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Pinellas County Schools efforts to prevent learning loss are evident in third-grade English Language Arts scores

June 15, 2021

Over 95 percent of Pinellas County Schools’ third-graders participated in the ELA Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) in April 2021, surpassing the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) target of 90 percent.

Following a year where all stakeholders continuously adjusted instructional practices, and the FDOE announced that third-grade scores would not impact promotion/retention, the participation rate is significant. The assessment data allows students, families and educators to assess how students are performing according to the grade-level standards.

Districtwide, third grade English Language Arts (ELA) proficiency held steady with 54.1 percent of third-grade students earning a Level 3 or above, according to student-level results released by the Florida Department of Education.

“These are encouraging results,” said Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Grego. “Our students and teachers dealt with so much uncertainty and change over the course of the school year. The high participation rate shows that our families recognize the importance of these assessments and the results demonstrate how hard everyone worked to minimize learning loss. We will use these results to focus instruction during our Summer Bridge program and next school year.”

Schools and teachers will use the results for every student to identify if learning loss occurred and additional supports to accelerate learning during the summer and into next school year. The results also benefit district and school leaders to make informed decisions to allocate additional resources for student learning for the 2021-2022 school year.

Pinellas County Schools is fully committed to accelerate the literacy outcomes for students in elementary grades. The district is working aggressively to prioritize reading achievement in the early grades. In the 2019-2020 school year, Pinellas County Schools engaged in a year-long study of its K-5 literacy practices, seeking input from all stakeholders including students, teachers and administrators.

Pinellas County Schools:

  • Has partnered with the University of Florida Lastinger Center to implement school year and summer programming
  • Has implemented research- and evidence-based programs such as Reading Recovery
  • Is expanding Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) programs to build early literacy skills in the 2021-2022 school year by adding over 40 full-day classrooms, districtwide.

The next set of data, including all FSA scores in ELA and Mathematics for grades 3-10 and End-of-Course Exam scores, are due to arrive on or before July 30, 2021.