LIVE OAK, Fla. — According to the Florida Department of Education’s School Grades, the Suwannee County School District has never been better.
The district received a B grade for the third straight year, but its district score of 655 points (60 percent) was an all-time district high and is just two percentage points shy of moving into an A.
“To get the highest district grade we’ve ever received, our team is extremely thrilled,” Superintendent Ted Roush said. “I’m so proud of all of them.”
The district’s strong score comes on the backing of every school in the district either improving its score or maintaining its score in the case of Suwannee Elementary School. SES received an A for the third straight year and its 73 percent was the same that it posted a year ago.
Branford High School joined SES as an A school, improving after posting a B the previous two years, with a 62 percent. It’s the first A grade for BHS since 2009.
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Roush said he also considers Suwannee Primary School, which has Pre-K through first grades and is not included in the school grades testing, an A school for its part as a feeder school for SES.
The grades are based on four achievement components: English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies as well as middle school acceleration, four learning gains, high school acceleration and graduation rate. Each component is worth 100 points overall.
Grades are then calculated by adding the points earned for each component and dividing the total by the amount of components completed.
BHS improved in every category except social studies achievement (it dropped one point) and middle school acceleration, where it posted the same score. Those other improvements, which included a 14-point increase in ELA learning gains, led to an overall increase of 67 points and six percentage points.
Suwannee High remained a B but improved to a 57 percent, five percent shy of an A while Suwannee Middle, Branford Elementary and Suwannee Intermediate all received a C grade. SIS improved from a D a year ago and posted improved scores in all seven pertinent categories. SMS was one percent short of a B with a 53, while BES had a 52.
“Obviously things are moving forward,” Roush said. “Definitely moving in the right direction.”