BONIFAY – Holmes County School District is seeing the highest percentage of third grade students passing the English Language Arts (ELA) portion of the Florida Standards Assessment test since 2015.

Florida Department of Education released third grade English Language Arts scores recently with 57 percent of Holmes County third graders passing, which means they scored a 3 or higher. Third grade students are required to demonstrate proficiency in reading to be promoted to fourth grade.

The Florida Department of Education contacted Poplar Springs Elementary School’s Rhonda Steverson’s third grade class to congratulate them as being one of only seven schools statewide to achieve 100 percent proficiency on the assessment.

Holmes County School District third graders have continued to perform better over the past four years, increasing the percentage of students passing by 13 percent. In 2015, 44 percent scored a 3 or higher; in 2016, 55 percent and in 2017, 56 percent.

Students who score below a 3 are given the opportunity to attend a summer reading camp to help improve their reading skills, according to Instructional Administrator Pamela Price. The program is also open to second graders who need remediation before moving on to the third grade.

Price says the 13 percent increase in scores in the district is because of the teachers.

“We attribute the increase to the teachers who work hard to teach the standards to the rigor of the assessment,” Price said.