Community reacts to Leon County School district ratings

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 12, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The community is reacting to the newly released 2018-2019 district school grades; Leon County received a "B" rating for the fourth year in a row.

The county as a whole was just one percentage point away from an "A" rating.

Three schools in Leon County received "D" ratings; Bond Elementary school holding at a "D" for the second year in a row. Griffin Middle School and Riley Elementary School were both down to "D" from a "C" last year.

However, multiple schools in Leon County improved. Oak Ridge Elementary went from a "D" to a "C," Pine View Elementary improving from an "F" to a "C," and Sable Palm receiving a "B" rating after a "C" last year.

District 3 School Board Member Darryl Jones credited the principals and teachers with creating a good environment for learning.

"We're not taking our foot off the gas, we're just going to ensure that we make certain through our budget process that we provide the resources that those schools continue to require so that they too can continue to see marked improvements," said Jones.

City Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox was concerned about the struggling Title I schools, but happy with the overall improvement of the district.

"When you haven't done so well for so long, you just kind of brace yourself, but when I saw what our students had done, what our school board, superintendent, principals, teachers, parents, community had done, I was excited," said Williams-Cox.

Jones and Williams-Cox both said they want to continue to invest in those schools that are struggling; they're hoping the community can get involved.

"Community investment is critical for success," said Jones. "The community can be a part of helping to model and mold our young people, to help them become lifelong learners, that's what's going to make the difference."

Williams-Cox is urging residents to sign up for a mentoring program through Leon County schools. The goal is to remind the students that the community cares about them and will work to help them be successful.

"I think that mentors can provide a little tender love and care, some one-on-one to help them understand that they matter, they're smart," said Williams-Cox. "We've just got to tap into what makes them tick, what makes them learn."

If you want to get involved, you can visit the Leon County Schools Website, and they will work to assign you to a school in need.

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