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Gadsden fourth graders take top FCAT writing spot for second year in a row

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By Angye Morrison

Fourth grade students in Gadsden County rejoice: You are once again No. 1 in the Big Bend.

Gadsden County’s fourth graders earned the highest writing scores in the Big Bend area for the second year in a row on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, and more than half of the county’s schools posted record highs. The students were also ranked fifth highest in the state.

“Again, our entire community has something we can be very proud of,” said Gadsden County Schools Superintendent Reginald James.

The district saw overall increases in scoring for both fourth and eighth grade students, resulting in the highest scores posted in the county since the induction of the writing portion of the FCAT.

Of the 14 schools in the district tested in writing, the majority made significant improvements. Several schools posted historic passing scores, including Gretna Elementary, Gadsden Elementary Magnet and Crossroad Academy. Each school boasts of 100 percent of its students earning passing scores.

Other improvements included: St. John Elementary improved by 2 percent for a passing rate of 94 percent; Havana Elementary lost 3 percent, but 90 percent of its students scored high marks; Greensboro elementary broke the 90 percent threshold, improving 2 percent over last year, earning a 91 percent pass rate; and George Munroe Elementary posted 84 percent, despite a 3 percent drop.

Also, Chattahoochee Elementary increased 4 percent, with 75 percent of its students scoring 3.5 or better. Stewart Street Elementary students led the way in the district as the most improved, with 84 percent of its students passing and an 11 percent increase.

West Gadsden eighth grade students earned an 8 percent increase from last year, with 80 percent of its students earning a score of 3.5 or better. Both Shanks and Havana middle schools increased performance, with gains of 4 percent (87 percent of students) and 3 percent (90 percent of students) respectively.

East and West Gadsden high schools scores changed very little, with only a slight decline or no change at all. East Gadsden High lost three points with a score of 76 percent, while West Gadsden High held at 65 percent.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with our writing scores. These schools saw improvements because of the hard work of administrators, teachers, parents and the community,” said James. “While we still have room to grow, our children are showing what they are made of. If these writing scores are any indication, the best is yet to come.”