As the school year ends, four east Hillsborough County schools are moving forward.
Two elementary schools received countywide recognition for their academics, improving their third-grade FCAT scores from 2009.
McDonald Elementary in Seffner was one of four schools in the county to improve both its third-grade reading and math scores significantly, while Trapnell Elementary in Plant City improved its math scores from 45 percent proficient to 63 percent.
Both McDonald and Trapnell overcame disruptions to the school year, with a fire at McDonald in November and a sinkhole at Trapnell that displaced students for three months.
McDonald third-graders raised their reading scores by 22 percent and their math scores by 18 percent.
"I'm very pleased of the resiliency my staff and my students have shown this year," McDonald principal Dave McMeen said. "It just goes to show that if you keep the focus, good things can happen."
Lincoln's program accepted by IB
In Plant City, Lincoln Elementary Magnet School became only the second school in the county to gain acceptance into the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.
Lincoln has been offering the IB curriculum since the school opened in 2007, teaching Spanish to all students in kindergarten through fifth grade, but was formally accepted in March.
"We're able to offer students east of 301 a world-class education," said Cynthia Doyle, who coordinates the IB program at Lincoln. "What that will allow them to do is to be competitive in the 21st century."
Wimauma Academy gets funds to expand
Wimauma Academy received the last half of a $50,000 installment from the Community Foundation of Greater Sun City Center George A. Lutz Fund to expand its instruction into middle school.
The academy, a private charter school run by the nonprofit Redlands Christian Migrant Association, has established a $2 million campaign, and plans to break ground this year.
Hilary Lehman can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 661-2441.