniors graduated this year, the school received an “F.”
“Alternative schools always struggle with a conventional grading system,” said Dr. Joyner. “SJTHS is making excellent progress and meeting the needs of its students, and they need time to build on their success. Their learning gains were comparable to those at our other high schools, and they even had the highest percentage of growth in reading among their lowest quartile.”
The high school grading system will change next year and will include several new categories, such as graduation rate, and participation and performance in accelerated programs. The SJCSD is currently developing academic strategies designed to demonstrate improved performance under the next system.