J.D Parker Elementary: first school to receive a 'D' grade in more than a decade in Martin County

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Education released grades Friday for elementary and middle schools.

In Martin County, the district overall received a B.

One school in the county, however, received an individual grade of a D, the first time a Martin County school has been given a D in nearly 12 years.

J.D Parker Elementary School has dropped a grade level each year for the last 4 years.

One parent says she is not concerned about the grade.

Two generations of Vikki Tobiasz’s family have gone to the school. “My second grade teacher retired the year that my 5th grader started there,” Tobiasz said.

“My kids have a wonderful experience there.” Both are in gifted programs, Tobiasz explained.

She says her kids are learning well, and succeeding in school. “I’m not concerned about [the grade]. I’m not a fan of the standardized test.”

The grade is determined by the results of standardized FCAT testing. This will be the last year that the FCAT will be used to evaluate school performance.

"It's not a reflection of the school. It's the sum of a standardized test that measured performance on one day," Tobiasz stressed.

Meanwhile, only one school in Martin County showed improvement.

Six schools dropped one grade level.

Nine maintained the same grade as last year.

Martin County School District Superintendent, Laurie Gaylord, released the following statements in part:

“School grades are based on a complex calculation of student performance and proficiency and consider many factors. “

A letter grade may drop due to a variety of circumstances and each school is developing a plan to address their specific concern at each school.  Our instructional, support staffs, and students are working hard at every school and some of these grades may not reflect the diligence of their effort,” she said.

“There have been so many changes and so many new factors; it is difficult to get a clear picture of what these grades really mean,” Gaylord said. “And now we are preparing for the new ‘Florida Standards’ and a whole new set of assessments for the 2014-15 school year.” 

“At the same time, we are putting action plans in to place to address the schools that declined, including intensified and targeted professional development for our instructional teams and employing best practices from our schools that continued to perform well.  We are laser focused on student achievement,” added Gaylord. 

Tobiasz isn’t worried about her kids’ future success in school. “It’s not for a lack of effort on the teacher’s part. Initiative maybe needs to be made on the parents’ part."

High School grades will be released in December.


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