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Flagler Is a B-Rated School District For 5th Year In a Row, But State Ranking Keeps Rising

| June 28, 2017

The 2017 school grades just about close the books on the era of Jacob Oliva, the superintendent who took a post at the state Department of Education this month. (© FlaglerLive)

The 2017 school grades just about close the books on the era of Jacob Oliva, the superintendent who took a post at the state Department of Education this month. (© FlaglerLive)

There’s quite a bit of good and some bad in the Flagler County school and district grades the state Department of Education released today.


The report is decidedly better than last year, principally for two reasons.

First, even though Flagler remains a B district for the fifth year in a row, it fell short of an A rating by just three points: its schools combined earned 59 percent of total points possible from 11 components. A 62 would have resulted in an A rating. That 59 also ranks Flagler 24th in the state, an improvement from 28th last year and 29th the year before.

To newly appointed Superintendent James Tager, “that’s how you make progress,” over time, he said.

Second, individual school grades look better than last year, when for the first time in the (somewhat controversial) grading system’s history, not a single school in the district managed an A, including Belle Terre Elementary and Indian Trails Middle School, neither of which had known anything less than an A since 2006. Belle Terre stayed at a B this year, but Indian Trails returned to its more familiar A status, and so did Old Kings Elementary, which really vaulted back to an A after earning the only C in its history in 2016. Both A schools showed strong learning gains in English and math.

Flagler Palm Coast High School also improved back up to a B after a year at C as its improvements in language arts, math and social studies scores helped push it across the B line. It has plenty of room for improvement in its graduation rate (78 percent, compared to 84 for Matanzas) and its college and career acceleration points–points that reflect the number of students who successfully take advanced placement courses, International Baccalaureate courses, participate in dual enrollment and achieve industry certifications.

Matanzas High School stayed at a B, where it’s been for three of the last four years, with an A in 2015.

Tager says it’s in those areas of acceleration that the two schools could work to improve their grades. He wants to focus particularly on improving industry certification numbers. Flagler’s are very low compared with other district. Those numbers were of so much concern for Colleen Conklin, a school board member, that she clashed with School Board Chairman Trevor Tucker to get the administration to analyze Flagler’s low performance and present the findings of a state report to the board. The administration subsequently did so. That was weeks before Tager’s arrival.

There were dimmer spots in the grades report, particularly at Wadsworth Elementary. The school fell from a B to a C, and as an internal district report indicates, the school showed year-over-year decreases in most measurable categories. No other school had that many year-over-year decreases, though Imagine School at Town Center, the charter school, and Rymfire Elementary had several declines in various categories but still managed to maintain their B from last year.

Bunnell Elementary and Buddy Taylor Middle School both maintained their C status. And Palm Harbor Academy, the district’s only other charter school, improved from an F last year, but only to a D.

The Florida Department of Education calculates school grades annually based on up to 11 components, including student achievement and learning gains on statewide, standardized assessments and high school graduation rate. School grades provide parents and the general public an easily understandable way to measure the performance of a school and understand how well each school is serving its students. Eleven of Florida’s 67 districts earned an A, 37 districts earned a B.

Copy of Flagler County School Grades, 2003-2017

School2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 20092010 2011201220132014201520162017
Bunnell ElementaryAAABBAABBAB (C)*ABCC
Belle Terre ElementaryAAAAAAAAAABB
Old Kings ElementaryABAAAAABAABAACA
Rymfire ElementaryBABCAAB (c)*ABBB
Wadsworth ElementaryAAAABABBAAAAABC
Palm Harbor****FN.A.ABFD
ImagineDACABBBBB
Indian Trails MiddleAAAAAAAAAABA
Buddy Taylor MiddleABBAAAAAABCCBCC
Flagler-Palm Coast HighBDCBCADBBBABBCB
Mantanzas HighCDABBBAABABB
iFlaglerBN.A.
Grades are based on standardized tests and other factors, including student improvement, end-of-year exams, AP and IB, dual enrollment, and graduation rates.
(*) In 2013, the state Board of Education agreed to pad grades in such a way as to prevent them from falling by more than one letter grade. More than 20 percent of schools benefited from the padding, including Rymfire and Bunnell elementaries in Flagler, whose grades would have been a C if the actual standards were applied.
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7 Responses for “Flagler Is a B-Rated School District For 5th Year In a Row, But State Ranking Keeps Rising”

  1. steve miller says:

    What will it take to become an A- rated district…? and don’t say throw more money at it…!

  2. can'tfoolme says:

    I can’t believe the students are benefitting from the padding! Isn’t the object to better educate them rather than pad the grades to achieve a better ranking?

  3. Joe Kenda says:

    and yet 48% of them think chocolate milk comes from brown cows..NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Momof3 says:

    I believe students and teachers would benefit if parents would be allowed to walk their child to class in the morning. It’s really good for parents to have a better communication/ relationship with teachers; face to face. Coming from the south (Miami) we can walk our children to class, see their work and environment on a daily basis not by appointment like Flagler county.
    It’s good feeling to see your child make it to class instead of driving up and dropping off!
    These are OUR BABIES Flagler County Schools!!

  5. It True says:

    It is really bad in this district, our kids dont get tought any geography. They dont know where any states. Some dont even know where our Capital is.. The other main reason it this put and teach everything on a computer. Computers are making the kids dumb because they dont know how to research. Get rid of the computers and i bet you would see a difference.

  6. Toni Soprano says:

    Walking students to their classrooms would raise student achievement? Oooookay. l’d feel more comfortable if random adults were not roaming my child’s hallways. How do you know some psycho doesn’t slip in with the parents? Then when children are harmed, whose responsible then? Regardless, a child’s education is a 3-way street: child-teacher-parents. If there’s a broken link (or two) in this chain, a child’s educational success is out the window. Stop blaming teachers for bad parenting.

  7. Momof3 says:

    Totally agree about not wanting a physco to walk in with parents. But a 24 hour notice and approval from teacher for a parent to visit a students class?? What are they hiding? Or don’t want you to see?
    But a teachers spouse or significant other can visit anytime? just recently we heard about a teachers spouse or so coming to the class to shoot the wife and also shot at a bunch of little kids too. Very scary.
    Also agree very much about the importance of the child- teacher -parent link. All 3 are very important to the success of a child. Parents need to put in 1000% into their child’s education. No excuses!
    Teachers are given a lot of important responsibility, their roll is especially important! And they do deserve a lot of credit to shaping little minds.
    —————————————————-
    Did the teacher at Belle Terre get in trouble for sending a girl home in her underwear on the bus?
    They should have been fired. Or the incident at Old Kings Elementary VPK with the young boys, the teachers should have prevented that right?

    Bad parenting is at home. Bad teaching is at school.

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