School grades have been announced for the 2016-17 school year. Of the 12 public schools located in New Tampa, most maintained their grades from the 2015-16 school year. However, two schools — Liberty Middle School and Tampa Palms Elementary — improved by a letter grade, while just one school, Heritage Elementary, dropped a letter grade.
Letter grades are assigned by the State of Florida Department of Education, based on statewide standardized assessments. High schools also have a graduation component, based on how many students graduate in four years. The letter grades then reflect the percentage of points received, of the total number of available points.
Both New Tampa middle schools are now rated A, with Benito maintaining its A rating and Liberty improving from a B.
Turner/Bartels K-8 School maintained its B rating.
Of the elementary schools in the area, Chiles, Clark and Pride all maintained their A ratings, with Tampa Palms jumping up from last year’s B. Hunter’s Green maintained its C rating, and now Heritage is the second elementary school in our area to also be rated C.
Both high schools in our area, Freedom and Wharton, maintained the C grades they received last year.
While the school grading system has many critics, they are widely used by parents as a measure of how well their child’s school is performing.
“The school grades are a snapshot based on school grade calculations and assessments which are subject to change by the state,” says Tanya Arja, a spokesperson for Hillsborough County Public Schools.
“While we celebrate the successes and look for ways to improve,” she continues, “a parent really needs to look at how well their child is doing and if they are making gains. Parents can get a much clearer picture of the education their child is receiving at a school by touring a school, getting involved and talking with the teachers and administrators to see the hard work they put in every day to ensure student success.”