VIDEO/PHOTOS: FCAT scores, summer break give plenty to clap about

Marco's FCAT scores among top in county, state

Plenty to clap about. Tommie Barfield Elementary School's fifth-grade class received an enthusiastic 'clap out' Monday as they prepare to move on to middle school next year. Both TBE and Marco Charter Middle School were among the leaders in the Collier County School District on the FCATs this year, including the most recent test results released Thursday.
Kelly Farrell/ Staff

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff // Buy this photo

Plenty to clap about. Tommie Barfield Elementary School's fifth-grade class received an enthusiastic "clap out" Monday as they prepare to move on to middle school next year. Both TBE and Marco Charter Middle School were among the leaders in the Collier County School District on the FCATs this year, including the most recent test results released Thursday. Kelly Farrell/ Staff

TBE clap out

Marco's fifth-graders moving on up to middle ...

— Tommie Barfield Elementary’s fifth-grade class was applauded out of the building Monday, in what is called their annual “clap out.”

The students celebrated that they are moving on to middle school next year. There was plenty more for Marco students to clap about, including continuing success on the FCAT.

On the most recent round of FCAT results released by the Collier County School District Thursday, Marco Island students improved in most areas. When there was a decline in average test scores from the year before, those scores were still well above state and district averages.

Marco Island Charter Middle School principal George Abounader said among the factors in determining the school’s grade is showing improvement on FCAT scores from one year to the next.

So where could Tommie Barfield Elementary and Marco Island Charter Middle Schools’ “A-plus” grades go when they have repeatedly had top-notch, sometimes near-perfect scores?

Abounader pondered the idea aloud during a recent school board meeting.

Despite the possibility of long-term success perhaps one-day having the unfortunate result of lowering the school’s overall grade, Abounader said the most important thing is that the school is offering an excellent education.

For the most part, Island schools’ FCAT results keep inching a bit higher each year, and on average, remain well above Collier County School District and state averages.

Lely High School students’ scores dropped significantly from last year on the science FCAT. While Lely’s average scores are still lower than District and state averages, significant improvement was gained in some areas, including ninth-grade math and reading scores. Reading scores went up from 289 last year to 304 this year. The math scores improved from 291 to 305.

“We are so fortunate to have a community that takes interest and pride in its schools. I want to thank them for their support, business partnerships and contributions of materials, supplies and finances to ensure the success of the students. For those who have donated volunteer time and hugs, thank you all for your continued generosity,” said Jory Westberry, principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary.

Westberry handed out Kleenex to parents as many cried as they witnessed their children “growing up too fast” and moving on to middle school Monday. Tears and smiles of pride continued through ceremonies at the schools on the last day of the year, Tuesday.

Check back for a video of the school year end clap out

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