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.
I am SO HAPPY!!