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NEWS BRIEFS Once again, Southside Elementary School has received an A rating from the state. Photo by Norman Schimmel MOST SARASOTA ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS GRADED A OR B Ninety percent of the Sarasota County School District elementary and middle schools graded received an A or B for the 2012-13 school year, according to the school grades released July 26 by the Florida Department of Education. "With 54 percent of its schools receiving an A, Sarasota County had nearly twice as many A schools as the state average," the release notes. Statewide, the number of A schools declined from 48 percent in 2012 to 29 percent in 2013, The percentage includes traditional and char- the release says. "In addition, the statewide ter schools, a district news release notes. number of C, D and F schools increased substantially," the release continues. Educators had predicted grades would decline this year compared to last year because the School grades for most high schools and performance levels required by both students combination schools that have a ninth grade and schools to achieve the same grade have will not be released until a new high school increased substantially, the release points out. accountability component is calculated, the "State education officials have said the decline release adds. Fifty percent of a high school is a necessary part of a transition plan to raise grade for 2012-2013 will be based on FCAT expectations for achievement and better pre- performance and 50 percent will be based pare students for work and college," it adds. on new components, including graduation rate, participation and performance in adTwenty-one of the 39 Sarasota County Schools vanced courses, and college readiness, the graded received an A for the 2012-2013 school release says. year, compared to 34 last year. Fourteen schools received a B, and four schools re- High school grades are scheduled to be received a C. The district had no D or F schools. leased later this year.

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