Sarasota County School District earns A grade again

42 of the schools retained an A or B grade, state data show; only one school was given a D

Todd Bowden is superintendent of the Sarasota County Schools. Photo courtesy of the school district

The Sarasota County School District has earned another A grade for 2016-17 and is one of only two of the state’s 67 districts to have earned an A every year since grading began in 2004, the district announced on June 28.

Two Sarasota County schools — Alta Vista Elementary in Sarasota and the charter school Sky Academy in Englewood — saw their grades rise from C last year to A, the Florida Department of Education data show. Alta Vista is a Title I school, a district news release points out.

Sarasota County had seven C-rated schools and one D-rated school, but no F-rated schools. Suncoast School for Innovative Studies in Sarasota, a charter school, earned the D, which was a drop from its C rating in 2016, according to the state data.

Forty-two of the district’s schools retained an A or B rating, the district release points out. Ten increased their ratings from B to A or C to B.

Among those rising to the A level this year are Brentwood Elementary in Sarasota, Garden Elementary in Venice, Gulf Gate Elementary in Sarasota and the charter schools Island Village Montessori — which has locations in Venice and Sarasota — and Sarasota Academy of the Arts.

Two Sarasota schools decreased from an A to a B rating: Englewood Elementary and North Port’s Toledo Blade Elementary.

Two others decreased from a B to a C: McIntosh Middle in Sarasota and Sarasota Military Academy Prep.

All of the Sarasota County School District school grades are included in a chart. Image courtesy Sarasota County Schools

The district is graded on 11 different criteria, including test scores in language arts, math, science and social studies, the graduation rate, and the number of students at the middle and high school levels who take accelerated and advanced course work, the news release explains. Those areas have been a focus for district staff, particularly in regard to students who have scored in the lowest 25 percent of the test results, the release adds.

“Though we are proud of retaining an A grade, we know that we have more work ahead to maintain the excellence within Sarasota County,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools, in the news release. “Our goals will continue to focus on three main initiatives of maintaining excellence, helping our lowest-performing students, and preparing every student for college and careers.”

For more information, including all school and district grades statewide for 2016-17, visit