Citrus County students fare well on state tests Julie Gorham / Citrus chronicle

The Florida Department of Education recently released the Spring 2017 Florida Standard Assessment (FSA) scores for third through 10th grade, and local students continue to outpace state averages.

The scores include English Language Arts (ELA) for third through 10th grades, FSA Mathematics for third through eighth grades, and Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 End of Course (EOC) assessments and the statewide Science scores for fifth and eighth grades, and Biology EOC and Social Studies including Civics and U.S. History EOC assessments.

“In ELA, as a district, we did remain the same as last year — slightly above the state; however, in our math and science overall scores, we made gains,” said Amy Crowell, the district’s research and accountability director.

* English Language Arts (ELA) — Grades 3-10

The overall ELA scores for grades third through tenth grades remain above the state average with 55 percent of students achieving a passing score of 3 or higher. Citrus County elementary schools scored above the state average at 56 percent, with 60 percent scoring a 3 or higher.

Middle schools scored the same as the state average with 53 percent, and high schools scored slightly below the state average at 49 percent.

“ELA for third grade improved by 4 percent and 10th grade by 3 percent when compared to last year,” Crowell said. “These are very important because students in third grade must achieve a 3 or above, a passing score, to promote into the fourth grade; while students depend on the 10th grade ELA scores to graduate.”

* Math — Grades 3-8 and algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2

The district remains above the state average in both elementary and middle school math, ranking 10th out of 67 districts in the state.

Eighth-grade math improved by 7 percent compared to last year, with middle school Algebra EOC scores ranking fourth out of 67 school districts. Students improved in all end-of-course math exams by at least 2 percent compared to the previous year, except for high school algebra, which remains the same with 46 percent of students scoring 3 or above.

* Science — Grades 5 and 8, and biology

The district remains above the state average for fifth-grade science, ranking eighth out of 67 districts.

High school students scored above the state average in Biology with a 9 percent increase, ranking 12th out of 67 districts. Scores for eighth-grade science declined this year, falling 1 percent below the state average.

* Social Studies — Civics and U.S. history

The overall scores remain above the state average in both Civics and U.S. History, respectively landing at 73 percent and 69 percent. Each improved by at least 1 percent compared to last year.

“These percentages show students who scored an achievement level of 3 or greater (at least satisfactory) on the statewide assessment,” Crowell said. “These percentages are used when calculating the school and district grades that come out in July. The data from these assessments provide information to parents, teachers, administrators, policymakers, and the general public regarding how well students are learning the Florida Standards.“

Many schools made significant gains from last year, which contributed to the district’s overall results:

* Citrus Springs Middle School — Math grades 6-8 improved by 7 percent (from 55 to 62 percent).

* Crystal River Middle School — Math grades 6-8 improved by 6 percent (from 54 to 60 percent).

* Citrus High School — Biology improved by 13 percent (from 59 to 72 percent) and ELA grade 10 improved by 10 percent (from 39 percent to 49 percent).

* Lecanto Middle School — Civics improved by 5 percent (from 67 to 72 percent).

* Floral City Elementary School — Science grew by 12 percent (from 64 to 76 percent).

“Citrus County Schools are student and data driven,” Superintendent of Schools Sandra “Sam” Himmel stated in a news release. “We link data-driven decision-making to continuous school improvement. I look forward to further analyzing the data with our school leadership teams to focus on efforts on specific areas needing improvement so that Citrus County students continue to excel.”

Parents can view their child’s assessment scores via Skyward accounts, and a hard copy with more detailed information will be handed out by the child’s school.

* To view Citrus County results go to

Contact Chronicle reporter Julie Gorham at 352-563-3236 or

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