The first round of Florida Standards Assessments are in and as expected, Sarasota County's proficiency rates took a dip.
After a school year full of campus closures and remote learning, third grade students tested 4 percentage points lower in English Language Arts than in 2019. FSA testing was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19.
ELA scores are used to show how well students are learning to read. This year, a total of 3,119 third grade students participated in the FSAs in April.
The results are based on all students tested, including English Language Learners and those with disabilities. Of the district's total third grade class, 12% participated as remote learners within the 2020-21 school year.
66% of students scored a 3 or above on the test, which means they are performing on grade level.
The statewide average also dropped 4 percentage points in the 2020-21 school year. Sarasota ranked fifth in the state for performance behind Sumter, Nassau and Baker counties with 68% scoring a 3 or above and St. Johns with 78% scoring a 3 or above.
Superintendent Brennan Asplen said the district was only able to perform so well because of the hard work of teachers.
“We owe our amazing teachers and school leaders a profound debt of gratitude for their perseverance and tenacity in helping our students learn at high levels, despite the unimaginable challenges and circumstances that this past school year presented," Asplen said.
Now district leaders will analyze the data to target student needs heading into the new school year.
Additional assessment outcomes for third grade reading and math for grades 3-10 will be announced in late July. Test results will be used by the state to determine school grade calculations that will be released later this summer.