School grades dropped in Lee County, but The Sanibel School kept its A rating for another year.
The Florida Department of Education released school grades based on student test scores last week. The Sanibel School earned 761 out 900 points, according to data from the FLDOE.
Lee County's overall grade for 2013 dropped from a B to C, which mirrored decreases in Charlotte, Collier and Glades counties.
Thirty-seven percent of district schools earned an A this year, compared to 29 percent statewide, and Lee County ranked third in the state for the number of schools earning an A or B.
Dr. Nancy Graham, superintendent of schools for the Lee County School District, said she was pleased to see some schools in the district maintain their grades and others show gains, which was a challenge with more rigorous standards under the Common Core initiative.
"The bar was raised this year in as far as performance. Five schools improved a letter grade and 41 remained the same while everything got more challenging," Graham said. "I'm pleased. We have work to do with schools that dropped grades, but I'm pleased with the progress."
School grades declined statewide this year because of the many changes that were made to the calculation. The primary impact was felt from the increase of the passing score for FCAT writing (which increased from a score of 3.0 in 2011-12 to a 3.5 last year).
Common Core was another reason for the drop.
"This was a tough year. We had a lot of changes, cut scores were raised and we had no extra time to provide training to address those variables," Graham said. "The accountability direction is in transition."
Moving forward, Graham said she will look at improving these grades in the year ahead by concentrating on areas that need work.
"We need to focus on instruction, what is the purpose of our being, and continue to focus on our core leaders are capable of helping teachers and providing the resources for them to work with our students," said Graham. "It's a group effort and we'll make sure things are in place for people to do well."
High school grades will be finalized when additional data is collected by the state this fall.
To see how your school did, check online at: schoolgrades.fldoe.org and click under Preliminary School Grades for 2013.