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Gilchrist Schools receive an A

By Janet Bradley
Last week when the Florida Department of Education released school grades for 2018-2019, school officials were pleased with the results. Bell Elementary, Bell Middle/High School, Trenton Elementary, and Trenton Middle/High School all received an “A” grade, and the district received an overall “A” grade. The Gilchrist County School District has received a District grade of an “A” nine out of the past ten years.
School grades provide a way to measure the performance of a school by breaking the score of each school into components. There are four achievement components, four learning gains components, a middle school acceleration component and components for graduation rate and college and career acceleration. The four achievement components are English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, science and social studies, and the learning gains components are in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. Each component is worth up to 100 points in the overall school grade calculation.
Schools also receive points for middle and high school students who pass an EOC (End of Course) assessment and industry certification exams. The graduation rate for high schools, and students passing AP, IB, or AICE exams, and students earning a grade in a dual enrollment course that qualifies them for college credit, all add points to the school grade.
Bell Elementary improved their grade from a “B” in 2018 to an “A” in 2019. They received a score of 441 points which was 20 points higher than 2018. Bell Elementary Principal Suzanne Mathe gave praise to her faculty and staff and stated, “They are dedicated and committed to their students and community. We are grateful for the parents who make it a priority to get our students to school each day and support us in our mission to provide them with a world class education. We attribute all of these factors to our success and look forward to another year at BES”.
Trenton Elementary Principal Ronda Adkins gave accolades to her Trenton Elementary staff and students for keeping their “A” school grade. She stated, “It is the goal and determination at TES to continually make a difference to reach all students so they are successful.” She also praised all stakeholders and commented, “I am proud of our teachers, staff, students, parents, and community, because it takes everyone working together to achieve these accomplishments.” TES received 502 points which was a 33-point increase from 2018.
Bell Middle/High School received an “A” with a total of 741 points. Principal Lisa Barry praised all of their students, parents, staff, and community members. She said, “At Bell Middle/High School we strive to create a culture that inspires every child and staff member to be their best, and we are honored to be part of Gilchrist County and the work that is being done”. She is looking forward to another successful year and stated, “We are committed to work tirelessly to reach every child that walks our halls in the 2019-2020 school year.”
Trenton Middle/High School kept their “A” with a total score of 722 points. Principal Cheri Langford expressed her appreciation to all involved. She said, “Maintaining school excellence doesn’t come without hard work. The teachers, students, staff, administrators, coaches, food service, bus drivers, custodians, and district office staff work as a team to ensure the success of our students”. She stated, “Even though we are an “A”, we have not been successful with every child, therefore there is still work to be done and our school is up to the challenge.”
The Gilchrist County School District continues to provide an education that values student learning and works hard to ensure they are reaching all students, which is indicated in the achievement seen in the 2018-2019 school grades.

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