Eighth grade language arts teacher Gail Perego stood in front of her classroom Thursday afternoon congratulating her students hours after learning Leon County students scored high marks on the writing portion of the FCAT.
"We all are interested; we all have a steak in our students’ success and so we all deserve a pat on the back."
The writing portion is scored on a six point scale with one being the lowest, six the highest.
In Leon County, 76 percent of fourth graders, 89 percent of eighth graders and 85 percent of 10th graders got a 3.5 or higher.
"If you look at districts our size and larger, our tenth grade students were second in the state, our eighth grade students were second in the state and our fourth grade students were fifth in the state, so we're very, very pleased," said Leon County Superintendent Bill Montford.
Principals like Pat Keen at Raa Middle School say all of the teachers and staff have helped to incorporate writing in their lesson plans.
"There's been some attention to writing this year and more focus, and obviously it’s paid off. It's an exemplary faculty here and I can't wait to also share the news with the kids."
And she did. At the end of the day Principal Keen made the announcement loud and clear.
Perego says high writing scores are a good indicator that reading, math and science scores will also be high.
"I think if the students took the rest of the test as seriously as they took this one, I think it’s a very good indicator, yes."