WASHINGTON COUNTY - The Florida Department of Education recently released the first school grades based in part on the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA), and the Washington County School District was rated an overall "B".

Because the FSA was administered to third through tenth grade students for the first time in 2015, officials say there is no true way to calculate learning gains this year; however the results are a baseline on which to calculate future growth.

"The (FSA test) was measuring new standards, but while the test was new, the standards were not," said District Assessment Coordinator Beth Arnold. "Teachers have been working on the curriculum for a couple years to prepare for the change in assessment method."

The FSA, which replaced the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) last year, is widely known for its tougher curriculum standards.

Washington County Superintendent of Schools Joe Taylor says he is pleased with the district's performance under the more stringent standards.

"I have to stress the amount of hard work the teachers and students have put into this," said Taylor. "With a transition year, anything could happen, and if we were going to have problems, it would have been with the initial assessment."



Individual school grades under the tougher FSA standards are as follows:


                                                            2015 (FSA)                            2014 (FCAT)


Chipley High School:                                        B                                              B

Kate M. Smith Elementary School:                    B                                              A

Vernon High School:                                         C                                             B

Vernon Middle School:                         B                                              C

Roulhac Middle School:                                    B                                              C

Vernon Elementary School:                               C                                             A