School district earns solid ‘C’ grade

Hendry County School DistrictHendry County Superintendent of Schools Paul Puletti is clearly pleased with the results of the 2015-16 Florida Standards Assessment. The entire district is ranked a “solid C,” Mr. Puletti said, and he sees the upswing in grades as a continuing process. The statewide school grades just came out and Mr. Puletti sees a lot to be pleased about in it. He also said he is excited about the prospects for next year.

These grades reflect the first full year of Florida Standards Assessment (which replaced FCAT) and demonstrate a second year of growth.

Particular bright spots in the district include LaBelle High School, which ranks just a few points below a B. Clewiston High School also performed well, he said, as did all the high schools in the Heartland Consortium, which includes DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendy, Highlands and Okeechobee counties.

The district is very proud of Clewiston Middle’s very high C grade, but noted that LMS’ results, a D grade, were “not what they should be.”

LaBelle Elementary School fourth graders math skills proved “extremely good,” he said. Clewiston Elementary School tested a little low in reading capabilities, but is nevertheless a bright spot, as it has made considerable progress and is no longer among the lowest ranking elementary schools in the state.

Superintendent Puletti attributes the over all good news to “good teacher preparation and the hard work of students.

”He said last year the entire district “honed in on Florida Standards” and it has paid off. The kids were better prepared, he said, but noted that “there’s still work to be done to hold our own.”

He said Hendry schools have come up through the various standards, including FCAT, and with Florida Standards he expects continuous improvement.

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) released a statement stating that the number of schools earning an “F” dropped by approximately 50 percent from 204 in 2014-2015 to 103 in 2015-2016.

Additionally, 58 percent of schools that earned a “D” or “F” in 2014-2015 improved by at least one letter grade in 2015-2016. Overall, a total of 1,137 schools maintained an “A” grade or increased their grade in 2015-2016.

“Even as we have continued to raise the bar for student performance and implemented more rigorous standards by which schools are graded, Florida’s educators and students have continued to excel,” said Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart.

“It is clear that our focus on Florida’s most struggling students is paying off, especially in our ‘D’ and ‘F’ schools, 58 percent of which increased their grade in 2016.

“The great benefit of our state’s accountability system is that it constantly shines a light on areas that need improvement. I applaud the schools which improved, and I encourage all schools to pursue excellence persistently.”

To review district grades, go to

Patty Brant, can be reached at

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