Every high school in the West Zone of the Lee County School District earned a grade of A from the Florida Department of Education, which released its preliminary grades or 2013 last Wednesday.
Mariner High is the shining light for the Cape, having received an A grade for three years in a row. Oasis, the city's charter high school, joins Ida Baker and Cape Coral with two consecutive years being graded A. North Fort Myers and Island Coast received an A this year, an improvement over a B last year.
"We are one of only two schools in the county to be an A school three years in a row, and the only one in the West Zone," said Mariner principal Robert Butz. "As far as the West Zone goes, it has a lot to do about the students we have in Cape Coral. They see the importance of education and that makes our job as teachers a lot easier."
The only other county public school grading A for three straight years is Cypress Lake.
Island Coast has made the most improvement over the years since receiving a D grade in 2009, followed by a B grade three years in a row before earning an A this year.
"We are elated," said Island Coast principal Kristin Bueno. "The grade is a reflection of all the hard work the students and teachers are putting in. This is my second year as principal and I'm pleased that I was able to continue the progress that started before me, coming from a D in 2009. The evaluation is very rigorous in a lot of areas, so we are proud."
The Florida Department of Education said a high of 82 percent of all high school in the state received a grade of either A or B. Nine schools in Lee County got an A with six more getting a B.
"We're very pleased to grade A in the state a second year in a row," said Cape High principal Matthew Mederios. "It's not easy to maintain an A grade. It's a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff. Everyone is focused on academic achievement. It speaks volumes to the quality of the education in the West Zone. It's solid."
Each school was evaluated by the state on student performance on state assessments like the FCAT test, the percentage of students in advanced programs like the International Baccalaureate program, graduation rates, and student scores on college entrance tests such as the SAT.
"It's a testament to the hard work and dedication the school district has done, putting emphasis on scores and assessments," added Butz. "It shows we graduate students who are prepared for college."
"We are being attentive to every student's needs, not just the IB program," said Mederios. "We strive to meet the needs of all our students and maximize their potential."
In Lee County, no school received a C grade. East Lee County is the only one that received a grade of D, for the third year in a row and fourth in the last five years. The only other high school to receive a D for 2013 in Southwest Florida's five counties was Everglades City in Collier County.
All four schools in Charlotte County earned A grades with C ratings going to the three schools located in Hendry and Glades counties.