Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're an A!

The news is in: my school has officially received an "A" from the state.

In Florida, schools receive a grade (from A to D) based on their students' performance, primarily on state tests like the FCAT. When calculating school grades, a number of factors are considered, including the percentage of students who scored at "proficient" and the percentage of kids who improved/showed growth (even if they're still not at grade level). There's even a seperate category that looks solely at the performance of the lowest 25% (the "low kids" in each grade, aka my class).

This is an extra huge deal when you consider that we went from a D to an A in just 2 years. We received a D during our 2nd year (my first year), when we were still in the process of establishing ourselves as a school (this was due in large part to the huge staff turnover we saw in the first couple of years). Then last year, we went from a D to a C--which was good, because we were showing improvement as a school (we even received bonuses for going up a letter grade) but still far from ideal.

And now, this year, we busted our asses and went from a C to an A. We are now officially a top-rated school. And we're one of only 3 schools in our entire district to go up two grade levels in just one year. (In related news, our school district received an A for the first time EVER.)

As you may remember, I was stressing out pretty hardcore in the months leading up to the FCAT. I was particularly nervous because my class WAS the lowest 25% in the fifth grade--so, as I said, my kids kind of count for double. If my class didn't perform well, it would hurt us in a multitude--a myriad, if you will--of different ways. And they ended up doing GREAT. I was so excited.

We knew we were at least a B, which was our goal. But once the FCAT scores were released, we realized that we had a very real shot at surpassing that and going all the way to the top.



Fred said...

We went from an A to a C. The bottom quartile bit our butt, by only 4-5 students. Now, we're going to have to put up with all sorts of "improvement" programs.

Conrats on your hard work and achievement!

Jen said...

Oh, we've been doing those "improvement" meetings once a week after school, every week, for the last 2 years. Not to mention the random in-services (that, as we've previously discussed, really dont tell you anything you didnt already know). One would think that maybe now we can relax on those...but then again, we have to KEEP that A now.

Renee said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! That is SO COOL and I'm so proud of you! All that ass bustin was worth it! Do you get a huge bonus now? ;-)

Jen said...

We should see a little somethin somethin in the fall.

Renee said...

SWEET! Fred, sorry your school went DOWN two grades :-)

anna said...

Awesome! Way to go Jen!!!