|Published:||Jul 24, 2012 12:01 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 24, 2012 12:14 AM EDT|
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - FCAT school grades were recalculated and now 213 Florida schools have improved one letter grade, including Lely Elementary.
Last year they got a C grade and originally scored a B. The new calculations released Monday show Lely Elementary actually earned an A grade this year.
The odds were against Lely Elementary School from the start of the school year. But, principal Susan Barcellino never gave up on achieving an A grade. "I almost want to say i'm not surprised because it was our focus from the beginning of the year," says Barcellino.
Last year, Lely Elementary took in 100 students from Parkside Elementary School in Naples Manor, a school with one of the highest percentages of English Language Learners or ELL students and with FCAT rules changing, ELL students scores would now count. Barcellino says, "we knew we had quite the job ahead of us."
Collier County superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton says," we defied those odds and did well. That's what's exciting because it tells you we have the best teachers, best administrators."
Lely's teachers turned their focus to individual students in a new effort the district called Data Dialog. They specifically looked at each student and how they could improve in math and writing scores. "We relaly dug in very deeply with each of the students and we knew exactly what each of our students needed to be," says Barcellino.
The percent of students in 4th and 5th grade who made improvements in math went from 49 percent to 85 percent. It's a change seen in the numbers, but also recognied by parents and students.
One Lely 4th grader told WINK, "I saw on my report card there was A's and I was happy about that." A 3rd grade parent added, "it's because of the teachers and their decisions."
Manatee Elementary also saw its grade jump from a C to an A using Data Dialog and when districts across the state are going backwards, Collier County is moving forward. The recalculation means Collier County from a B to an A. "it is having a very specific focus and with that focus we saw the results," says Barcellino.
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