All About the Children

District to appeal ‘incomplete’ state grades for Manatee, Bayshore high schools

When the Florida Department of Education released preliminary 2016 school grades Friday, only four Manatee County high schools were given grades.

Bayshore and Manatee high schools were given “incomplete” grades by the state. They’re the only two schools in the county not given an A through F grade. Read The Herald’s coverage about school grades here.

Incomplete grades can be given out for a variety of reasons, including data miscalculations or for a school failing to test at least 95 percent of its students.

Statewide, more than 115 schools were given incomplete grades by the state this year for failing to show test data for at least 95 percent of students. Many are virtual schools, alternative centers or technical institutes.

According to state data, Bayshore only tested 90 percent of students and Manatee only tested 93 percent.

Manatee County School District officials say the low percent of students tested is a miscalculation, and the district is appealing the incomplete grades.

“The state has not captured all of the students assessed,” Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Cynthia Saunders said. “However, we have a process to appeal the grades and provide the documents needed that include all students tested.”

There was a similar issue with Palmetto High School last year, Saunders said, where the state missed data from students who took the U.S. history exam. The district testing coordinator is working with the schools now to provide more information to the state.

Saunders added the district may also appeals its overall district grade — which dropped from a B to a C — once Bayshore and Manatee have final grades. The district was only a few points off from being graded a B district and a change in incomplete grades may have an effect, Saunders said.

Districts have 30 days to appeal, according to the state. The state waits until the 30-day period ends, then starts processing appeals.

After that, there’s no hard-and-fast timetable for the state to finish the appeals process, but Saunders said it normally comes pretty quickly.

Meghin Delaney: 941-745-7081, @MeghinDelaney