Article posted on July 31, 2012 in the Sarasota Patch
The Sarasota County School District is one of only 17 Florida districts to earn an A grade from the Florida Department of Education for 2011-12.
Thirty of the state’s 67 school districts were graded A last year; 13 of those received a lower grade this year. In all, 30 districts received lower grades than last year.
“The credit goes to our hard-working teachers and school leaders and to this community,” Superintendent Lori White old the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “They have continued to support us with additional tax dollars through the referendum.”
In individual school grades, despite the higher standards of the new version of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, known as FCAT 2.0, 37 of the 39 Sarasota County traditional and charter elementary and middle schools, or 95 percent, received A or B grades for the 2011-12 school year, according to results released July 11 by the Florida DOE. High school grades will be announced later this year.
“We are pleased with the school grades overall, particularly in light of the more rigorous standards and cut scores,” said Superintendent Lori White. “Our dedicated teachers and administrators will continue to work hard to ensure that all our students continue to achieve at the highest possible levels on the FCAT and other performance measures.”
Twenty-one of the district’s 23 traditional elementary schools received an A grade. Four elementary schools received higher grades than last year: Brentwood in Sarasota, Garden in Venice, Englewood Elementary, and Lamarque in North Port rose from a B to an A. Gocio Elementary in Sarasota decreased from an A to a B.
Five of the seven traditional middle schools were rated as A schools. Booker Middle School dropped from a B to a C and Brookside Middle School decreased from an A to a B.
Five of the eight elementary and middle charter schools retained the same A grade as last year. Suncoast School for Innovative Studies, a charter school in Sarasota, decreased from an A to a B. Imagine School at Palmer Ranch in Sarasota rose to an A. The new SKY Academy charter school in Venice received an A.
School grades for most high schools and some schools that combine more than one level (such as middle and high school grade levels) are pending until the new high school accountability component is calculated. Fifty percent of the grade for schools in these categories will be based on the FCAT component and 50 percent will be based on new components, including graduation rate, participation and performance in advanced courses, and college readiness.