School grades were recently released by the Florida Department of Education for the high school levels. For Holmes County all grades remained consistent except for Ponce de Leon High School, which elevated from a D school to a C school.


HOLMES COUNTY — School grades were recently released by the Florida Department of Education for the high school levels. For Holmes County all grades remained consistent except for Ponce de Leon High School, which elevated from a D school to a C school.



“We’ve improved by 250 points from the previous year but we still have a long way to go,” said Principal of Ponce de Leon High School Buddy Brown. “In student performance we’ve seen in increase from 22 percent to almost 60 percent, but what some fail to realize is that 70 percent or more of our students are below the poverty level. Our economy is a prime example as we are trying to get recognized as an area of economic concern.”



Brown said that they are in the process of applying for a grant for additional funding.



“This funding is for remedial education during the summer, projectors, computers and any additional equipment required to continue improvements.”



He explained that because of this grade increase the school would receive A+ Recognition funding, which will be dispersed by the teachers to further their goals of increasing education standards.



“My hopes are that next year we will be a B school,” said Brown. “We aren’t looking for a tremendous grade increase that would inevitably decline the next year. We’re looking for steady improvement that will be maintained long-term.”



Ponce de Leon High School increased from a D school to a C school, which was previously dropped from a C grade in 2011.



Poplar Springs High School maintained their C grade from the previous year, which was maintained from the year before, making a three-year streak.



Bethlehem High School maintained their C grade from the last year, which was a decline from a B grade in 2011.



Holmes County High School maintained their B grade from the previous year, which was an increase from their C grade in 2011.



“I was pleased that two schools improved this year and the other five schools maintained their grade from last year,” said Superintendent Eddie Dixon. “We certainly have room for improvement. I look forward to better results this year.”