School grades for the 2017-18 school year were released by the Florida Department of Education on June 27, and Wesley Chapel’s schools continue to perform well, including a pair of schools that improved over last year.
Of the area’s 14 schools, only Weightman Middle and Wiregrass Ranch High scored better than they did last year, when both earned Bs. This year, however, they are both A schools.
“We are very excited to have earned an A rating this year,” says Robyn White, principal of Wiregrass Ranch High. “It is due to the hard work of the teachers, students, parents, and community. We really focused on our areas of weakness and worked toward students achieving mastery of the standards. While an A rating is great, we still have work to do and will continue to move forward in the 2018-19 school year.”
Of the nine elementary schools in Wesley Chapel, four received A ratings, four received a B, and just one — New River Elementary — received a C.
Both of Wesley Chapel’s middle schools earned As, while its combined middle/high school, Cypress Creek, received a B. Wiregrass Ranch High received an A, while Wesley Chapel High received an B. (See chart)
Most of the schools stayed the same from the previous school year, with only two schools dropping a grade. New River Elementary dropped from a B to a C, and Wesley Chapel earned its first B since 2010, after seven years in a row as an A school.
School letter grades are based on the compilation of individual scores on statewide tests, called Florida Standards Assessments (FSA), at each grade level. The letter grades are a snapshot of a wide variety of factors, with nuances that aren’t always apparent from the single letter assigned to each school.
“The Wesley Chapel schools traditionally are high performing, and the 2017-18 school grades continue to reflect their students’ success on state exams,” says Linda Cobbe, the public information officer for Pasco County Schools. “While a school’s state-assigned grade does not tell the whole story about its overall quality, we know that the combination of dedicated teachers, engaged students, and supportive parents in these schools is reflected in those outstanding grades.”
Cypress Creek Middle High, which opened for its inaugural school year last fall, received a B in its first year..
“We are incredibly pleased with our grade, and I am so proud of our faculty, staff and students,” says principal Carin Hetzler-Nettles. “As a staff, we are truly thrilled to get a great look at our data as a school as compared to other schools.”
Because Cypress Creek did not have seniors, the school’s graduation rate and college and career acceleration points were not factored into its grade for 2017-18. They will be factored in the upcoming school year and next year’s grade.
“Overall, our students made us proud,” said Pasco County Schools superintendent Kurt Browning in a media release. “Can we do better? Yes we can, and I expect to see continuous improvement every year, in every school, and at every grade level.”
The complete DOE report is online at FLDOE.org/accountability/accountability-reporting/school-grades/.