Florida Department of Education releases district and school grades

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Brooksville - The Florida Department of Education released the annual report of school and district grades for 2023. The report, typically released during the summer months, was released today as a result of new testing benchmarks established with the 2023 spring assessments. Starting with the 2023 administration of the Florida Assessment for Student Thinking (FAST), the state will apply a new calculation to determine school and district grades.

According to today’s report, the Hernando School District (HCSD) earned 58% of the total points possible, maintaining a district grade of B. This marks the 6th year since 2015 the school district received a B grade by FLDOE. Hernando Schools did not receive grades for 2020 and 2021 because of the impact of Covid on schools. In contrast to the state’s former assessment, the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) scores, the FAST scores did not include the calculation that awarded additional points for student learning gains.

“We were concerned at first” said Sonsee Sanders, Director of Research & Accountability for HCSD. “But it is remarkable that despite not having the learning gains calculation as part of the grade calculations that the district increased our total points earned from 56% to 58%.”

Five of Hernando’s schools improved a full letter grade. Brooksville, Deltona, Moton and Westside Elementary moved from a C to a B. But it is Eastside Elementary, the district’s only “turnaround school,” that can mark this year as a notable achievement, moving their school from a D to a C.

“We are so thrilled for these schools!” said Gina Michalicka, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning. “The ultimate goal for all of our schools is increased student achievement. Our teachers and administrators pour over student assessment data and spend long days refining their instructional practice together. To be recognized in this way is so validating to their hard work.”

All 5 of the district’s high schools maintained their grades from last year as did two of the 4 middle schools. Fox Chapel and Powell both dropped a grade. With the exception of Winding Waters moving from a B to a C, K-8 schools maintained their grades and the district’s virtual school Hernando eSchool, moved up from a B to an A.

“With the first year of this new state assessment behind us, we’ll use this data and refocus on the 2024 action plan,” said Superintendent John Stratton. Students don’t stop learning and growing, neither will we.

Congratulations to all of our students, teachers, administrators and parents who were part of their school’s success journey.”