All Polk County high schools finished the year’s reports with a C or better, Lake Wales High School maintained its C rating, the same as last year’s, according to the state Department of Education rankings released Dec. 18. Ten high schools got a C with only three gaining top marks. Lakeland area high schools got A’s while Ridge Community High School received a B, Haines City High School received a C, losing ground from the B it received earlier. Fort Meade and Frostproof maintained their C grades.
The high school scores are based half on FCAT scores and the remainder on an extensive list of achievements such as graduation rates, at-risk graduation rates, certifications obtained, student scores on both International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement scores, SAT and ACT scores.
Haines City High School is appealing its score.
“There was a glitch in the Haines City High School score,” said Wilma Ferrer, senior director of assessment, accountability and evaluation for the Polk County School District. “The IB students were not included in the evaluation. Haines City is appealing the score with the DOE. The window for the appeal lasts until the end of January and it usually takes the DOE about four to six weeks to make that evaluation.”
The reason for the final high school scores to be out later, is because of the amount of extra calculations and items that go into the high school scores as noted previously.
“The summer scores for the high school are preliminary scores, but the elementary and middle scores are the final scores for the year,” Ferrer said. “That is because they are based only on the FCAT scores.”