Superintendent, Rick Shirley, is pleased to announce Sumter is one of twenty “A” districts and is ranked 17th out of 67 school districts in Florida according to a preliminary school grades press release by the Department of Education. Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School and The Villages Charter School received “A” ratings. South Sumter High School increased 28 points, moving up a letter grade and earning a school rating of “B”. South Sumter Middle School and Webster Elementary School also earned “B” ratings. Both Wildwood Middle High (+89 points) and South Sumter Middle (+36 points) had significant increases in total points earned narrowly missing an increased grade rating. Bushnell Elementary, Wildwood Elementary and Wildwood Middle High earned “C” ratings.
Superintendent Shirley said, “We have many successes to be proud of due to the hard work of our teachers, administrators and staff, volunteers, supportive parents and willing students. Thanks to our supportive School Board, we were able to implement new initiatives at all schools to support student achievement. We still have some areas to work on and problems to solve- but none that are beyond reach with the continued support of our stakeholders. We are ready to start the upcoming school year with new ideas and an even greater technology implementation to ensure greater success.”
In the past 15 years, the state of Florida has raised expectations for school performance eight times. It is important for our community, especially our parents and students, to know that learning gains are now more difficult to attain. High schools are further impacted because the 2018 grades do not account for current students who successfully completed Algebra I in middle school. Also, the 2018 high school grades are calculated using data from 2017 in areas such as graduation rates and the number of students who take advanced coursework.
Students in Sumter exceeded the state average in grades 3-10 on the English Language Arts FSA, grades 3-8 on the Mathematics FSA, and grades 5 and 8 on the Statewide Science Assessment! End of Course exam results for Biology, Geometry, Civics and US History were also at or above the state average. Continued improvement on all state assessments is a priority for the school district.
The stakes for school grades are high, affecting promotion of students, evaluation of teachers and administrators and school finances. Schools ranked as an “A,” or who improve a letter grade receive extra money from the state. Schools that have consistently failing grades can face severe consequences including staff removal and school closure. Traditionally, each time the State of Florida has changed its standards, school grades have fallen. More information on school accountability and school grades can be found at: http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/. For more information about the state assessment results please visit: http://fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/k-12-student-assessment/results/2018.stml