Report cards are in, and Collier County Public Schools won’t have to worry about hiding this one from Mom and Dad.
The school district is one of 11 out of 67 to receive an A rating from the Florida Department of Education.
The district now is ranked fifth in the state, a big improvement from 2011, when it was 33rd. Collier ranked 14th last year.
“We’re really excited,” Collier district Superintendent Kamela Patton said. “We really see it as a banner year.”
More: Database: View school grades for Collier
More: Database: View school grades for Lee County
More: Lee school district maintains 'B' status in state's annual grading system
Schools were evaluated based on state standardized test results, graduation rates and college and career readiness.
Fourteen of the county’s 54 schools, including three charter schools, increased their ratings by at least one grade letter. Three traditional public schools and one charter school, Immokalee Community School, moved up by two grade letters.
Mason Classical Academy was the highest-achieving high school, while North Naples was the highest-achieving middle school and Seagate Elementary was the highest-ranked elementary school.
No schools decreased in their ratings or were given an F. Only one school, Village Oaks Elementary, was given a D.
In the last 10 years, the county has received five A's and five B’s.
Lee County maintained its B rating, which it has had since 2014.
Patton said she attributes Collier’s success to the “aligned systems” such as benchmark testing and data dialogues, which are integrated into all of the district’s traditional public schools.
The systems enable the district to measure individual schools’ performances against the district as a whole and make changes as needed.
Patton assured that the district does not just teach to the tests and pointed to the various programs the district offers, including engineering, entrepreneurship and the Cambridge Program, as well as the many districtwide competitions.
“Our kids enjoy school, and we’re thrilled about that,” she said.
Christen Krembs, the principal of Palmetto Elementary, which moved from a C to an A, attributes the school’s success to a shift in campus culture.
Krembs, who just finished her first year at the school, said she made sure every little success was celebrated and that every teacher and administrator was available to help.
“Our theme was ‘Setting Sail for Success,’ and ‘All Hands on Deck’ was our motto,” she said. “The school’s climate has changed. The whole culture has changed. Kids are happy and want to come to school.”
Krembs said she cried when Patton called her to share the good news.
“I was happy, so happy,” she said. “It’s neat. I’m so excited.”
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