WAKULLA COUNTY-- Wakulla High School earned an “A” when high school grades for 2011-12 were recently released by the Florida Department of Education.
High school grades are released later than school grades for elementary and middle schools. Other factors, in addition to state test scores, such as graduation rate and college entrance exams scores are included in the high school grades, so it takes several months longer for this data to be gathered and checked by the Florida Department of Education.
States Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “I am excited about the opportunity for our students and employees to benefit from the extra recognition that comes with earning this “A” grade. All of our employees need to be appreciated for the part they play in a child’s learning, from the classroom teachers to the parapros, bus drivers, lunchroom workers, custodial staffs and administrators who work towards the whole school system focusing on a quality educational experience for our children.”
A new grading system for high schools was used for the third year in Florida since schools began earning letter grades in 1999. Florida high school scores now derive 50% of their school grade from Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) and state End of Course Exams scores in Reading, Math, Science and Writing.
The other 50% is now comprised of the following areas: graduation rate; graduation rate for at-risk students; participation and performance in Advanced Placement and college dual enrollment courses; industry certifications earned in career/technical courses; and “College Readiness” in reading and math, as assessed on the American College Test (ACT), and the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT).
Improving for 2011-2012 was the WHS participation rate in students taking Advanced Placement, Dual Enrollment, and Career and Technical Education courses for college credit opportunities and industry certification. When more students sign up for harder classes, usually the passing rates go down. However, WHS increased both the number of students taking advantage of college credit and career/technical courses, and also improved the passing success rates in these courses.
WHS also improved the graduation rate of students at-risk of not earning a diploma. In the previous school year 2010-2011, WHS had earned more than enough points for an “A”, but the area of at-risk students’ graduation rates lowered the grade to a B for not improving five points or more from the previous year. With an intense after-school program, students at risk of not graduating brought up their test scores for 2011-2012 and met the at-risk standard.
“Wakulla High truly is an ‘A’ school,” notes WHS Principal Mike Crouch. “It’s good to get some tangible validation for all the hard work done at WHS by students and staff alike on a daily basis.”
Overall, the Wakulla County School District’s total points for all schools made for an A district rating. Wakulla County has a string of 7 consecutive years as an “A” district.