Report Card 2019: Big Bend Schools Make Progress While Some Face Tough Choices

Jul 12, 2019

Credit U.S. Department of Education / flickr

School grades are out and the news is good for three schools in Leon County that had been facing major decisions. Oakridge, Pineview and Hartsfield Elementary schools bumped their grades up to a “C” this year. That allows them to stay under district control. Oakridge was on the cusp of being turned over to an outside operator if it didn’t improve.

“The state’s school grading system will never completely capture the all of the wonderful things that are happening in our schools every day,” Leon Superintendent Rocky Hanna said in a written statement sent out shortly after grades were released.

“With that being said, it does however, measure our students’ performance on the state assessment and provides areas to focus on to continue to improve student achievement.  Given the pressure of high stakes standardized- testing, I am very proud of the hard work by our students, teachers and administrators—they are rock stars!”

Riley and Bond Elementary will get additional support in the upcoming school year. Both schools saw their grades drop to a “D”. Under state law public schools that get two consecutive "D" grades or an "F" must put a turnaround plan in place for improvement.

In Gadsden County, West Gadsden Middle School received its second “D” grade in two years. That means the district will have to consider one of several turnaround options, including a district managed option. If that doesn’t work, the district must consider closing the school, converting it to a charter school, using an external operator or some sort of hybrid plan.

And, in the second year of being a charter school district, the Jefferson Somerset school, which combines elementary, middle and high, saw a dip in its K-5 performance. The elementary school’s grade fell to a “D” from a “C” last year, while the middle and high school levels maintained their “C” grade.